Myths about Running in an Ultramarathon

Ultramarathon pic

Sharyn O’Halloran has been working in public affairs and political science for more than 25 years. The George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economics at Columbia University, Sharyn O’Halloran has authored numerous publications and given dozens of speeches around the world. Outside of her work, Dr. O’Halloran is an avid runner and participated in her first ultramarathon in 2013.

Here are several myths about ultramarathons that may hold back some athletes:

You need to be in the best shape of your life. If you are waiting until you are in the best shape to run an ultramarathon, you likely will never run an ultra. While being in less-than-perfect shape may make the experience more difficult, having excess weight does not mean you can’t cross the finish line. Determination and mental strength are more important for ultras than having the perfect body.

You have to be young. When many people go to their first ultramarathon, they expect to see young runners who are right out of high school or college. But runners do not have to be young to compete. A large number of older runners compete in many ultramarathons.

You’ll slow down. As you train for an ultramarathon, you may hear that you should find a slow pace and slow down more as you run. While you may slow down as you become tired, you can work on your endurance to ensure that you maintain a comfortable pace throughout the race.


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