897. 10 Ultramarathon Tips: Do You Really Want to Run an Ultra? 

How many times have we found bits of information that completely contradict what we thought to be true? 

Things like:

  • How to stretch or train 
  • What to eat 
  • Running your fastest 5k, marathon, or ultramarathon 
  • Speed workouts 
  • Nutrition and hydration  

The reality is: some of the information that gets regurgitated is counterproductive to whatever goal we are trying to reach…

It works for some people, and not for others. 

This “conventional wisdom” has to be unlearned when we as runners start to take this running thing a little more seriously. 

There is a lot known about running

and there is still so much left to discover…

The fun part is finding out what really works for me

And that’s a secret to continue growing in this sport (and in life): CANI 

Continual And Never-ending Improvement 

In this article, we’re going to cover 10 ultramarathon tips – you must really want to run ultra huh? 

10 Ultramarathon Tips

  1. 80/20 rule: What’s the 20% of activities that will get me 80% of the results? For ultramarathon training that’s going to be the LSD aka long slow distance run and speed work. 
  1. Food and fluids come in quality. Ramen noodles may be food but there is little nutritional value vs a salted potato. Speaking of calories, here is a per-hour intake sheet that I use as a guideline:
    1. 300 calories 
    2. 750 mg of sodium 
    3. 1 L of fluids
  1. Train your own way, in a way that is best for you. We all have a volume limit (and time limit) that we can do each week. 

These limits change too. 40 miles per week or 100+ miles? That’s for us to experiment and find out. Typically the best runners are putting up big miles, this is a fact.  

Are we looking to become the best? Are we looking to achieve our own goals? Why are we even doing this!? 

  1. Train race specific to help with the success of a race: similar terrain, weather, time, foods, fluids, and equipment. Usually, the best runners in a race are the local runners who train on the race course – talk about training specific. 
  1. During ultras even splits are more manageable than negative splits, and usually lead to a better performance. 
  1. Track your training and workouts to help figure out what works best for you. This could be a copybook or an app like strava. Take notes of things like food and fluid intake – what works and what doesn’t, sleep quality the night before, weather, pace, distance, etc. 
  1. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Deal with problems before they come up OR right when we notice them. Things like dehydration, blisters, nausea, and injuries are the four top reasons that cause a Did Not Finish (DNF). Here are some tips:
    1. drink fluids
    2. lube or tape blister-prone areas and tie shoes correctly. 
    3. train nutrition during long runs
    4. cross-train to build strength and mobility

Be creative with solutions if problems come up. More importantly, communicate with your crew.

  1. “Tapering” is cutting back on training in the weeks leading up to race day. This helps us perform our best mentally and physically. Everyone tapers differently, some need a few days or a week, others, two or three. 
  1. We get better as we gain more experience. For most ultramarathon races – finishing and trying my best are the main goals. It’s hard to judge our ability after the first year, even the second year… let alone our first time running a race or the course… Stay consistent. If you’re really about this, see what you can accomplish in a decade.
  1. Ultramarathons aren’t a ‘’highlight reel” they are pretty anticlimactic in terms of crazy action. It’s long days, some resting, and lots of moving. Most of the joy is found at the end of the journey and how long of a way we came. There ain’t nothing like crossing a finish line after months of prep and a day of getting beaten down.   

I appreciate your attention! 

LMK some thoughts!!

Go get your miles! 


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