Several months ago I was sitting around having a beer with a friend, and we got on the topic of our first 50k ultramarathons.

Turns out we had pretty similar stories:

  • We both signed up on a whim with no training plan or real knowledge (unless you count Born to Run) of ultrarunning.
  • We both thought it would be similar to a marathon, and trained as such.
  • And we both made an ultra-load of mistakes, because neither of us had any idea what we were doing.

That’s when I realized that my first ultra experience wasn’t all that unique.

And the more people I’ve talked to since that conversation, the more I realize that almost everyone makes a ton of mistakes and has a very painful, frustrating first ultramarathon.  Not because it has to be that way, but because most new ultrarunners come in unprepared and clueless about what they’re doing!

So shortly after that conversation I decided I was going to do my part to change that problem.  I was going to write a little something outlining mistakes I made, and the information I wish I had known going in to that first race, and share it with as many beginner ultrarunners as I could.

But as I started writing out a few of my mistakes, I found myself covering far more topics than I had originally planned.  I became obsessed with making sure I didn’t leave anything out.

Before I knew it, what started as a small list of mistakes turned in to a full blown guide for beginner ultrarunners, complete with 50k and 50 mile training plans.

See, runners new to ultramarathons are often either overwhelmed by the distance and don’t know where to turn, or they are like I was, and clueless that they even need to start treating ultra training any differently.

That terrible first race almost made me swear off running ultras forever.  Now, because of how they have re-inspired my running, they are probably the only reason I’m still logging miles.

I don’t want others to make the same mistakes I did, because they don’t have to.  And that’s the goal of my new training system, Discover Your Ultramarathon.

A bit about Discover Your Ultramarathon


The final product, which has officially launched today, comes complete with:

  • The Discover Your Ultramarathon 129 page eBook—A complete guide outlining all the details you need before running a 50k or 50 mile ultra.
  • A 20-week 50k Interactive Training Plan—Optimized for you to track each workout, calculate pace, and take notes every day.
  • A 24-week 50 Mile Interactive Training Plan—Giving you access to all the same interactive tools as the 50k program, but the more advance training schedule for a longer ultramarathon.
  • And 4 Bonus Audio Interviews—Because I’m only one runner, and I wanted to make sure you had access to some of the best, including Mike Wardian, Francesca Conte, Alyssa Godesky, and Matt Frazier.

I’ll save all the details for the eBook system’s main page, but when I say it’s a complete guide, I mean it.  It features everything from nutrition and pacing to drop bags and how to avoid that awful chaffing.

Plus, I solicited advice from 8 incredibly experienced runners and coaches eager to make sure you don’t make the dreadful newbie mistakes.  The wealth of experience and voices turned out fabulous.


Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

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