Become An UltraRunner: The First Step

by | Nov 8, 2018

So you think you may want to run an ultra marathon, to become an ultra runner?

You think you might want to enter the ranks of the uncommon, the men and women who live outside the lines, who reject the mediocrity and complacency mass-marketed by culture, those who live unrealistic?

I won’t try and stop you.

In fact, I’d rather give you more reasons to do so. I want you to run an ultra marathon because my first 100 mile ultra marathon changed my life.

Before we get to this big elephant in the room, How to Become an UltraRunner?, I want you to read Why Run An UltraMarathon?

Seriously: Click Here to read it.

If you just want to get to the point, or you already have a really good “WHY?”, your reason for running 50 or 100, or more, miles, then carry on.

This is the first step to becoming an ultramarathon runner.

This is the first step to experiencing the fulfillment of human will, of human potential.

This is the Wicked Trail.

We’re going to give you the tools to Go Farther, Run Faster, and Live Stronger.

All in ONE weekly email!
Sign up NOW to receive weekly posts!

 

I have a quick story I want to share that will frame the main point I’ll be getting to here about becoming an ultra runner.

It starts long before I was an ultra runner, long before I’d run 50 and 100 miles.

It was my first restaurant job; it also happened to be at a Forbes 5-Star property, the big leagues of service and hospitality. I’d just gotten fired from a job cleaning residential windows (blessing in disguise, my friend) and knew someone who worked at said luxury property.

I applied to be a server and was thankfully convinced to start as a food runner, since I hadn’t waited tables before. This ‘unfortunate’ downgrade of what I expected began framing the mindset I would need to eventually run 100 miles, just like getting fired from cleaning windows did.

It all came down to imitation.

You see, it was never my intention to stay a food runner; I wanted to make the big bucks and lead from the front. So, rather than sulking in defeat at my new, less glamorous, position, I asked myself one question.

And this is the question you have to ask yourself if you want to become an ultrarunner.

“What am I?”

I don’t mean to understand where I am, or what I do, or who I’m with, or where I hangout, right now, in this moment.

I mean to understand what I am.

I was a server at a Forbes 5-Star property, even if I wasn’t yet.

This is a determination of place and role; it is NOT an interpretation of current place and role.

You might be a broke food runner. You might be a struggling business owner. You might be addicted to drugs, or alcohol, or sugar. You might be 50 pounds overweight or 50 pounds underweight. You might be sick, unprivileged, impoverished, or oppressed.  

But “What are you?”

A server? A wealthy entrepreneur? A sponsored athlete?

An ultrarunner?

Pull out a piece of paper. Not an iPhone. A physical piece of paper and a pen.

WRITE IT DOWN.

Right now.

“What am I? I am:____________. This is what I am.”

Now, write down the words “What *this person* does.” What does a server, a wealthy entrepreneur, a sponsored athlete, or an ultrarunner do?

What quantifiable daily actions put this person in this position? List 5 things done by the person who has reached your goal, who is what you are. This exercise is especially useful in determining shortcomings of your own actions that will lead to failure.

Do not write things that are not actions or things that are not quantifiable. “Being tough” is not an action. “Waking up early” is not quantifiable. Listing things like “Never giving up” and “Working hard” will lead to failure.  

DO NOT FAIL.

What am I?

What does this person do?

Try things like abandoning one comfort item every week (instead of “Being tough”), going to bed at 10 o’clock every night to get adequate sleep (instead of “Waking up early”), or setting weekly goals for exercise volume (instead of “Never giving up” and “Working hard”).

Now, make another column of five items: “What habits do I practice now that are detrimental to becoming this person?”

Imagine this person. He or she is standing tall at the height of accomplishment; challenges are opportunities in pursuit of a goal, fulfillment is found in the process, and the end result is more rewarding than imagined.

This is where you will be. What are you?

What habits, daily actions, prevent you from becoming this person, from standing at this height of accomplishment and fulfillment?

Addiction? A toxic relationship? Staying up late and sleeping in? Greasy food? Drugs?

