Trying to crack an ultramarathon run…

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Ultramarathon run, by its definition, is any distance run longer than a full marathon (42.195km or 26.219 mi). So, if you are a marathoner, occasionally running 42.2, why is it hard to finish an ultra run (usually starting with a 50k)?

The simplest answer is most ultra runs are not flat road races and the key is to run slower and longer. The term ultramarathon is synonymous with train-running. So, the difficulty level is higher compared to road races.

For 2018, I have listed finishing an ultra on my bucket list. It is a 50km run along the western ghats – a trail in the beautiful coffee plantations of Malnad. So, with 7.8 km more than my usual Marathon distance, would I be able to finish it in my marathon pace or slightly more than that? I guess not.

What are the difficulty factors?

First, it’s a trail run, with lots of elevations.

Second, it’s going to take a lot of time before I can finish.

How do I train for it?

Hill repeats. Yes, lots of hill training. I have included few of them in my training plan. But, living in a city like Delhi it is not possible for me to train on hills. Thankfully, I have a couple of events in the coming weeks with good elevation gain. They are going to be my training runs.

And how should I prepare myself for long hours on road? Train to be patient… For a regular road/rack runner (like me), it is difficult. While training for an ultra run, you need to forget about the pace, you need to forget about the PR for the race… just need to train to have more hours on road, lean to slow down and walk… I am increasing my Sunday long runs by time than the distance (we all love to log more distance than time).

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Sunday long runs – longer time on the road

In short, it’s all about surviving long hours on road, running slowly and enjoying the beautiful scenery around (most iconic ultra runs happen in scenic locations). Can’t wait to get into that ‘ultra runner’ club.


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365 days of running!

 

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Towards my 1:45:10 finish during the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (November 2017)

 

Yes, I did it… completed a year of running without missing a day.

All started with the ‘100 days of running challenge’ last April. The idea is you have to run for 100 days without missing a day and run a minimum of 2km each day. I completed the challenge registering 950+ kms in 100 days.

Once the challenge is over, I had this crazy idea of continuing running. Running every day is not a difficult thing for me. My training schedule gives me 4-5 days of morning runs. But, since I hit the gym in the evenings and warm-up for at least 2km on the treadmill, it all working out.

The 365 days of running were injury-free. As someone who is dealing with arthritis, I know how to avoid injuries. One year of running also gave me my first sub-4 marathon, almost made it to sub-1:45 HM club (those 10 seconds!) and PBs in 10k (in a HM race; not in a 10k dash) and 5k!

April 28, 2018, was the 365th day and incidentally, it was the day of #100daysofrunning2018. Let’s see if I can make it to 2 years of running!


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