After reading the books, Ultramarathon Man and Born to Run, I became increasingly more interested in testing my endurance limits. Ultras held a certain mystique and I really wanted to see and experience what so many runners seemed to have conquered and enjoyed (in a twisted distance-runner sort of way :-).
In January 2010, I signed up for a July 24-hour Ultramarathon that consisted of 8.4 mile loops, was close to home, and was for a great cause (Back on My Feet)! This gave me six months to plan and train my transition to “Forrest Gump” style running. The downside of a July Ultra was that a good portion of my training would be in the winter months and the race itself would be in the heat of the summer. But all-in-all, I wouldn’t have changed a thing…it was awesome (but that’s getting ahead of myself).
Over the next several months, I changed my typical marathon training routine to longer multi-hour runs; focused on nutrition while running; tried different endurance drinks, lubes, and sunscreens, and plotted a path to my goal of “keep going for 24 hours”.
I’ve taken some time to document my planning, training, lessons learned (i.e. what I’ll do differently next time), and my race report to hopefully help those that are ‘on the fence’ with testing the waters beyond 26.2. Which brings me a good point: Hopefully you’ve run a marathon or two and have had the experience of some multi-hour long runs and eating & drinking while running. These are good introductions to what you can expect to build upon your training for an ultramarathon. Here are some examples of how your routine is about to change:
If you’re still reading that means I didn’t scare you away…great! The pages below go into more detail about my preparation and experiences. Keep in mind that this was my first ultramarthon. I found some other great websites out there from Ultra veterans that had some additional insights from their experience of having run dozens of 100-milers. I’ve put links to a couple below and have other references throughout these pages.
Best of luck!!
Ultra Marathon Training Plan
Race Checklist: 24-hour Ultra
Ultra Nutrition Guide
Runner Lube: Friend to Long Distance Runners!
2010 Ultramarathon Race Report
My long run with Mr. Kwon
Nathan Quickdraw Elite - Product Review
Ultramarathon Man Book Review
Born to Run Book Review
Kevin Sayers Ultra Site
Anna Hughes Ultra Site