Write down five of them, these seemingly insignificant retreats into comfort, the great lie.

Look at the paper in front of you.

This is the first step to become an ultrarunner.

Your goal, that which you will become, is in your hand. It may be far off, down a Wicked Trail. Up rocky ridges and through driving rain, but you have the path written down. You have five actions and habits that this person exhibits, and you know five actions and habits that are detrimental to becoming this person.

Now you can truly reflect: Is this what I want to become?

Am I willing to rid my life of those 5 things that are detrimental to my fulfillment? Am I willing to employ 5 habits every single day to become what I desire?

This simple exercise, this first step to become an ultra runner, is effective outside of endurance sports.

Careers, relationships, finances, business ventures, health and wellness; what are you?

This week, take one item from each list and employ them in your life. Just one from each column. Stretch every evening for thirty minutes. Do not drink coffee.

Use the lists. This is the first step.

Next week add another: physical training upon waking and no alcohol during the week.

And so on, until you employ five habits of a successful person and have eliminated five blockades to success. THIS IS PRACTICING ‘SUCCESS.’ Success, after all, is a skill.

Ask yourself again: What am I?

“I am someone who practices these five things and someone who does not participate in these five things.”

Become.

What’s next? After you discover what you are and become?

Check Out HOW TO RUN 100 MILES; this is the second step.

Written by: George C.

Written by: George C.

Writer, Wicked Trail Running

When he's not running with his Cattle Dog, Cowboy, in Raleigh, North Carolina, George likes to kick back and keep the content on Wicked Trail Running fresh and engaging. He's got a few Ultras coming up in 2019, so if you need to get in touch with him, the local parks and greenways around Raleigh are a good place to start looking.

He really doesn't like cooking, so if you've got any quick vegan smoothie ideas or recipes, shoot an email to george@wickedtrailrunning.com. He also enjoys talking about running, mental toughness, and the art of mindset alteration.

Follow George on Instagram @georgecarterc!

Book of the Month:

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is a dive into the demons that plagued David Goggins -elite ultra endurance athlete and Navy SEAL- through his early life and an exploration of what it took for him to become a master of his own mind against all statistical odds. His tools for mental stimulation and growth are useful for anyone interested in venturing into endurance sports, becoming a better person, and mastering his or her mind. A must read!

Light 2 Light 50 Race Report: First Ultra Marathon Victory

Ultra marathon running isn't about winning, unless it is. Ultra marathon running is subjective; a person's journey through the darkness, down the Wicked Trail, is driven by his or her own passions, fears, and desires. This journey into pain is driven by his or her own...

Ultra Marathon Training: Crush Expectations

Most people running their first, or second, or third ultra marathon carry expectations into the race. They had training expectations; they planned the miles and hours they'd have to train, running and strengthening and stretching their way to ultra endurance. When...

Fasted Running Is Your Best Friend: 3 Reasons To Try It

For thirteen miles, I felt invincible. For the final three, I wasn't sure I'd finish. I felt like I did near the end of my first 100 mile race, although with much less lower body-body pain. It was an ultra marathon replication. I smiled during those long, arduous...

The Best Ultra Marathons: Is Yours On The List?

"What's the best ultra marathon?" Is it the most remote or adventurous like Marathon des Sables, the most challenging like Badwater or the H.U.R.T 100, or is it simply your first 100 miler, the one that breaks you into the world of ultra-endurance? Is it the race that...

Ultra Marathon DNF: Yes, You Failed. Yes, It’s Okay.

I was perusing some online ultramarathon running groups last weekend and came across a post about DNFs in ultrarunning. DNF stands for "Did Not Finish;" the participants name is not published and no belt buckle is awarded. The DNF is dreaded by many as hot-spots and...

UltraMarathon Pain Management: The Pain Cave

What is your perspective on ultramarathon running? Adventurous and exhilarating? Calming and therapeutic? Full of pain and suffering? Pain management has much to do with your perspective on running an ultramarathon. What is your perspective? Why do you run an...

share this post

Become An UltraRunner: The First Step

by | Nov 8, 2018

So you think you may want to run an ultra marathon, to become an ultra runner?

