5 Tips for Running Your First Ultramarathon
There’s nothing like your first time running an ultramarathon. It’s exhilarating and it can push you to your absolute limits. Of course, it’s also probably going to be the most running you’ve ever done at one time, and you don’t want to be on your last legs with two-thirds of the race to go. To perform at your best, follow these five tips.
1. Tailor Your Training to the Ultramarathon
To get the most out of an ultramarathon, you should give yourself at least a few months of training time to prepare. If you run one just to do it without sufficient prep, you’ll likely regret it when you can’t perform at your best.
First, find out the details of the ultramarathon you’re going to run, including the distance, what type of terrain there will be and how hilly it is. Build a training plan that prepares you for all that you’re going to face on the course.
2. Plan Your Fueling
When it comes to fueling, it’s best to stay consistent. Fuel yourself during the race the same way that you do when you train, otherwise you could end up sick.
Read about what items the aid stations will have available. This should be on the race’s website, or you can contact the race director. By learning what foods and drinks the aid stations will have, you can see what items you can get there and which ones you’ll need to bring yourself.
3. Don’t Get Caught Up in the Early Adrenaline Rush
There’s always an adrenaline rush when a race starts. The problem is that it can cause you to run faster than you normally would without even realizing it, and then you’ll tire later. Be careful about your speed in the early going, and slow down a bit if necessary. Your legs and lungs will thank you for it after a few miles.
4. Keep Yourself Comfortable
Chafing may be the biggest enemy of runners everywhere. It’s tough to eliminate chafing completely, but you can keep it from being unbearable by lubing up any friction spots using petroleum jelly before the race. Put a bag of it in your pocket so that you can get some during the race if you need it.
Some runners also find that they chafe less when they wear compression gear. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s the same gear you wear during your training.
5. Be Confident While Staying in the Present Moment
Physical fitness plays a part in completing an ultramarathon, but much of your success will come down to your mindset. If you go in confident that you’re going to finish, that’s much more likely to happen.
However, while you’re running, try to keep thoughts of the finish line out of your head. It only makes you think about how much you have left to run. Instead, focus on your surroundings and the racing experience.