How to run your first ultra, any advice?

You can either call me stupid, crazy or motivated. Right now I’m thinking a combo of all three! Here I sit on day 19 of no running and still in pain after a day of walking but I’m planning for 2015. So what am I planning? My first ultra that will actually happen…a 12 hour run (or a 6 hour run). In 2012 I registered for my first ultra, a 50K, but ended up with a stress fracture in March and never got in the trail miles so I decided to be smart and skip the race.

Why not? I’ve run 26 marathons, coached at 3 where I was out on the course for 8 hours covering 30+ miles so what else would be next! My first goal is to heal this stupid foot/ankle thing and since we are beyond the 10 day point the ortho doctor threw out there I’m calling today to get back in, ugh!

In the meantime what are your training tips? How do I learn to eat and run?
  • From my research I am figuring out…
  • I need a hydration pack- check, love my Nathan backpack
  • Train on the terrain- luckily I live near a great trail running area
  • Run doubles- can my body handle doubles?
  • Don’t be afraid to walk- right now I’d be happy to walk!

What else do I need to know? I’m familiar with the course of the race and would get even more familiar on race day since it is a multiple loop course for either 6 or 12 hours (or 24 hours for those even crazier!). How do you keep yourself fueled? And entertained? I love running my long runs but to double it, not so sure!

Happy Friday! Let’s start the weekend with Fitness Friday, check out Jill’s link up to see what everyone else is up to.


  1. I hope your ankle/foot is better soon. Look that you are looking ahead :)

  2. I've done a number of fixed time ultras, including 12 and 24-hour runs. The best piece of advice I got before my first one was to do a few 6-hour training runs, where I practiced everything I would do on race day - especially nutrition. Everybody's digestive system is different, so you need to experiment to see what works for you.

  3. I love that you are still thinking of goals despite your injury. Hope you feel better soon!

  4. I'll go ahead and call you crazy! :-) But only because I have no desire to do one. Good for you!!

  5. Once I started listening to audio books, I wished I had started sooner. Makes it even more fun to run lots of miles and to train for ultras!

  6. All great tips. I have the same hydration pack and love it. I ran my first 50k this year and the most helpful things were back to backs on the weekends, a general increase in mileage across the week (as to not have too heavy loaded weekends), and training on the terrain. Start testing out fueling options early. I swear ultras are all about metabolic management.


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