You think you might want to enter the ranks of the uncommon, the men and women who live outside the lines, who reject the mediocrity and complacency mass-marketed by culture, those who live unrealistic?

I won’t try and stop you.

In fact, I’d rather give you more reasons to do so. I want you to run an ultra marathon because my first 100 mile ultra marathon changed my life.

 

We’re going to give you the tools to Go Farther, Run Faster, and Live Stronger.

All in ONE weekly email!
Sign up NOW to receive weekly posts!

 

Before we get to this big elephant in the room, How to Become an UltraRunner?, I want you to read Why Run An UltraMarathon?

Seriously: Click Here to read it.

If you just want to get to the point, or you already have a really good “WHY?”, your reason for running 50 or 100, or more, miles, then carry on.

This is the first step to becoming an ultramarathon runner.

This is the first step to experiencing the fulfillment of human will, of human potential.

This is the Wicked Trail.

I have a quick story I want to share that will frame the main point I’ll be getting to here about becoming an ultra runner.

It starts long before I was an ultra runner, long before I’d run 50 and 100 miles.

It was my first restaurant job; it also happened to be at a Forbes 5-Star property, the big leagues of service and hospitality. I’d just gotten fired from a job cleaning residential windows (blessing in disguise, my friend) and knew someone who worked at said luxury property.

I applied to be a server and was thankfully convinced to start as a food runner, since I hadn’t waited tables before. This ‘unfortunate’ downgrade of what I expected began framing the mindset I would need to eventually run 100 miles, just like getting fired from cleaning windows did.

It all came down to imitation.

You see, it was never my intention to stay a food runner; I wanted to make the big bucks and lead from the front. So, rather than sulking in defeat at my new, less glamorous, position, I asked myself one question.

And this is the question you have to ask yourself if you want to become an ultrarunner.

“What am I?”

I don’t mean to understand where I am, or what I do, or who I’m with, or where I hangout, right now, in this moment.

I mean to understand what I am.

I was a server at a Forbes 5-Star property, even if I wasn’t yet.

This is a determination of place and role; it is NOT an interpretation of current place and role.

You might be a broke food runner. You might be a struggling business owner. You might be addicted to drugs, or alcohol, or sugar. You might be 50 pounds overweight or 50 pounds underweight. You might be sick, unprivileged, impoverished, or oppressed.  

But “What are you?”

A server? A wealthy entrepreneur? A sponsored athlete?

An ultrarunner?

Pull out a piece of paper. Not an iPhone. A physical piece of paper and a pen.

WRITE IT DOWN.

Right now.

“What am I? I am:____________. This is what I am.”

Now, write down the words “What *this person* does.” What does a server, a wealthy entrepreneur, a sponsored athlete, or an ultrarunner do?

What quantifiable daily actions put this person in this position? List 5 things done by the person who has reached your goal, who is what you are. This exercise is especially useful in determining shortcomings of your own actions that will lead to failure.

Do not write things that are not actions or things that are not quantifiable. “Being tough” is not an action. “Waking up early” is not quantifiable. Listing things like “Never giving up” and “Working hard” will lead to failure.  

DO NOT FAIL.

What am I?

What does this person do?

Try things like abandoning one comfort item every week (instead of “Being tough”), going to bed at 10 o’clock every night to get adequate sleep (instead of “Waking up early”), or setting weekly goals for exercise volume (instead of “Never giving up” and “Working hard”).

Now, make another column of five items: “What habits do I practice now that are detrimental to becoming this person?”

Imagine this person. He or she is standing tall at the height of accomplishment; challenges are opportunities in pursuit of a goal, fulfillment is found in the process, and the end result is more rewarding than imagined.

This is where you will be. What are you?

What habits, daily actions, prevent you from becoming this person, from standing at this height of accomplishment and fulfillment?

Addiction? A toxic relationship? Staying up late and sleeping in? Greasy food? Drugs?

