Every year there are dozens of marathons and half marathons run all across the globe, and athletes from all corners of the world are usually invited to participate. Besides the half and full marathons, there is also the ultra marathon, which is a running event that covers a distance longer than the usual marathon distance.
Ultra marathons have gained fame because they are much less intense than the ordinary marathons. Also unlike marathons that are mostly run on tarmacked roads, ultra marathon tracks consist of mixed terrains, and you can even walk sometimes to regain a little bit of energy when tired.
However, before you participate in such an event, it is necessary that you train your body, both the physical and the mental. Being in a good physical condition for the race allows you to tackle the terrain, but once the body is tired, it will be up to your mind to keep you going. Read on to know how you can mentally prepare for an ultra-marathon.
How to Mentally Prepare for an Ultramarathon
Like you already know, being mentally ready is as important as being physically prepared. Not only does it give you a positive attitude as you run, but it also helps you readily accept the outcomes.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Maybe this is the first ever ultra marathon you are going to participate in, or perhaps it’s the second time. Whichever it is, the best way to get mentally prepared is to keep a positive mind. Your body might give up on you, but if the mind is willing to carry on, then nothing will stop you from achieving your targets. Even as you train for fitness, visualize yourself in
the race, you could also envision yourself winning the event. A negative mindset will make you succumb to fatigue, and you might not even finish the first half of the race.
Familiarize Yourself with the Terrain
Nothing will give you a boost of confidence like knowing what lies ahead. An ultramarathon’s path is full of all kinds of terrains; rocky, hilly, tarmac, muddy, just to name a few. Your training should involve you running on all these terrains. Furthermore, ultramarathon tracks are announced before the race, so you know what to expect.
Also, these races take longer than regular marathons, so there are chances of the weather changing as you run. Come to the finish lineready for all that, and you are sure to endure longer than other participants.
Break Down the Race
An ultramarathon can be anything from 50 miles, up to even a hundred miles. As you cannot run all the way in a single try, try to break it down into bits, and give yourself rewards for each checkpoint. For instance, you might decide to put checkpoints at every 25-miles. At every point, you can reward yourself with foods and refreshments, or even a change of shoes.
When you do this, you are motivated as you run since you know something good lies ahead. Instead of giving up, you might remind yourself that some cool refreshments are just 3 miles away.
Relax and Have Fun
One important thing to do is to relax and enjoy the event. If you are running with a partner at the same pace, you could relax by striking a conversation and getting your heads out of the race. You could also listen to music if you are alone. Remember that however long the race might be, it has a finish line and you will get there.
You might have challenged yourself with all kinds of races, from 10 Kilometer runs to even full marathons. If you want to take the challenge to the next level, find and register for the upcoming ultramarathon in your area.