How to Transition From Triathlon to Ultrarunning

Exercising is a good thing, and aside from hearing all about it on the news, there are actual benefits to being physically active. Although you may not always feel comfortable under physical strain, the benefits it carries are more than enough to compensate for the pain we go through. Some people are more persistent than others when it comes to this, and they are willing to commit more to their exercising. Triathlons are well known all around the world for the demands that they present to the competitors, making them cross incredible distances in water, on wheels, and on foot. But not everyone has the time or conditions to train for all three, and there are plenty of other types of races that can be just as demanding. So how can one successfully transition from triathlon to ultrarunning? Stick around and find out.

What is Ultrarunning?

Ultrarunning is just another name for an ultramarathon, a race that goes over the limits set by the traditional marathon race, which is 42.195 kilometers. The conditions of an ultramarathon can vary from one event to another. Some races cover an obligatory distance that needs to be covered during the race, and some have a predetermined time, where the winner is the competitor that covers the most distance during the given time. When it comes to fixed-distance races, the most common distances are 50 and 100 kilometers, and 50 and 100 miles. Of course, there are many other distances and conditions that are outside of the common scope; there are multi-day races that cover more than a thousand kilometers in a single race, and they can be done on a track, along a road, or even as a cross-country race.

How can one withstand such strain?

Of course, nobody expects the runners to just start running and stop after a hundred kilometers; usually, there are aid stations that are strategically placed along the path so that the runners can stop and briefly rest, eat, drink, or seek medical help. There are also races where the runners are expected to carry along everything that they will need until the end of the race to survive, and there are no stations where they can pick up food or drinks.

How does the ultramarathon training differ?

If you are experienced with triathlons, you likely have a training program that you stick to. It will come as a pleasant surprise that you will not need as much training on a weekly basis if you want to transition to ultrarunning. The volume of your weekly exercises will be less overall, but you will have to dedicate more of it to runs, as long as you are not overdoing it, which will bring you more harm than good. You will also need to choose your training terrain carefully; we already mentioned that many ultramarathons are cross-country based, and the terrain of the race is very specific in the terms of the quality of the surface, elevation, etc. For this reason, try to choose a terrain as similar to the one featured in the race as possible, and you will do just fine.