What is ultra running ?
A lot more fun than a marathon..
For most runners a marathon is the ultimate goal to aim for.
At 26.2 miles (42 km) it is a long distance for any runner, on average taking just over 4 hours (4 hours and 19 minutes) to run.
But if you want to have more fun running, help your health and at the same time have a real ‘bragging factor’ why not have a look at ultra running ?
50 km or 50 mile, 100 km or 100 mile, 200 mile or longer…
An ultrarun is simply a running competition longer than a marathon, with the 50 km distance being the shortest one.
Or to put this into perspective as a rough guide these are the most popular distances and fastest times:
- Marathon 42 km – 2 hours 2 minutes
- 50 km road race – 2 hours 43 minutes
- 100 km road race – 6 hours 13 minutes
- 100 mile road race – 11 hours 46 minutes
- 200 mile road race – 1 day 5 hours 3 minutes
In addition there are also runs that last of specific times, such as 6 hour, 12 hour, 24 hour, 48 hour, 6 days, etc..
Loads and loads of Brownie Points…
Ultra running is becoming very, very popular and will give you loads and loads of ‘brownie points’ with most runners.
For example there are events taking place just about every weekend in the UK alone, as well as some spectacular races on some of the world’s great locations.
And a lot more fun than a marathon
If you want to enjoy your running then do consider an ultra run as opposed to a marathon.
1. Better for your body
Most marathons take place in towns – where you run on the tarmac, which is very hard on your body. (Even with great trainers)
Ultra runs are often in the country side, where you are running on softer terrain. (In a way going back to the way your ancient ancestors used to run.) Linked to this, as in many places the runs are in ‘hilly’ areas, the runs will help more elements of your body – helping you get fit and your shape.
2. More about finishing…
In addition ultra runs are often more about finishing the race, and less about running ‘as fast as you can’. Which makes it a much more enjoyable experience – as you can run at your ideal pace, looking pretty !
3. Nicer food…
We’ve all seen the hydration stations at events like the London Marathon, etc. Where you get this plastic cup of water and that’s it.
In ultra running you do get the hydration stations, but you also get a ‘refuel’ element containing nice foods and snacks to keep you going.
(However, if you are very serious do have a look at our specialised endurance drinks)
4. A walk in the park
Unless you particularly enjoy running in a concrete jungle (St Paul’s Cathedral is very pretty) you will probably like an ultra running event more. Often in lovely or spectacular countryside you will have a great day (or more) out and in many cases you will probably end up slowing for a walk to have an even better look.
How to start..
The easiest way is to select a simple event to start.
Below we have links to the top 3 sites and events :
The ‘Runultra’ Site
The runultra site has ultra running events from around the world. Simply select your preferred distance or time and it will show you the ones in your area.
The events are classified by >50 km, 50 – 100 k, etc. As well as by levels, such as beginner, intermediate, etc.a great.
Details from runultra uk.
The Beyond Ultimate Runs
This is for the serious, serious cool people.
They organise four races :
- The Jungle Ultra in Peru, one of the harshest environments on earth, near 40°C and humidity levels near 100% will push your spirit to the limit and beyond.
- The Desert Ultra in Namibia, baking sun that seems to hang in the afternoon sky for eternity, almost mocking your short staggered steps as you try and complete your 250k race.
- The Mountain Ultra in Nepal, where your lungs will feel like they’re going to explode every step of the way, every step of the 38,000ft of vert will try and tease you in to submission.
- The Ice Ultra in Arctic Sweden, a place where very few of us go, with a cold so raw and real, it will burn your skin and freeze your eyes, finishing this one is a matter of survival and a test of will.
You can pick one of the 4 runs, or all of them.
Details from beyondtheultimate uk
The Mencap Extreme Events
There is ‘mixed feedback’ on these events – but the Marathon Des Sables is a well known and respected event.
This is reputed to be ‘the toughest footrace on earth’ covers approximately 150 miles of running, walking and trekking over six days. That’s the equivalent of five and a half marathons in extreme conditions (think sand dunes, 120ºF temperatures, sand storms and blisters!) whilst carrying everything you need for the entire race on your back!
Details from Mencap extreme
Can we Help ?..
Established over 16 years ago we specialise in quick & easy runner meals designed to help runners lose weight and / or get better running results …
In addition the Herbalife sport products are ideal for ultra runners.