Training for Ultra / Multi Marathon Running

Completed a number of marathons! what next? Many runners look to Multi Marathon and Ultra running for a new challenge. Completing an endurance race or ultra challenge is demanding on body and training regime. At this stage many will have identified the type of training schedule that suits them and adapted it using principals that have worked for them.

DSC_3383Itching to do an Ultra

Before entering this arena make it is best that you have ample marathon distances under your belt to avoid unnecessary injury. As was the rule for marathon training, weekly long runs are now an even more important part of your training regime. Adapt a slower pace for your long runs as these are all about getting your body used to distance / endurance, so save you faster pace / speed work for shorter mid week sessions.

Back 2 Back distance training

This is an excellent technique for multi marathon or Ultra’s in excess of 60k. This consists of – 3 days of shorter / speed training – 1 rest day – 1 long run – 1 long run – 1 rest day. The first day long run builds endurance and the second day, ideally about 15% shorter, acclimatizes the body to having to keep going even when tired.

Run / Walk

Venturing beyond marathon distance where the whole emphasis may have been keep running, now you must revisit that strategy as pacing is even more important and virtually all endurance runners adopt a run-walk strategy at some point during the race. It is important to train you body to be able to run again after a walking break, so build walk breaks into your distance runs and judge for yourself the correct ratio of run : walk

Listen to your body

Get to know your body and listen to it, while a group of runners may stick together during training your recovery is personal to you, no 2 bodies are the same, weight, physique, wellbeing, age etc. all play a part in your recovery. If your body hasn’t fully recovered from the previous long distance then shorten, or scrap, your next distance run to aid recovery. Running on a fatigued / over trained body leaves a high risk of injury.

Emulate your training to your race

Check out your race for elevation, road, trail, mountain, beach etc. and emulate your training to reflect the challenge that you are training for. Weather conditions, day light, running at darkness with headlamps etc are all factors and should be likewise adapted into you training schedule if applicable.

Race day looming

Most runners are tapering their training 2 – 3 weeks before the race, it is important that your body is starting the race rested to increase your chances of finishing. Proper hydration and a well fuelled body play a major part also to make sure to experiment with these factors during training so that your confident of what works and makes you most efficient on race day.

Set your GOAL and make your goal work for you

When you decide to take that “Leap of Faith” then get focused on your chosen challenge, register now if that helps to motivate and drive you towards your Goal, get a training plan in place that mimics most aspects of the challenge and get started. Choose an event that you can really look forward to for the challenge, camaraderie hospitality and something that will leave you going home fulfilled, with a smile and lasting memories. Donegal is an ideal venue to tick all those boxes, so check our Rocks N Rollin Ultra or the iconic Quadrathon when searching for your ideal challenge.