Michael Wardian's Ultrarunning Training and Racing Tips

How do you fuel for your training and racing in ultras—is it similar to the marathon, only more to endure the distance?

Fueling for an ultra marathon is much different than a marathon. I am able at this point to run a marathon without any food and very little water, depending on the pace/weather; however, for an ultra you must be able to eat and drink. I am very efficient at ultras up to about 100K (62.1 miles), but over 100K, I start to have trouble. I need to figure out how to be able to keep eating after 100K, and that is something I am working on.

Normally for an ultra up to 100K, I just take PowerGels, water and Succeed, but everyone is different. Some of my friends take little sandwiches, fruit, crackers, jelly donuts, etc. Part of the fun of ultras is finding out what works for you in training and then on race day.

More: Ultrarunning Fueling Tips

What's the one piece of gear that you really like for ultra running?

I am lucky to run for a lot of great sponsors like The North Face, MarathonGuide.com, PowerBar, Petzl, Succeed, Suunto, Udo's Oil, Gold's Gym and Sweetgreen, so I am super lucky to get to test a lot of new gear. I think the one thing that you have to have no matter the race are shorts, and I love The North Face Better Than Naked Shorts. I was there when they were created, and I was able to see them be produced and taken to market. They are just so comfortable, and fit all of your gels, maps, ziplock bags with meds and toliet paper. The Better Than Naked shorts just work and feel good doing it.

More: Ultrarunning Gear Must-Haves

What's the most important lesson that you learned when transitioning to ultras?

I think the most important lesson that I learned transitioning to ultras is that there are so many people that will tell you that you can't do something, but you can. You should always believe that you will finish the race, and that is goal that I always have. You are much tougher, stronger and more resilient than you think you are, and if you keep eating and drinking, you will finish.

More: Transition to Ultrarunning: What You Need to Know

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