Today, I came across an article (albeit a humourous one) from Trail Runner magazine that took a light-hearted look at ten reasons why you shouldn’t run an ultra marathon.
In response I thought I’d pen something back with the ten reasons as to why you should run an ultra. It’s all meant in good humour of course, but it got my mind thinking as to some of the vices that we benefit from being ultra runners. Here are my ten, but what do you think? Here goes:
1.) ‘Me-time’ is valuable and fun
I don’t know about you, but in this world of 24/7, time on the trail is a God-send. I love being alone for hours on end, thinking stupid things to myself, away from the hustle and bustle of life. It’s not enough to make me go ‘full-hippie’, but those precious few hours early on a Saturday morning are pure bliss.
2.) You become ridiculously fit
I mean really fit, and nowhere does that become more evident when you’re out with ‘normal’ friends, say walking to a bar or the shops. Before too long, you’re 500m in front of them and you hear them yelling at you to slow down – the thing is, you haven’t even tried to go fast – it’s all that power hiking up 29% vertical gradient at the weekend. I took my resting pulse this morning, it was 38 – man that’s good.
3.) What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
They say ultras are bad for the knees, that your feet become a mess and that it ages you. I don’t know about you, but my feet are as tough as old boots. My body has never been stronger and I have mountain goat thighs that smack the chicken-legged, ‘roid-boy’ gym monkeys down quicker than you can say boo to a goose.
Let’s face it, the more you run ultras, the more you become friends with ‘like-minded’ people. As such, you have less and less to do with everyday morons in life. Those people who whinge about not having time to do exercise, or those that hate their jobs but do nothing about it. The reality is that as you delve deeper into life as an ultra runner the more you resemble point 6 and thus you can cut morons out of your life 🙂
5.) Variety is the spice of life
You get to travel, see the world and how others live, often with some nice insights into different cultures and how other people approach everyday life. Heck it might even make you a better person.
6.) You become that ‘weird’ friend
Personally, I love the fact that my ‘normal’ friends don’t really understand why I run huge distances or what the ultra language really means. It means for the most part, you can be regarded as pretty unique. Being unique is cool I think.
7.) Instant sun tan
This is especially true if you love in a hot climate such as Australia. No more heading to the beach to get sand in places that are reserved for intimate times. Just don a pair of shorts or running dress and out you go. By the time Autumn approaches, you’re the envy of your friends
8.) Eat what the hell you like
This one’s a real benefit of our sport. Once I start cranking out 130kms+ a week, the weight starts to drop off and no matter how much pizza and chocolate brownie I consume, I still keep losing weight. Then you can be that sly b*stard on Facebook posting all those food pictures that your fat friends can’t eat.
9.) The Facebook humble-brag
Unlike the dross that generally appears on your friend’s Facebook feed showing the latest cat to jump off a kitchen table, or some diatribe about the bus being late, you can post gleeful updates about the latest mountain you conquered. Or perhaps the kicking pair of trainers you just got sent for free for being a hero… life as a Facebook runner rocks!
10.) You become an instant statistician
With the likes of Strava, Garmin Connect and Movescount analysing your every move, pace, climb and WATT output, it becomes very easy to start analysing numbers and amaze your friends with your mathmatical knowledge. You know, to the metre, exactly how far it is to the trail head and how long it will take you to the second. To your friends, you’re now an instant genius!
That concludes our response as to why you should run an ultramarathon, any that we’ve missed or you feel need to be added? Add it in the comments below…