895. What is an Ultramarathon and is it for me?

So how’d you find out about ultramarathons? 

I found out when I went out for a 5-mile run around my house, I ran through a park and saw that they were holding a 50-mile running event…

My jaw dropped. I was training for a marathon and now I knew what my next year’s goal was going to be.,.

The rest is history.

Let’s get into it! 

What is an ultramarathon?

An Ultramarathon is any organized foot race that is longer than a marathon (26.2 miles)…

The most common “ultras” are:

  • 50k (32 miles) 
  • 50 miles
  • 100 miles

Even longer… 

Yeah, there really is a race for 3100 miles. the annual Sri Chinmoy 1300-Miler 

These people average 60 miles per day for like 50 days 

There really is no limit

Do people actually run this stuff?

Yeah, well running is used loosely. 

  • If you count walking, hiking, and jogging as part of running then yes, people ‘run’ this stuff. 

Running is meant to be used as the intent behind what we’re doing, something like “I have my running shoes, I’m going for a run – sometimes I walk though because my legs need a break or whatever the reason may be but usually I’m training to go so far and I can’t necessarily run the entire thing but if it was shorter I’d run…” 

After all, that’s the main reason why people run ultramarathons – the amount of physical and mental growth that is gained from going through the training process all the way to seeing the race experience through. 

Random facts 

These ultramarathon races can be run on roads, tracks, or trails. 

From point A to point B, around a one-mile loop, out however many miles and then come back 

Runners stop to use the bathroom, eat, change shoes and clothes, replenish fluids, roll out sore legs, and sleep – these are typically done at aid stations. 

While elite ultramarathoners run for the majority of the race, a lot of people walk and take their time – averaging 4 – 6 miles an hour. 

There is no discrimination in the ultra world, people of age, race, gender, religion, etc take part in this sport. 

There are a few different types of ultras too. 

  • Timed events like 6, 12, 24, 48 hours, all the way up to six days… 
  • Distance events like 50k, 100 mile, etc
  • Last man standing events like “run this 4.2-mile loop every hour on the hour until the last person can’t do it anymore”
  • Journey runs: a multiday running event usually from one significant place to another like across a state or a country 

Is Ultramarathon for you?

Well, what do you what to accomplish?  

Of course, knowing what goals we want to accomplish is half the battle 

Like really knowing what we want… 

“I want this” puts us on the hook

Do we achieve the goal or not? 

No one wants to be on the hook though

Being off the hook provides a cop-out, a way for us to write it off 

“I didn’t really want that anyway” 

And despite not being on the hook, we did want that. 

with everything in us. 

Plus, ultramarathons provide physical and mental benefits that we all could use a little more of – why not try one and see if you like it? 

Not much is lost if you complete the goal, but a lot is gained. 

I appreciate your attention! 

Running is often thought of as a moving meditation, a time to practice total presence – another reason why running is so much more of a mental activity.

See when the next ultra is near you: ultrasignup

Go get your miles! 


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