Write down five of them, these seemingly insignificant retreats into comfort, the great lie.

Look at the paper in front of you.

This is the first step to become an ultrarunner.

Your goal, that which you will become, is in your hand. It may be far off, down a Wicked Trail. Up rocky ridges and through driving rain, but you have the path written down. You have five actions and habits that this person exhibits, and you know five actions and habits that are detrimental to becoming this person.

Now you can truly reflect: Is this what I want to become?

Am I willing to rid my life of those 5 things that are detrimental to my fulfillment? Am I willing to employ 5 habits every single day to become what I desire?

This simple exercise, this first step to become an ultra runner, is effective outside of endurance sports.

Careers, relationships, finances, business ventures, health and wellness; what are you?

This week, take one item from each list and employ them in your life. Just one from each column. Stretch every evening for thirty minutes. Do not drink coffee.

Use the lists. This is the first step.

Next week add another: physical training upon waking and no alcohol during the week.

And so on, until you employ five habits of a successful person and have eliminated five blockades to success. THIS IS PRACTICING ‘SUCCESS.’ Success, after all, is a skill.

Ask yourself again: What am I?

“I am someone who practices these five things and someone who does not participate in these five things.”

Become.

What’s next? After you discover what you are and become?

Check Out HOW TO RUN 100 MILES; this is the second step.

Written by: George C.

Written by: George C.

Writer, Wicked Trail Running

When he's not running with his Cattle Dog, Cowboy, in Raleigh, North Carolina, George likes to kick back and keep the content on Wicked Trail Running fresh and engaging. He's got a few Ultras coming up in 2019, so if you need to get in touch with him, the local parks and greenways around Raleigh are a good place to start looking.

He really doesn't like cooking, so if you've got any quick vegan smoothie ideas or recipes, shoot an email to george@wickedtrailrunning.com. He also enjoys talking about running, mental toughness, and the art of mindset alteration.

Follow George on Instagram @georgecarterc!

Book of the Month:

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is a dive into the demons that plagued David Goggins -elite ultra endurance athlete and Navy SEAL- through his early life and an exploration of what it took for him to become a master of his own mind against all statistical odds. His tools for mental stimulation and growth are useful for anyone interested in venturing into endurance sports, becoming a better person, and mastering his or her mind. A must read!

Light 2 Light 50 Race Report: First Ultra Marathon Victory

Ultra marathon running isn't about winning, unless it is. Ultra marathon running is subjective; a person's journey through the darkness, down the Wicked Trail, is driven by his or her own passions, fears, and desires. This journey into pain is driven by his or her own...

Ultra Marathon Training: Crush Expectations

Most people running their first, or second, or third ultra marathon carry expectations into the race. They had training expectations; they planned the miles and hours they'd have to train, running and strengthening and stretching their way to ultra endurance. When...

Fasted Running Is Your Best Friend: 3 Reasons To Try It

For thirteen miles, I felt invincible. For the final three, I wasn't sure I'd finish. I felt like I did near the end of my first 100 mile race, although with much less lower body-body pain. It was an ultra marathon replication. I smiled during those long, arduous...

The Best Ultra Marathons: Is Yours On The List?

"What's the best ultra marathon?" Is it the most remote or adventurous like Marathon des Sables, the most challenging like Badwater or the H.U.R.T 100, or is it simply your first 100 miler, the one that breaks you into the world of ultra-endurance? Is it the race that...

Ultra Marathon DNF: Yes, You Failed. Yes, It’s Okay.

I was perusing some online ultramarathon running groups last weekend and came across a post about DNFs in ultrarunning. DNF stands for "Did Not Finish;" the participants name is not published and no belt buckle is awarded. The DNF is dreaded by many as hot-spots and...

UltraMarathon Pain Management: The Pain Cave

What is your perspective on ultramarathon running? Adventurous and exhilarating? Calming and therapeutic? Full of pain and suffering? Pain management has much to do with your perspective on running an ultramarathon. What is your perspective? Why do you run an...

share this post

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