With every ultra I’ve run over the last 9 or so years, completed or not, I can safely say that I’ve learned something new in each race that I’ve competed in. Running ultras is no cake walk – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – but when you have good preparation, organization and information, they are totally manageable and oh so rewarding!
So with my 9 years or so of experience running ultra distances and decades running, in general, I leave you with some of my little nuggets of wisdom about going the distance!
Check out the video below for the full recap or catch some highlights below!
Shoes: it’s not only important to find shoes that fit but also those that have the right kind of tread for the conditions you’re in! And most importantly, always, always, always try to run in the shoes before you buy them.
Watch: You need a great watch. Or at least you should want one! It’s fun to track progress, miles, and of course have records of your bragging rights. My pick is the Suunto. Read more about why here.
Headphones: If you’re going to wear headphones while running, make sure you go the safe route – grab a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium – the best headphones for listening to your favorite music, podcasts or chatting on the phone while on the go! They’re 100% hands-free and don’t slip off or chafe (you can even handstand in them — proof in the video, y’all!). Plus, they use bone conduction technology (meaning, they aren’t actually INSIDE your ears so you can still hear your surroundings). If you want to get your hands on these amazing headphones (and you should), go to: http://sweatpink.aftershokz.com/ and use the code SWEATIES at checkout for 15% off (valid until 12/27)
Hydration Pack / Bottles: Again, try them all and find something that works for you! Some of my favorite brands include Nathan Performance Gear, Ultimate Direction and Salomon.
Trucker hats: Every good ultra runner needs a good trucker hat!
You can train, train, train…or not train and still finish an ultra if your nutrition is on point. Nutrition is what will keep you from getting through one, or your lack of a good nutrition plan, that is. During your long runs and workouts, try out different foods, gels, and electrolytes to see what works and what doesn’t. Before the race, have a plan and follow it during the race. More on what I eat in the video!
Training isn’t just about logging miles. While it’s good to incorporate long runs into your training plan – especially back to back long runs – you also need to cross train to maintain a strong core and strong upper body! If you have whole body coordination, you’ll be more successful in your races – and not just relying solely on your legs to get you up mountains or take you long distances! Some of my favorite cross training includes strength training workouts with my MostFit Core Hammer and balance and stability workouts on my BOSU Balance Trainer (see the video for some great moves!)
Make sure you’re taking proper steps to recovery during training and after races! Some of my favorite ways to recover involve:
Oh yeah, and you should sleep too! 🙂
Thanks for tuning in today everyone – it was a blast chatting with all of you over comments and nerding out about ultra running – and thanks to all of you for contributing so much to the conversation – I learned so much – RUN GUM? I can’t wait to try it!
What are your favorite training tips? Or something you’ve learned recently that you’re dying to share?
Stay sweaty friends!