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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > July 2018 > YES, YOU CAN RUN AN ULTRA!

YES, YOU CAN RUN AN ULTRA!

TEMPTED BY AN ULTRA BUT LACKING THE CONFIDENCE TO ENTER? OUR BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ULTRARUNNING SHOWS YOU WHY LONG-MILEAGE RACES ARE IN YOUR REACH, AND HOW TO TRAIN FOR YOUR VERY FIRST EVENT…

RUN AN ULTRA

Ultrarunning is “just one long moving picnic”, wrote James Adams, in Running And Stuff (£10, Matador). And he’s right. Yet if there’s one word in the running lexicon that strikes fear into a runner’s heart (other than marathon or runner’s trots!), it is surely ultramarathon.

I was one of those runners. But then I started dreaming of doing the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, a legendary 56-mile race that’s the equivalent of running from London to Brighton. At first I was terrified, and it was only when I spoke about my fears to an ultrarunning friend that I realised running an ultra wasn’t an impossible feat but definitely doable. He asked me if I’d ever walked back to my car after a marathon. Of course I had. “Well then, you’ve already done an ultra”, he said smiling. Because of course, you don’t have to jump from 26.2 miles to 100 miles in one go – any distance that’s even a smidgen longer than a marathon counts. And you don’t have to run all of it either. Reassured, I went on to run Comrades not once but twice, along with other ultras.

If the distance still scares you, it’s helpful to think of ultras in terms of hours on your feet rather than miles, says running coach Rory Coleman (colemancoaching.co.uk), author of A Rebel And A Runner (£10.99, Matador), who’s completed 245 ultras. “Running and walking for 12 hours sounds easier than completing 50 miles.” Many of us wouldn’t think twice about going for an all-day hike, so an all-day run/walk shouldn’t be too daunting.”

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About Women’s Running

Get inspired to take your running off the beaten track, with the July issue of Women’s Running, on sale 31 May. From our beginner’s guide to ultrarunning (including a 16-week training plan), to the lowdown on all things vertical racing, this issue celebrates adventure in running – and shows you how you can get a piece of it. Don’t fear, though, that doesn’t have to mean transforming into an ultra-athlete, running ludicrous miles in remote locations. We’ll show you how simply taking your runs off road and embracing the great outdoors can shake up your routine – and add some soul to your running. And if you need some convincing, don’t miss our interview with cover star and off-road enthusiast Caroline McKay, who tells us why the life-affirming nature of trail running has got her totally hooked. This issue also features our spring Ultimate Race Guide, compiling the best 100 races taking place from July onwards this year, so you can start planning your next adventure …