4 Adversities to Embrace When Training for an Ultra-Marathon
Training for an ultra-marathon is more than just training plans, counting calories and owning a comfy pair of trail shoes. It’s about re-connecting with your body and mind and overcoming adversity.
The points listed below cannot be planned or fitted into your training schedule. However…by facing these adversities head on, you will learn to listen to your body and mind, and eventually getting them to work in harmony, which in turn will make you stronger, more self-aware, less self-conscious and able to handle anything the trails (and life) throw at you.
- Talk to yourself.
Running is great opportunity to empty the mind. We often hear people say running is a form of meditation. In the ideal world this is how running would be every time. In reality, when you run for lengthy amounts of time, this is often not the case – life gets in the way.
Accept that sometimes you need to talk it out to gain some clarity – even if it is just with yourself. This could be something trivial like your to-do list or something more pressing such as a rant about a colleague, whatever it is, just let it out, the trails are a judgment free environment, you will enjoy your run so much more afterwards.
2. When nature calls there is only one option.
When you are running for hours at a time there is no preparation that can stop nature from calling, if you have to go, you have to go and there are no toilets on the trails. Best advice, find a rock and crouch behind it! Embrace the experience and see it as an opportunity to learn about what (and how much) food or drink your body can handle before the big race.
- Have a good cry.
You’ve had a hard week at work, you’re crazy busy and nothing seems to be going your way. You just can’t take anymore…and then, while on a trail you trip over a rock with 2 hours still to run. Just let it out – cry, shout, scream, it’s fine, there in no one there to judge you and you will feel so much better once you have.
Just because you are out running, it doesn’t always mean you’re ‘bad’ week will go away. Embrace the freedom to let your emotions flow and then use some time on the trail to reflect on what it is you need to change to improve your situation.
- Laugh at yourself (and your ugly looking feet).
Toe nails are something of a luxury when you run long-distance, 6 months after an event one can still pop-off in the technician’s hands when treating yourself to a pedicure!
If you can’t laugh at yourself then really what’s the point? It’s ok for these things to happen to you, it’s part of the experience of pushing your body to new limits. By laughing at yourself you create a much more positive mindset; essential for success. Embrace each moment and you will become stronger and a much better runner.
By facing adversity head you’re much more likely to achieve your running goals. A knock-on effect is it will help you deal with daily adversities and reduce stress. You will have faced worst on the trails, making day-to-day mundane tasks that little bit easier to manage.
Remember to embrace new boundaries as it will only make you a stronger both physically and mentally and much more likely to achieve your goals.
If you would like to prepare for your first ultra-marathon then get in touch!