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Training for Your First Ultramarathon

Training for your first ultramarathon can be a daunting task, but with the right plan, dedication, and perseverance, anyone can successfully complete one. An ultramarathon is any footrace that is longer than a marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Ultramarathons can range from 50 kilometers (31 miles) to 100 miles or more. Here are some tips on how to train for your first ultramarathon, as well as some beginner-friendly races to consider.

Before you start your training, it’s important to assess your current fitness level and running experience. If you’ve never run more than a few miles, it’s important to build a base of endurance before beginning your ultramarathon training.

Here are some general guidelines for preparing for an ultramarathon:

1. Build up your endurance gradually: Start by running a few miles a day, and gradually increase your mileage each week. Aim to increase your total weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week to avoid injury.

2. Incorporate hill training: Many ultramarathons take place in mountainous or hilly terrain, so it’s important to include hill training in your workouts. Hill repeats, where you run up and down a hill several times, are an effective way to improve your hill running skills.

Hypoxia Performance at Ultra in mountains of Chile
You'll be grateful for all those hill repeats on race day!

3. Practice your fueling strategy: During an ultramarathon, you will need to eat and drink while running to maintain your energy levels. Practice your fueling strategy during your training runs to figure out what works best for you.

4. Rest and recovery: Rest is just as important as training when preparing for an ultramarathon. Make sure to include rest days in your training schedule, and listen to your body if you feel fatigued or injured.

Sample Training Week

Here’s a sample training week for someone preparing for their first ultramarathon:

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5-mile run with hill repeats

Wednesday: 8-mile run at a moderate pace

Thursday: 5-mile run with tempo intervals

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 12-mile run on hilly terrain

Sunday: 6-mile recovery run

As you progress in your training, you can gradually increase your mileage and add in longer runs. It’s important to listen to your body and take rest days when you need them.

In conclusion, training for your first ultramarathon is a challenging but rewarding experience. By gradually building up your endurance, incorporating hill training, practicing your fueling strategy, and taking rest days, you can successfully complete an ultramarathon. Consider signing up for a beginner-friendly race to put your training to the test!

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