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Ultrarunning 101: Your Trail to Becoming an Ultra Athlete ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŒฒ

Updated: Mar 27


Hey, future ultrarunners! Ready to elevate your running and push yourself to the limit? In this blog I am going to help you better understand the world of ultrarunning, I will guide you on a journey packed with adventure, learning, and growth. You can also just jump right in and check out our coaching services at Total Running and Conditioning. Letโ€™s start this adventure together and get you to that finish line!

Understanding Ultrarunning ๐Ÿค”

Ultrarunning (any distance longer than 26.2 miles) will test your endurance, strength and spirit. Itโ€™s a journey into self-discovery and pushing you to limits you never knew existed. The sense of accomplishment you feel after completing an ultra is unparalleled. Plus, the ultrarunning community is one of the most supportive and welcoming out there!

Coaches Tips:

  • Start by setting realistic goals based on your current fitness level.

  • Learn about different ultrarunning events to find one that excites you.

  • Remember, ultrarunning is a journey, not a sprint; patience and consistency are key.

Gear Up for Success ๐ŸŽ’

The right gear can make your ultrarunning experience enjoyable and safe. Focus on finding the best fit for

your feet, hydration needs, and trail conditions. Choosing the right gear can make a significant difference in your ultrarunning experience.

Coaches Tips:

  • Invest in trail shoes with good grip and support for long distances.

  • Choose a hydration system that suits your running style, such as handhelds, vest or waist packs.

  • Select moisture-wicking and breathable clothing to stay comfortable in various weather conditions.

  • Consider hiring a coach who can provide personalized training plans, advice, and support. Check out our coaching services to see how we can help you reach your ultrarunning goals.

Training Strategies from the Pros ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ

A smart training plan is essential for building the endurance and strength needed for ultrarunning, incorporating rest and recovery are integral components.

Coaches Tips:

  • Gradually increase your mileage to build endurance safely.

  • Incorporate strength training to improve muscle balance and reduce injury risk.

  • Schedule rest days and recovery weeks to allow your body to adapt and heal. DID YOU KNOW? We offer a stretching-focused program, a strengthening-focused program, and an injury prevention-focused program on a weekly or monthly basis. Our Licensed Physical Therapist can design a custom program to address many of your running related needs.

Nutrition and Hydration: Fueling the Fire ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Proper nutrition and hydration are crucial for keeping your engine running during long runs and races.

Coaches Tips:

  • Focus on a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.

  • Practice your race day nutrition and hydration strategy during long training runs.

  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after runs, adjusting intake based on weather conditions and sweat rate.

  • Remember, don't try anything new on race day. even the most seasoned runners can end up with issues trying new foods on race day. Stick to what you know works based on your practice in training.

Mental Toughness: The Ultrarunner's Secret Weapon ๐Ÿ’ช

Ultrarunning challenges your mind as much as your body. Developing mental resilience can keep you moving forward when the going gets tough. It will get tough, as race distances get longer you will no doubt experience the mental highs and lows during the many hours out on the trails.

Coaches Tips:

  • Visualize a successful completion of your runs and races to build confidence.

  • Break down long distances into manageable segments to maintain focus. Think aid station to aid station.

  • Embrace discomfort as part of the growth process, learning to push through tough times. In other words, learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Bonus Tip: During the many hours of a race something will go wrong and you will be forced to deal with it. Don't be alarmed and embrace the issue by working and finding a solution. Seek others input. Almost everyone at an ultra is there to see you succeed and many of the people volunteering have extensive experience as well. Don't be afraid to ask for help or utilize your crew if you have one.

The Community: Finding Your Tribe ๐Ÿค

Joining the ultrarunning community can provide support, motivation, and friendship on your journey.

Coaches Tips:

  • Connect with local ultrarunning groups or clubs to find training partners and resources.

  • Participate in online ultrarunning forums and social media groups to share experiences and advice.

  • Volunteer at ultrarunning events to immerse yourself in the community and learn from seasoned runners.

Race Day Prep and Strategy ๐Ÿ

Proper preparation and a smart strategy are crucial for a successful and enjoyable race day experience.

Coaches Tips:

  • Pack your gear and nutrition the night before the race to ensure you're ready to go.

  • Start conservatively, focusing on maintaining a steady pace that feels sustainable.

  • Stay adaptable and ready to adjust your pace, nutrition, and hydration based on how you feel and the day's conditions.

Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Ultrarunning ๐Ÿ›Œ

Effective recovery strategies are vital for improving performance and preventing injuries, helping you bounce back stronger for your next adventure.

Coaches Tips:

  • Prioritize sleep and rest, aiming for 7-9 hours per night to support physical and mental recovery.

  • Incorporate active recovery methods, such as gentle stretching, yoga, or easy walks, to aid muscle repair.

  • Focus on post-run nutrition, consuming a mix of carbohydrates and protein to replenish energy stores and repair muscle tissue.

Bonus Tip: Rest days are just as important as your training. embrace them and use them to allow your body to repair itself both physically and mentally.


Stepping into ultrarunning is a rewarding adventure that promises not just physical achievements but profound personal growth. Each run is a step towards discovering what you're truly capable of. Are you ready to embark on this incredible journey? Visit Total Running and Conditioningย to discover how we can help you reach your ultrarunning goals.

Hereโ€™s to many miles and smiles ahead! Happy trails!


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