Stack & Reach
RULES & LEGEND
How do ultra marathons compare to IM?
Jul 3, 12 10:49
Post #51 of 55
Re: How do ultra marathons compare to IM? [JenSw]
In reply to
The funniest 50 miles I've done wasn't a race. Lisa Smith-Batchen was doing 50 miles in 50 states to raise money and I decided to go keep her company for a couple hours. Get in a marathon if I was feeling good. I ended up meeting someone there who was great company and she was doing the full 50 for her own fundraising goal. I ended up keeping her company for the full 50. I wasn't trained for it at all, or at least I didn't think I was. I hurt pretty badly since it was all on sidewalks but it was fun in the painful kind of way. The lesson I learned from that one is don't do 50 miles on pavement when all you've been doing is running on cushy trails.
I ran with Lisa Smith Batchen when she was doing the 50 in 50 too. I joined her for about 15 miles when she started the whole thing in New Jersey, then had to get to work. A week or two later, she was in West Virginia on a weekend, so I drove down and ran with her and her two or three person entourage for about 6 or 7 hours around a torn up high school track before heading back home. I have no idea how far I wound up going that day in total, but it was definitely an awesome experience.
Ultra running is the best.
"I believe that I'll finish." - Herb Brown (IMLP 2012)
Jul 3, 12 11:45
Post #52 of 55
Re: How do ultra marathons compare to IM? [prajna101]
In reply to
Having done both long distance triathlons and ultras, I think (to answer your question) on how they compare is how you adjust your attitude towards the event.
In triathlons, generally speaking, athletes tend to focus on speed, sustained power, the course and then the venue and spectators. There's obviously more involved, but for triathletes, the focus is in the moment of THAT race they are racing. We / they train for it and execute it according to plan and if all is going well, the athlete should race well.
In ultras and multi-day stage races (which multi-days are by-far really, really fun) athletes focus on their health and the environment over the long-term, the long-term meaning months and years.
I train with some great ultra runners and their training is a long-term focus to get out there on the trails, in the woods, in the mountains, run elevation, get time on the feet and see beautiful areas. If the training is focused on those components and the training is consistent week-after-week, month-after-month, the events they race, as they tell me, and from what I experience, will go well. Coming in with an attitude of running this much per-minute mile isn't what should really be a focus for ultras.
Having a solid running background helps trail running tremendously, but running a 2:50 marathon means nothing to someone who trains and lives in Florida then plans to race up Pike's Peak.
The mountaineering experience, I agree, should be a help. It is for me. I've climbed several 14,000 ft. mountains and live and train in the Wasatch and Uintas so I can run up to 11,000 ft. any day of the week. That has helped me a lot. Plus, like someone else said of Gordo and others in regards to mountaineering and backcountry in general, you have to be ready to get yourself out -- meaning be fit enough to get back to the car -- or you could die or have search-and-rescue fly a helicopter to you.
Me, for instance, I'm sitting here in a lot of pain from a 10-mile, 5,000 ft + elevation gain trail run I did on Sunday. Well, we decided to take a less-used trail down a 2,000 ft. moraine from the apron of the Pfeifferhorn mountain on the way down from 11,000 + ft. A rock slipped out from under me and I rolled down the moraine head-over-heels twice and stopped myself. I chipped my teeth in front, have cuts all over my face, a stiff neck, swelled chin, have rock burn all over everywhere on my body, passed-out and then had to get up and hike down to the car. It hurts a lot, but I suppose my point is, mountaineering does make you more of a survivalist. I realize that bike crashes occur and people sustain more injuries than I did this past Sunday and many do end up healing and saying the crash made them a better cyclist. I think now that I sit here and look at my banged up calves, I think the marathon that I plan to run in 3 weeks will be easy. Getting off the Pfeifferhorn mountain the other day with my head bleeding wondering if I had a concussion was hard. 26.2 miles, yeah, a suffer-fest by all means, it can be very hard, but -- in all context, you know what I mean.
