View Full Version : Women ultra runners any advice helpful!

03-11-2014, 10:20
I am pretty new to trail running but am use to very high miles backpacking ,I have gotten my long training run to 15 miles and am hoping to run an ultra in the fall of 2016.any training or nutrition advice?

03-11-2014, 10:32
I'm not sure you ask specifically for women advice. That is going to limit your responses considerably.

03-11-2014, 10:40
Any advice is helpful

03-11-2014, 11:53
From your title, I thought you were looking for advice on trail running shoes. You might consider a title more related to what you're looking for, and like Malto says, gender- non-specific. Just a suggestion.

03-11-2014, 13:24
On nutrition I would start here. This is a mix of science and marketing spin but I have found this to be the best single source of information regarding endurance nutrition. Unfortunately I learned many lessons the hard way before finding this information. While these products will work, I also found much less expensive recipes to make, fueling, recovery and electrolyte products myself. But it is still based roughly on this info. Good luck.


Spirit Walker
03-11-2014, 21:16
Go to Runnersworld.com - there is an ultra runners subforum there and a fair number of people in the 'beginners' forum as well. Probably also at Runningahead.com, but it can be hard to find the subforums sometimes.

03-11-2014, 22:43
What distance are you thinking for your ultra? Nutrition would change a lot between, say, a 50K, 100 miler, and a 6-day.

Be aware that nutrition is highly individual. It's important to try whatever you're gonna do in training. Or just wing it and eat whatever looks good at the aid station!

03-11-2014, 23:18
Ill probably start with a 50 k.

03-12-2014, 06:48
Ill probably start with a 50 k.

A good starting point is to look at marathon training plans and nutrition. A 50K isn't much further, but it's still highly variable and personal.

Tennesse has some great races! I'll be out there this fall for a 50K. There are a fair few in the Virginia Blue Ridge too.

03-12-2014, 08:12
I really wish I could find another woman wanting to train for an ultra to train with my boyfriend is a great help but has no desire to run that many miles.so if there is any ladies on white blaze in the asheville jc area that needs a training partner that would be great

03-12-2014, 09:01
Ill probably start with a 50 k.

Here is my take: As a backpacker, I found it pretty easy to add long distance trail running (i.e. ultrarunning) to my routine activities. However, I used to do simple road races like 5K's and 10K's. As mentioned by previous poster, nuitrition requirements varies greatly. There is no definite answer. Everybody metabolizes stored energy differently. On a cool day, I can run up to a 50K with just fluids and a Cliff bar and a couple of gels. Further distances generally will require some protein to supplement.

For me, the trick in a 50K or longer is to go out slow and make it feel like the effort of a fast walk while carrying a 30 lb pack. If you go out too fast, you'll burn through your stored energy quickly and die out quickly. For at least 20 miles in the run, you should be able to carry on a full conversation without gasping for air or laboring. 20 miles is the point where most people have trouble in a 50K (depending on previous conditioning). Expect a lot of discomfort that you have to work through, but it almost always gets better after a few minutes.

If you've done some serious backpacking, you've got the body strength and stamina, and you can work through most discomfort. I was able to run 100 mile runs in my younger years and found that it is largely pyscological thinking that determined if you are going to quit or push on. By 3 or 4 AM in the morning, I always said to myself, "this is easy compared to those cold rainy days on the trail".

Like any endurance activity, it will take months, if not years, to build up your body to take the extreme stress associated with these long distance runs.

Just Bill
03-12-2014, 18:35
I really wish I could find another woman wanting to train for an ultra to train with my boyfriend is a great help but has no desire to run that many miles.so if there is any ladies on white blaze in the asheville jc area that needs a training partner that would be great

Sunshine- You're sorta geographically in heaven... Asheville is quickly becoming one of, if not the epicenter of trail running and there are numerous clubs. I also was told they now have the highest breweries per capita of any town, which is critical for every ultrarunner. When I was through there last summer it was easy to poke around downtown and find several free publications with contacts for local clubs and runs. If you are lazy, look up a shoe store and call them, odds are good they sponsor and/or participate in these run clubs.

A 50k is still a "run" after that- speed hiking and backpacking overlap very heavily IMO- one common theme I find- Ultra's and the ultra crowd are more interested in finishing a race. You are expected to walk. My girlfriend found this a very refreshing change when going from marathon and shorter distance groups to the ultra oriented groups.

Other than that- though I have yet to take it up- myself my girlfriend (who does ultras) and I (who does research)- were very happy with-

Eat and Run- by Scott Jurek http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Run-Unlikely-Ultramarathon-Greatness-ebook/dp/B005OCHOZS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394663567&sr=1-1&keywords=eat+and+run+scott+jurek

Never wipe your ass with a squirrel- by Jason Robillard http://www.amazon.com/Never-Wipe-Your-Squirrel-ultramarathon/dp/1484007840

I thought Relentless Forward Progress sucked- just mentioning it because it is a highly reccommended book.

03-12-2014, 19:06
Thanks for the encouraging words!i think I will do ok because I have am stronger with distance than speed so that part excites me