How to Train for an Ultra Like a Pro Runner

From longtime ultra runner Allison McArdle 

Allison is a Cross-Country Skiing coach, and with a lifetime love, and passion for running. Over the past few months she has been train for her next big challenge - Sinister 7 100km Ultra in Alberta, Canada.As a full-time coach, Allison knows how much of  a "Jenga puzzle working full-time and training is." See below for tips for staying on track with your running routine 

Run With a Buddy 

Training for an Ultra takes months of dedicated work, and having someone along for the ride not only makes it more enjoyable, but it's also helps motivate you on days when you're not feeling it as much.

Alison loves having a team training with her as she prepares for her next Ultra "Training with others pushes you more, and it's nice having running goals we can all work together towards." 

Change Up The Routine  

When training for long distance events strong warm-ups and cool downs are super important to avoid straining or injuring muscles. 
Building for endurance activities it's not about running your furthest every day.

You should very the pace and goals of your runs regularly. Running or exercising at an intense level can be very beneficial for building cardio fitness. Other days running a distance, at however long it takes you can be beneficial to getting your legs and mind used to the longer distances. 
"The terrain you choose to train on plays a big role in the speed at which you can move and you have to take that into account when planning training runs. When Allison is heading out she takes into account the factors of that location. "If I head to the mountains I know the trails are steeper and more technical and so my speed of movement will be slower which means I have to be realistic about the distance I can cover."

Proper Layering is SO Important 

"Who doesn't love running through the woods, under the sun or to a view point? Sadly this is not how every training session goes and so far training for Sinister 7 has been a test of will as much as fitness."

Some days the wind has howled, or its rained sideways for hours, or a 3 hour run felt like 6. Dressing appropriately makes such a big difference though, staying dry is nice but staying warm is important for your muscles to function effectively. 

Brubeck Body Guard has clothes for varying weather conditions, and can provide effective temperature and moisture management from the inside out. Providing effective insulation to your muscles, that's seamless soft, with anti-chaffing built right in. 

Click to learn more 

Fuel is Vital To Keep You Going

"Fuelling appropriately is key to adding mileage to training runs. You have to take care of your body for it to take care of you. I'd rather carry more food and water and have some left over than bonk and be out of fuel."

"Some might say I over pack but I think you can allow yourself to be a little fussy when you're the one who's carrying all your supplies!! Fuelling early is important to be able to maintain muscle function and energy, which also equals better frame of mind and self confidence, so I try to start eating around 45-60 min mark and continue to fuel along the way."

"As far as fluids go, I love having a running vest with the soft flasks on the front which allow me to constantly keep sipping. I have a 1:1 ratio of water and half-strength electrolytes to keep me hydrated, and energized."

Enjoy the journey, and all the views along the way 

While not every run can be in peaceful, out in oh-so-beautiful nature, it's important to stop looking at you feet every once in a while to see how far you've come.