Women’s participation in trail and ultra running is renowned for being low. Here one of the GRTW ultra coaches, Lucja Leonard dispels the common worries that deter many women
I could never run 50km
Most runners, including the elite ultra runners walk or hike some portions of an ultra. It’s a proven method of tackling an ultra, particularly if it is a mountain one. ‘When I did the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, which is 106 miles with 10,000m ascent, I walked about 60% of it,’ explains Lucja.
By hiking, you conserve energy and have the time to take on much needed fuel and water.
I’m not a good enough runner to do an ultra
‘People participate in ultra marathons for the incredible adventures and experiences, arely for a PB,’ says Lucja, who has raced all over the world, from the Transvulcania in the Canaries to the Cappodocia Ultra Trail in Turkey. ‘If you want to participate to race, great, if you don’t enjoy the experience and you’ll fit right in.’
I’ll never be able to fit in the training
Juggling training, life and work is stressful, so it’s small wonder that when it comes to ultra training, lots of people get scared about how they’re going to fit it in. Train smart.
‘You NEVER run the full distance of an ultra in training,’ explains Lucja. ‘Instead, do double run days, and/or build up the distance by running for every day errands, even long hikes.’
Join us in training for an ultra as part of our two year #ChooseToChallenge mission, to increase women’s representation in trail running, triathlon and endurance coaching. Our Ultra 100km and Ultra 50km training plans are now available, free for our subscribers or £99 to purchase.