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Ultra Marathon? Anyone?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I've been researching ultra marathons...

When I went to pick up my packet the day before my race (North Face Endurance Challenge at Bear Mountain - Half Marathon) a lot of the 50 milers were coming in, along with the marathoners, 50k, and Marathon relay participants. They do the longer events on Saturday and the Half, 10K and 5K on Sunday. I was mesmerized by the 50 milers.

All participants receive a red technical shirt, you then head over to the shirt screening tent and tell them which event you've done or are going to do and they screen it for you. I was on line with a couple of 50 milers and yes I was staring in awe at the attractive but otherwise normal looking 30 something year old man and woman and I stupidly asked with the slightest tone of incredulity, "you just ran 50 miles?" They looked over at me, shrugged their shoulders and nonchalantly, said, "yeah". Well, I was impressed, as were my 13 y.o. son and his good buddy who came up with me.

Days later I'm still in awe and now I'm contemplating running that race next year.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TEENY_BIKINI 7/20/2012 10:16PM

    50K. Holy toledo, Batman! That completely fascinates me!


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OPTIMIST1948 5/15/2012 11:45AM

    Like many, I'm amazed at those who do Ultras, but I dont think that's in my particular future. But who knows?? Never say never!

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WINACHST 5/12/2012 9:46PM

    I just ran my first half marathon and there were mile markers for the marathon on the same route; to me running that many miles did not make sense to me. But who knows? A year ago 13.1 miles did not make much sense either.

In about a month, I am going to do a half of a half trail run; I am going to heed the advice you posted in the comments and make sure I get some training done on trails.

Good luck on the marathon.

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CINDYTW 5/10/2012 4:27PM

  I have a friend that does ultras. Amazing to me!

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JTAYLOR2011 5/10/2012 10:27AM

    By no means am I committing myself to do a 50 mile race at this point. My focus is on getting ready for my first Marathon in October in 20 weeks. I'm actually fairly conservative in my approach to these things due mostly to self preservation! For example, several people that I met along the way, some of the people I mention in my previous blog, did not adequately prepare for the Half. Never ever would I do that.

Where I didn't prepare for the trail half, I realize now, is by not getting time and experience on technical trails. The consequence was a lot of cramping and tightening up in the last few miles and a good bit of delayed onset muscle soreness for a few days as trail running uses different muscles. 98% of my training was on roads and treadmills.

I'll assess after the Marathon what's next and if I decide that it's a 50 miler you better believe that I'll be ready to roll when the starting gun goes off! Yeah!!

Chronic cardio, interesting. I think that's a hot topic worthy of exploring.

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NATPLUMMER 5/10/2012 9:43AM

    I wouldn't even contemplate an Ultra until after I've tried a full marathon.

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KARENDEE4 5/10/2012 9:12AM

    50 miles? How do they do that? My body would collapse. lol

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HOUNDLOVER1 5/10/2012 1:04AM

    I've been fascinated by the idea of ultras as well. I know they are not about speed at all and I would not completely rule out ever doing one. In minimalist shoes I think the danger of permanent damage is far lower.
I did just read the book "Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson and he talks about "chronic cardio" as a potentially very harmful thing. The definition is any training (other than occasional sprints and strength training) over 75% of maximum heart rate.
I'm even wondering if it would be safer to run an Ultra at a lower speed compared to running a half-marathon or marathon at a much higher speed. The slower speed would be more like hiking.
I just read that Micah True (Caballo Blanco) died of heart failure, and there seem to be more cases of long-distance runners dying of heart failure. Maybe all the dangers can be avoided by training (and racing) at low-to moderate intensity.

Comment edited on: 5/10/2012 1:08:43 AM

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    Not sure I''l ever make an ultra, but, I am amazed by the people that do it.

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