You might wonder what the difference is between ultra running and normal running. That’s a great question; let’s get into it.
To start, both running and ultra running involve running. The main difference is the distance and duration. You see, ultra running involves ultra-long distances.
That means distances are much longer than a marathon.
Ultra runners often run distances of 100 km and more. This makes it very different from regular running.
If you’ve ever run a marathon, you know that you need to recover for several weeks after. Running for that long causes all kinds of damage to your body.
Your muscles suffer microscopic tears and damage from lactic acid. Your joints are painful and stiff for several days up to weeks. Even your blood cells have been damaged from the constant pounding in your feet.
So how can ultra runners run several marathons in one go?
Well for one, ultrarunning is not for everyone. Almost all ultra runners possess a natural talent and body type for running.
On top of that, they train in a very specific way. Almost all the training is focused on building the ability to run for very long distances.
You might think that’s the same as people training for a marathon. But it’s not. People training for marathons almost never run marathon distances.
Instead, they are much more focused on running faster.
Ultra runners think differently. They want to run basically forever. And so they train purely for distance.
It’s not about speed. First and foremost, you need to be able to cover the distance.
And that brings some unique challenges. Because you need to eat if you’re going to be running for 10 or 20 hours. And, you might have to go to the washroom too.
So we need to run at a level of intensity where your body can still digest food.
So there you have it. These are some of the differences and unique challenges that ultra runners face. We haven’t covered is what makes ultra running so much fun.
In the next post, I will take you through my experience during an ultra-long run. And I will try to help you understand why the sport is so amazing.
See you then!