My big point in all my rambling is, to be a good ultra runner, you need to be in the "element", be in the environment, train there, respect it, respect what you're doing, respect the long days / nights / mornings and that's the training. I like ultra running because it's very, very basic.
Long distance triathlons are solid execution of a well-planned race agenda with appropriate training. Ultras are appropriate training and knowing your terrain and loving nature -- gotta love nature because you're out there in it all by yourself for a long time... but that part should be easy if you train out in nature all by yourself for a long time day-after-day, month-after-moth, etc. Good luck!
Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim is great and another great race that's new in the area to check out is "Grand to Grand" -- sold out this year but it's the Grand Canyon to the Grand Staircase. 6 stages, self-supported, 160 miles.
Ultrarunning magazine has always been a great resource.
Jul 3, 12 15:51
Post #53 of 55
Re: How do ultra marathons compare to IM? [karma]
In reply to
My best advice would be to get into the weight room and get really good at dead lifting, clean & Jerk, Squats and work your core muscles three days a week in the off season. Endurance for anything over 50K is huge, I was lacking leg strength and my first 50 miler sucked as a result, I was in pain for days afterwards.
I've done 4 IM's and my first 50 miler made then seem easy. 10 hours in your head with no down time and often seeing very few other competitors can do funny things to the mind.
My best advice would be to forget the weight room and get really good at running long distances.
Weights are no substitute for mileage.
If you want to recover quickly from a 50 miler, opt for high mileage and hard racing over an extended period.
I wasn't in any way saying substitute weights for long runs, I was suggesting supplementing your training with weights. Did you catch that I also said IN THE OFF SEASON when referring to the weight room addition?
My apologies. Coming from a climate where it is possible to run all year round, I am yet to encounter this peculiar creature that you call an "off season". ;-)
I never thought you said to substitute long runs for weights, but for me, 3 sessions a week in the gym with weights, is time that could be spent doing 3 more run sessions.
A serious question; how was your recovery from subsequent 50 milers after incorporating weights into your program?
Jul 3, 12 16:08
Post #54 of 55
Re: How do ultra marathons compare to IM? [cloesch]
In reply to
One big difference that comes to mind for me is on the mental aspect. Unless you do the really huge and popular ultras (like the JFK 50, but who in their right mind would want to do that?), expect to be totally and utterly alone in the woods for hours on end. In an IM, you tend to see a lot of people around you the entire way, and that makes a big difference. Every ultra I have done, I was quite often wondering if I was in last place (luckily I wasn't) and everyone was waiting on me, if I had gotten off course, etc. That's why pacers are SO huge in 100 milers - unless you are an elite, they aren't there for you to maintain your pace, their job is to keep you company and keep you sane, particularly through the night.
I love being alone in the wilds at night during races.
You are right Cloesch, it is a mental thing. If you learn to embrace and enjoy the solitude of the night, it will stand you in good stead.
I am not a fan of pacers. I understand that for some events, having a pacer with a tired runner on remote trails may be a safety consideration, but I do think "having a pacer" sometimes is more an excuse to have someone to hold your hand.
(This post was
by satanellus on Jul 3, 12 17:02)
Jul 3, 12 16:21
Post #55 of 55
Re: How do ultra marathons compare to IM? [satanellus]
In reply to
I recover a lot better now, but then again I have a lot more strength and endurance than I did back then. Some of that came from strength training while some came from lots and lots of running. Can't unequivocally say it was due to one or the other. I ran the 73 miles over Memorial Day weekend on the Western States Trail (training run they organize every year) and within two days I was walking fine and back working out. I take about about 2-2.5 months off from 6X a week running every year, and only run 3X a week during that time. It helps me stay fresh and excited about running.
USAC & USAT level 2 certified coach
(This post was
by karma on Jul 3, 12 17:21)
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