Do you generally follow a marathon training schedule and then modify it? How fast do you run your training runs?
When I'm preparing for a race, I set up my own training plan and apply the principles that have proven to work for me.
I don't put in ridiculous hours and mileage but focus a lot on mental training and core exercises.
I tend to do interval and fast tempo runs at 4:00 min/km which is around 6:20 min/mi and faster.
The back-to-back runs are my staple sessions on weekends where I run between 2-5 hours on 2-3 consecutive days. What I also absolutely love doing is hill training. I can't get enough of it!
I also run-by-feel and have developed a fine sense for the type of training runs I need to be doing when I'm preparing for an ultra. I'm kind of like my own best coach and apply principles that I know work for almost any runner that either wants to run their first ultra or has ambitions to get faster.
Another key to my training is that I tend to pick sessions that are geared towards lifting mind and body out of the zone. It's not enough to wait until race day and then decide to give it a shot. The foundations have to be laid in training. That strength gained through selected training runs is beneficial in ultramarathon races.
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