Ten Thoughts on What it Takes to be a Good if not GREAT Ultra Runner.
10. The desire, you might be able to run a marathon on talent alone, but you have got to want to be out there to run 30, 50 miles, 24 hours, or 100+ miles.
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9. The ability to block out pain, it’s going to hurt. The pain is going to come…you have got to be able to set aside discomfort in order to run an ultra.
(a lap with a slice of pizza and a Slurpee)
8. A strong stomach, sure you can run a ultra while watching what you eat, but it helps if you can eat when and what you want to.
7. A good sense of humor, things will go wrong, and get downright ugly. You have to enjoy the humor of it all.
6. Stay focused for long periods of time. You can lose time quickly if you get lost in the moment and not stay focused on your overall goals.
5. Be able to stay flexible…goals may change, tactics may need to be adjusted, and your pace could slow during the course of an event.
4. Have the resolve to keep moving. Victory comes with each forward step. You must continue to move forward when all you want to do is be still and sit down.
3. Stay positive, with yourself and others around you.
2. The ability to be in the moment (the next step) and not lose focus on the whole.
(at the finish of my 2nd Umstead 100 with an 1hr 15m PR)
1. Believe in yourself no matter what, no matter the conditions, no matter your pace, and no matter your feelings in the moment. Having an unshakable belief in yourself will make you a GREAT Ultra Runner, at one point I never believed I would run one 100 mile race…I’ve run SIX.
What do you believe it takes to be a Great Ultra Runner?