Question about comparing marathon and ultra-marathon training

Vinh's Question

How much different is Ultra marathon from a marathon (apart from distances)? Will this changes much to a marathon training program?



Lee's Response

Hi Vinh,

There is not a lot of difference between Ultra Marathons and Marathons except for distance. Both require you to be physically fit, mentally prepared and are races of pace efficiency. With Ultras that are over 100km, you will need to have a few longer runs under your belt in the 4 - 8hr range but no more. Remember the Ultra is not how fast you can run it but how well you run it. As you will have to do longer runs, you can drop 1 x quality session for extra recovery time but still keep 1 x session so you can help keep the legs ticking over and run the "rust" out.

Even though the surfaces are different with roads being harder than trail and your body taking a pounding, trail requires more concentration so that you can see where your foot is planting and you don't roll your ankle. As the surface is uneven so will be the courses so mentally you will be challenged but you also need to be physically fit just as if you were preparing for a marathon.