by Dave Walsh
Former British ultra distance team manager Dave Walsh shares his five key tips on how to prepare for ultra running events.
From point to point to loop, off road to track, there's a wide variety of ultra running races. In the UK these include the London to Brighton, the Royal Parks Ultra and the 36 mile Two Bridges in Fife.
When running long distances, staying well-fuelled is essential. Here's how, when and what to eat and drink on long runs, as well as advice on resting and staying injury-free.
Training will not only give you the endurance fitness to compete, but also the mental toughness required to see through an ultra distance race. One invaluable tip is to get yourself a friend willing to support you - they can cycle along giving encouragement and carrying supplies.
If you fancy spending a few hours on your feet, ultra running could be for you. Dave Walsh looks at the history behind long distance running, what makes a typical ultra runner and gives an overview of ultra races.
An ultra runner may be exerting his/her body for several hours on a fairly regular basis, so great care is needed in the selection of clothing suitable for the conditions. Forget the simple shorts, vest and shoes needed for an ordinary run - Dave Walsh goes through the equipment you'll need for an ultra.
Generally the health requirements for veterans when training and competing are the same as for any other athletes, but two things should be noted.
All ages can enjoy running - many veterans compete in athletics competitions.
Rivalry at veterans' events can be just as intense as in senior competition - though most veteran athletes realise it's just one part of life!
Dave Walsh has been organising road, cross country and track events, from local to international level, for most of his life. He competes internationally as a vet, has been a British ultra distance team manager and has been Welsh Road Race secretary.
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