The Washington Post has an interesting, if slightly low on details, article here about what happens to a person’s body during an ultramarathon. Most of the information is in comparison to marathon runners which probably makes sense.
One of the most important points here is that there are so few people who do this that the studies can be wildly biased. The author points out that many runners come to ultramarathons to reverse other health issues or as a sanctuary from “racing and winning” mentality that many marathoners adopt. In short, we are just different kinds of people who are likely looking for community and personal fulfillment over recognition.
I’m being generous when I say “we” because as I write, I am not an ultramarathoner. I’m not even a marathoner. But if things go according to plan, I will become an ultramarathoner at the Bel Monte Endurance Races in March of 2016.
This article doesn’t tell me much more than the books one can find about ultrarunning. Two solid ultrarunning books that have helped me build confidence are Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning and Bryon Powell’s Relentless Forward Progress. Both books are introductory in nature and while they may not be exquisite writing, they are functional in helping someone build confidence and avoid common pitfalls. Both also include training plans with detailed information on how to modify them.
I’m hoping to document my journey on this blog as March approaches. I’ll be thrilled to announce that I am an ultramarathoner should I finish the race. If I should fail, then I’ll document that too and share my feelings and thoughts on what happens when you don’t reach your goals.