It's Time To Run Your First Ultramarathon!

Folks, I apologize for the slow week on iRunFar. After pacing at and covering the Wasatch 100 last Friday, I decided to end the iRunFar Summer Roadtrip a few days early. While setting up the new iRunFar Worldwide Headquarters in the Sierra Nevada foothills, I’ve been busy helping new coaching students and working on a slew of freelance pieces you’ll soon be seeing at your local magazine rack if not in your mailbox. Anyway, I wanted to share my most recently published piece, It’s Time To Run Your First Ultramarathon, that can be found over at Competitor Running. More on the article below the fold.

The First Ultramarathon article covers two topics: (1) reasons why you should try an ultra and (2) tips for success at your first ultra. Below I list the subheadings for both… you’ll have to check out the full article over at Competitor Running for details. The article includes insight from the likes of Scotty Mills, Devon Crosby-Helms, and Lisa Smith Batchen! Please feel free to generally comment on the article here, but please leave an substantive comments over at Competitor Running.

Why Run an Ultramarathon

  • Journey into the Unknown
  • Reconnect with Running
  • Make a Whole New Group of Friends
  • Stop Sucking Car Exhaust
  • Race Yourself, Not Others
  • Inspire Yourself

Tips for Your First Ultra

  • Train with Specificity
  • Start Out Slowly
  • Walk When You Need To
  • Cut Up the Course
  • Eat Early and Often
  • Take Care of Problems Before They Take Care of You
  • Recognize Pain. Respect Injuries.
  • Enjoy the Roller Coaster
  • Make Relentless Forward Progress
  • Be the Town Crier
  • Stop and Smell the Roses

There are 16 comments

  1. Bryon Powell

    Thyer, it means tell everyone that you're racing so that you're somewhat accountable to them. I still do it when I think I'll need it. It was part of the reason for my pre-Leadville posts. I was holding myself accountable to iRunFar's many readers! :-)

  2. Chris Freet

    I agree, thanks Bryon, great article. Also the timing is great. I have my first ultra (Mountain Madness 50k) in a few weeks as well as JFK in Novemeber. Keep them coming, Bryon!Thanks,Chris

  3. Jack

    For some extra inspiration, check out this video — — about one man's "aha moment" experienced during a 104 mile race and how it changed his perspective on life. I think you'll enjoy it.All the best,

  4. Anonymous

    Good article Byron! It explains why I'm getting up at four am tomorrow to do the 12 hour adventure trail race tomorrow. I know it's a loop course, but the area's nice anyways. Another reason to run and train for ultras – peace and quiet out in the woods – away from work or whatever…Betcha I don't get a single e-mail while I'm on the course! Bob Holzhauer

  5. Bryon Powell

    Bob, right on re the peace and quiet out on the trails… that is, of course, unless you're sharing stories on the trail with friends old or new! :-)

  6. Jeff Grant

    Great article at Competitor Running! Gotta say, I love that you included "Stop and Smell the Roses". I sometimes forget this & regret it. At Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc I was cresting the final climb in the pre-dawn darkness and so focused on the last hour to the finish line that I nearly missed the most stunning display of stars over a barely illuminated outline of the jagged peaks and sweeping glaciers of the Mont Blanc massive. After starting the descent and initially ignoring the view, I forced myself to stop and soak it in. My eyes were wet by the time I absorbed the details of the natural beauty in front of me. The minutes I gave up didn't matter in the end and this is one of my most precious memories of the race.

  7. Bryon Powell

    Way to enjoy and really take in the moment, Jeff. Every year I've run Western States, I stop at the top of the first climb, turn around, and look at the sun breaking the horizon just above Lake Tahoe. During a rough stretch early during the Wasatch 100 in 2005 I felt like dropping, but the mountains and day were so gorgeous that I told myself I'd keep walking until I timed out. There was nowhere else that I'd rather be?!

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