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  • About VJ
  • September 08, 2023 2 min read

    Ultra-distance races (in running, these are technically any races longer than the marathon distance) are some of the most unique, arduous, and downright crazy things you can put your body through. Appealing, right?!vjshoesusa cali schweikhart ultra running

    If you’ve been contemplating trying an ultra but don’t know where to start, here are a few things to consider:

    Some questions to ask yourself:

    • Does the idea of spending hours (or even days) running/hiking/walking to cover a certain amount of ground sound like an exciting challenge to you?
    • Have you run anything close to marathon distance before?
    • Are you experienced in fueling during training?

    If you answered yes to all three of these questions, you are probably well on your way to being ready for your first ultra! Here’s why…

    • Ultras cover a lot of ground, and they therefore take a lot of time to complete. The motivation to be out on course for hours on end should be there before you step on a start line, because that’s probably one of the most important determining factors when it comes to whether or not you will finish. Your fitness and fueling can be there, but if the fire isn’t, long distance races like this can be a miserable grind.

    • If your body hasn’t experienced anything relatively close to the distance ofvjshoesusa cali schweikhart ultra running the race you’re thinking of doing, you’re at a little bit of a disadvantage from the start. Practice makes better, right? So ideally, your body should be prepped and ready to take on such a grueling event. If you’re used to long runs and adventures that have you on your feet for hours on end, great! If that’s not something you’ve done yet, it would be a great idea to work towards that in training. Take your longest run and add volume very gradually to help your body acclimate and to give yourself the best chance of succeeding in whatever ultra you have your eye on.

    • Training and racing takes energy, which we get from food! Fueling is quite possibly the most important component of ultra-running. We expend a lot of energy when running, and if that’s not replaced, it’s almost impossible to perform at our best. Ultra running requires regular fueling so that your body has what it needs to go the distance. The cool thing is that you can practice fueling during training! This is the best way to see what your body responds best to. Can your stomach handle solid foods while running? Do you prefer to just drink liquid calories? These are important questions to know the answers to before you try an ultra. Dialing in a fueling plan will really help you be prepared for the demands of long-distance racing.

    Ultras are such an incredible adventure.

    If a rather long physical challenge combined with a huge mental test is something that calls to you, it might be time to give ultra running a shot! Just remember that there is a first time for everything, and it’s virtually impossible to be 100% prepared.

    But keeping the above tips in mind is a perfect place to start!

    -Cali Schweikhart @cschweik