Going Ultra or Going Nuts?

Running an ultra is never easy. The term ultra is broad and wide ranging.  An ultramarathon, also called ultra-distance, is basically any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 miles). 

Go-Ultra is my aspiration towards achieving a 100km trail ultra-race within 24 hours. Completing a 100km trail race within the given cut-off time is a good goal. Usually you will be given between 30 to 34 hours to finish the 100km trail with 5,000 to 7,000m total elevation gains. But finishing it within 24 hours is even a better goal. Why? Simply because you can’t possibly enjoy the race if you have to be out there on your feet for more than 24 hours!

At the starting line of a very long race

Some context here. Like most, I work full time and struggle to find sufficient time to train, juggling between business and family responsibilities. I have been running trail ultras for about two years (2018 & 2019), working up to 55km trail distances (with elevation gains of about 2500m). I have no history of any track and field success during school years nor am I blessed with athletic talents. I picked up running in my late thirties to replace social golfing (time consuming) and racquet games (knee wrecking) when my twin-boys came along.

From Ideas to Applications

Training for an ultra-distance involves more than just going out to run. The task at hand requires some careful planning and dedicated trainings. My preparation involves reading studies, stories and experiences of other trail runners. In compiling my learning, I think of myself as a translator whose role is to synthesize and simplify what I have read. The insights presented are not new and they are not mine alone. They are ideas I discovered and build upon from my personal experience.

My aim is to translate the ideas into workable knowledge that can be applied into trainings. There are many lessons that can be harnessed and translated into results that is meaningful to us. It is important that we continue to learn, adapt and grow constantly.

Join me in my aspiration to be a better trail runner.

Making Sense of Ultras
Most people run their first ultra to see if they can. But like many that started, we continue to run ultras for something else.

Stepping into the World of Ultras
Ever wondered how to start the endurance sport of ultra-running? Here are 4 tips to point you to the right direction in preparing for one.

Building Mental Toughness
Mental toughness is important for an ultra-runner.  It is about how you respond when you start to feel uncomfortable or encounter a challenge.

3 Things on Training
You only need three basic ingredients in your training for an ultra. But you will need tonnes of motivation to follow them through.

Between Endurance & Stamina
Endurance is necessary to complete an ultra. But if you want to finish strong, you will have to work on increasing your stamina as well.

Working with Running Economy
Running economy is one of the three key performance factors in running an ultra distance, along with endurance and stamina.

Strength Training – No Escape
Strength training can bring significant benefits to your running. Stronger leg muscles deliver more power and reduces injury risks when you run.    

Running the Extra Miles
Long runs are the cornerstone element of your weekly training regime. No training plan is complete without incorporating at least one session of it.

The Limit to Endurance
Many exercise physiologists are convinced that it is the brain that limits the endurance performance, not the cardiovascular system.

Run Slower to Get Faster
Running slower will actually increase your aerobic capacity over time. Aerobic capacity is a vital component of your endurance training.

The Art of Deliberate Practice
The way to develop abilities in any field boils down to the same process – through dedicated training that drives changes in the brain and body.

Building Motivation that Lasts
Three ways to find motivation and put in our best effort to stay motivated throughout the training. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

Working with Mobility Exercises
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Dream List of Ultra Races
A list of ultra races around the world which I may participate in one day. These are aspirations, but one day, who knows, they may just come true.