RUNNING YOUR FIRST ULTRA
Oh hey guys!
Just getting back in the swing of things after vacation and starting my training for my upcoming fall races (and beyond!)
My "A" race for 2018 is the Daytona 50. It was my first successful 50 mile finish. I'm looking to beat my 2016 time, which as long as I don't fall, shouldn't be a problem.
My first attempt at the 50 mile distance was kind of a disaster. I didn't properly train (or actually did the wrong training TBH). I had the wrong mindset. I did so many things wrong....soooo many things. Good thing, I learned A LOT from screwing up so much so today I'm gonna share with you some tips before you run your first ultra marathon.
1. Be honest with yourself. If you rode the struggle bus on your first road marathon, maybe don't sign up for a notoriously hard 50 mile trail ultra marathon. Start off with a 50k. I know it's only 5 more miles then a marathon but those extra miles will kick your ass. Start slow and smart.
2. Find your "Why?". Why are you running an ultra? What makes you want to finish this distance? Find the answers to these questions will help you during your training. They'll keep you motivated on the cold, early mornings or those hot summer afternoons.
3. Try to find a course that you can replicate during training. If you live in NYC and don't have access to regularly train on trails, maybe look at a road ultra. Or understand that your long run will be bridge repeats and you'll have to make friends with the stair master. Both of these helped me train for trail ultras living in Brooklyn where I don't have easy access to trails.
4. Get help. Consider getting a coach. There are a million different books with plans in them and even more plans online for ultras. A coach will work with you to help you where you are at in your running and get you to the race without being burned out or undertrained. It's also great to have someone to talk about the race with (incase your friends and family aren't runners) and help you prepare for the race. My coach has definitely heard A LOT of my running anxieties and been able to talk me down. Also, reach out to other runners for advice, especially if they have done the race in the past. (A coach not in the budget? A good book to get is Running Your First Ultra . It has a ton of good advice, plus some realistic training plans)
5. Get inspired. Read race reports, watch youtube videos about the race or ultra running in general. I love videos by Billy Yang or Ginger Runner on YouTube.
6. TELL EVERYONE. I'm serious. You are about to do something really awesome and that most people wouldn't dream of doing. Don't play small. Post about it on Instagram, talk about it with co-workers and friends. You'll be amazed about all the support you receive.
I hope this helps you guys on your ultra journey. I have so many fun things on deck for 2018/2019 and I can't wait to share with you guys.
Comment below if you are training for your first race (ultra or not) and let me know!