What Is An Ultramarathon & How To Become An Ultra-Runner

How To Become An Ultra-Runner

Running, as a sport, is very accessible. You can do it at any time and any place at your fancy or convenience- whether at your front door, the nearby park, along the road, on an isolated trail, or even when you're on vacation.

Aside from this, it is affordable. You don't need to join and pay monthly gym fees or hire a trainer.

You will need to invest in the best running gear, but it is worth it considering the benefits that you get out of the activity.

Many sports enthusiasts go beyond running as a mere workout and health regimen. Often, they step up in their sport, especially as there are different levels of it. Other than training for fun and leisure, they run for competition. That is, they participate in a running race.

Read also; How to Stay Safe and Visible When Running at Night

From standard marathons to ultramarathon race competitions, these people stretch their strength and endurance and transcend the common distances of a traditional marathon. Statistics cite that over 17.6 million people registered in marathons in 2019. On various race day events, they ran 5k as the most common race distance.

Athletes who want to go further in their strength training opt to join ultramarathon events. These are training runs for sportspeople who have extreme fitness goals.

What Is an Ultramarathon?

An ultra-marathon is a race that covers a running span above the standard marathon distance. It exceeds the normal range of 26.2 miles. Over the past 30 years, a great number of races took place, and it has grown rampantly throughout the period.

What Is An Ultramarathon

There are different categories of ultramarathon events, and they are:

1) Distance-based ultramarathon

In this type of ultra-running race, participants are required to cover a specified distance. These ultra distances are often 50-kilometer races, 50-mile races, 100-K races, and 100-mile races.

2) Time-based ultra marathons

A fixed amount of time is determined for ultramarathon runner athletes to span so that they can finish the race. Three types of time frames are set for time-based ultra races and are 6 hours, 12 hours, and the 24-hour race.

Time-based ultra-marathon events tend to be performed in loop courses with standard distances that range from a few to several miles. Slower runners or those who need to refuel or rest have the option to stop at the end of the loop and reconvene when they're ready.

3) Obstacle racing ultra marathons

This is a tough race to join wherein runners are compelled to run either an ultramarathon distance or tackle a long course of paved roads or trail runs. Obstacle ultramarathon running may incorporate time or distance into what already is a tough race.

Where Are Ultra Marathon Events Usually Held?

Where Are Ultra Marathon Events Usually Held

Locations for ultra-running races and events can be anywhere in the world, and usually in remote places, including South Africa. Settings where there is elevation gain are ideal, or else trail race venues that are away from traffic. If the event is a road race, the avenues involved will have to be closed on race day, which is often expensive and challenging.

An ultra-marathon can be a tough race, and the most popular sites for these events are in national parks and cities like New York and Nevada, South Africa, Morocco, and Greece.

How Do You Train To Be An Ultra Runner? Tips To Prepare For An Ultra Marathon

An effective and well-planned ultramarathon training plan is necessary for joining such a race. It involves proper time management and a fervent commitment to adhere to intense strength training and the rules for safety during races. Your preparation can take several months.

If you are a newbie, you can ask for the assistance of an endurance coach to devise your ultramarathon workout routine.

Build a foundation of distance running

Establish a base of distance running. Learning to race long distances needs you to start somewhere. This is essential in increasing your mileage. For starters, you can join a standard marathon before participating in an ultramarathon.

Plan for an effective training run schedule

You need to develop a consistent training run schedule to progress in your mileage. On weeks 16 to 20 before your race day, you should proceed to high running. One week should be spent on high-mileage running, while long runs should be accomplished on Saturday and Sunday.

Be particular about safety during races and while training. Invest in the best gear for daytime and nighttime running. Purchase a pair of specialized running shoes and reflective clothing, especially if you're running at night. It is also worth buying a running torch.

A LED running headlamp is a must for working out in low-light conditions. The NightBuddy LED Headlamp is designed with powerful 350 lumens to light your path while giving you visibility. You need perfect night vision when running in the dark, wherein you can choose from 5 different light modes depending on your need.

LED running headlamp

The NightBuddy headlamp has a beam distance of 100m and has a red light mode to help you see clearly at night. Note that you should be visible to motorists, pedestrians, and other people when running pre-dawn or at night to keep yourself safe.

Implement a tapering strategy

Tapering is a crucial strategy after running your high mileage week. This is when you begin to reduce the distance and pacing of your runs. Over the past weeks of high-intensity training, your body has been through significant stress. Studies have shown that tapering your training for three weeks results in an exemplary finish time.

How to become a better ultra-runner?

Here's what Night Buddy recommends to become the best ultra-runner possible:

  • Start with a solid foundation
  • Develop a training plan
  • Cross-train and strengthen
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Gradually increase mileage
  • Mental preparation
  • Join a community

Of course each one plays a vital role in being the best ultra-runner you can be. Always make sure to seak out advice if you're unsure about your running plan.


What Are The Key Differences Of An Ultramarathon Vs A Standard Marathon?

It usually involves plenty of trail running. Therefore, it is performed on distinct and varying, difficult terrains.
It has a different pacing, mainly because it is not as easy to run on trails as on paved roads.
Trails have tough terrains to contend with, and they are apt to be elevated. It often takes extra time to run one mile on a trail compared to running one mile on a flat road.
So! for this reason, an ultra marathon training plan utilizes a fusion of time-based runs and distance-based runs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ultramarathon, and what distance does it cover to complete?

Any running race that goes further than the standard marathon distance of 26.2m or 49.12 km is called an ultramarathon. Typically, ultramarathons are run on trails.

Is it okay to stop in an ultra marathon?

Time-based marathons tend to be comprised of loops throughout a few miles. This is when runners can break off at an aid station to replenish their energies and water/fluids at the close of a loop.

Do marathon runners have better stamina in bed?

In a study featured in the American Journal of Cardiology, it was found that there was a strong correlation between running stamina and sexual stamina. For every extra minute of running on a treadmill, one obtains two or three minutes more of endurance in bed.

Can you run an ultramarathon without training?

You have to be determined in mind and body to train, prepare and finish successfully in an ultra. This is the core of joining such events. It is not recommended that you take part in your first ultramarathon without training. It is important that you are in the proper shape and overall condition for such a feat.

Read next; Guide to Running-at-Night Gear: Staying Safe and Seen


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