Ultra-running and ultra-marathons have become quite popular lately and runners are getting attracted towards it. This has led to a subsequent increase in the number of these events. Participating in an ultra-marathon requires sensible training approach and significant time commitment. Before jumping to the essential things that you need to know about ultra-running, let us first understand it briefly.

What is ultra-running?


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Ultra-running refers to any running distance that is above 26.2 miles. In general, all the ultra-marathons will usually be a minimum of 50 km or 31 miles. It has been scientifically proven that the human body is capable of taking up ultra-distance running therefore the popularity of such events has grown substantially in recent years. These events are no longer restricted to high endurance athletes and attract runners of a wide range of abilities.

Here is all that you need to know about Ultra-running –

You will run at a much slower pace


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Since the distance that needs to be covered in an ultra-marathon is quite a lot, runners adjust their pace to cope with the additional distance. Many ultra-runners prefer to take off at a relaxed pace to ensure they have enough fuel in the body to get them all the way to the finish line.

The training isn’t as hectic as you anticipate


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We agree that marathon training can be quite intense. However, due to the less rigid format of ultra-marathon the training isn’t that difficult. The most important thing that you need to do to prepare yourself for an ultra-distance race is to spend lots of time on your feet. The time you spend on your feet will help you build your staying power. You can start your preparation by walking places instead of driving and take the stairs in place of the lift. Start slow but build up your distances over time. Incorporating tempo and hill work into your runs is also a good technique as it builds your strength and endurance for ultra-running.

Walking during an ultra-marathon is acceptable


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Walking during an ultra-marathon is nothing to be embarrassed of – you will often see your competitors walking up mountains in order to conserve energy. Many runners also use trekking poles to take the pressure of the rough terrain off the body.

Good shoes are essential for ultra-running


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This doesn’t come as a surprise that good shoes are a must have for ultra-running. In fact your running shoes are the most important ultra-running kit that you can invest in. To choose the perfect pair of shoes look at the type of ultra-running you’re doing (trail or road), your running style and your foot shape.

Start with a less difficult race


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If it is the first time you’re participating in an ultra-marathon, start with an easy race. Ultra-marathons are tough but some are a lot tougher than others. You do not have to necessarily start with a 6 day trekking when you can opt for a relatively flat 50 Km course. You can increase the level of the races as you progress.

Be prepared for the blisters


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Running long distances adds huge benefits to your physical well-being, but as your distances go up you are most likely to suffer blisters, and pressure under the toe-nails. However, the pain is always worth the reward and the health benefits. After all, no pain, no gain!

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