A marathon is a daunting task and one that is familiar to many people who have either trained to run one or know someone who has.  An ultramarathon is technically any race that is longer than a marathon.  But when you are considering a 100 mile ultramarathon, it is definitely not just 4 marathons back to back.  It has a life and personality all its own!  Here are a few of the differences with regards to training:

 

Inspirational Quotes

Marathon – Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.  It is about learning to dance in the rain.

Ultramarathon – Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.  It is about learning to run naked while carrying a 10 foot lightning rod in a thunderstorm.

 

Nutritional Concerns

Marathon – What flavor gel will I carry this week for my long run?

Ultramarathon – I wonder if the hot dog vendor will miss his cart that I am now dragging behind me?

 Equipment

Marathon – Honey, I need to make sure I pick up my second pair of shoes to break in before the marathon.

Ultramarathon – Honey, did you pay the house note, car note and shoe note this month?

 

Training Plans

Marathon – I found this great 18 week plan that tops out with a long run of 20 miles!

Ultramarathon – I found this great 40 week plan that starts out with a long run of 20 miles on Saturday!  And then you run again on Sunday.

 

Non-Runner Conversation

Marathon – Oh, you are running a marathon?  That’s great.  What is that, 12.6 miles?  Didn’t Oprah run one?

Ultramarathon – What?  100 miles? …………………….(They walked away in silence).

 

 

Sports Injuries

Marathon – Man, would you look at my foot?  I think I might have a black toenail.

Ultramarathon – Man, it’s a good thing I had my toenails removed or they would all fall out again.

 

Speed Work

Marathon – This week I will do some 800m repeats on Tuesday and a tempo run on Thursday.

Ultramarathon – This week I will probably fall down a hill again.  Maybe I will pass the snail this time.

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw5MHsO-JI8&feature=related[/youtube]

If you know of any other differences, feel free to list them!

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