The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide: How To Avoid Burnout and Run Longer

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide: How To Avoid Burnout and Run Longer

I decided to try yoga. I was looking for balance in my ultra marathon training program.

I didn’t know much about yoga.

But I’m an ultra runner. I’m physically fit. Yoga should be easy…right? 

So I began.

The first position: toe touch


The second position: kneel down 

…double OUCH! 

The third position: sit on my insanely sore ultra marathon feet. 

…ok this isn’t as easy as I thought. 

You see, as an ultra marathon runner, I’ve married the long run. However, this union didn’t start with a ceremony and champagne up in the air. Instead, it was a 100-mile race with extreme chafing down the pants.

Yes, my cardiovascular endurance was at a peak level when I tried yoga for the first time. Yet, I received a very honest lesson that day. 

I learned that you can have all the endurance in the world, but without balance in the body, you can find yourself in trouble.

That’s because if you are too one-sided, you create a blockage of energy. That’s versus a circulating free flow of it.

RELATED: The Top 11 Benefits Of Yoga For Trail Runners

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

Balancing Energy To Reach New Ultra Distances

Having excess energy in one part of the body creates a lack in another. This imbalance can promote injury, exhaustion, and prevent longevity in your ultra marathon training.

On the contrary, with a balance of energy, that is, with energy that circulates freely and abundantly, you feel amazing. When this occurs, you have an incredible feeling of power that continually flows in your life…

…a feeling you will never want to give up.

So you’ll start making changes naturally and without thought. You may take assertive action like wiping out processed foods completely from your eating regime. No, not because you think it’s healthy. But because you know it’s healthy, and feel a new form of positive energy…and in a MASSIVE way.

That’s a big part of how I was able to cruise through multiple 200-mile ultra marathon training programs and races.

Think about it, when preparing to run a 200 mile ultra marathon, considering the likelihood of finishing is not the only chance you take. You also have to risk the extra time and effort required to complete the ultra marathon training schedule. 

That’s a whole lot of wasted time if you don’t make it to race day. 

Staying healthy and full of energy, both physically and mentally, is a BIG part of following through on ultra marathon training and to the finish line.

Here’s the thing, I’ve run over 100 ultra marathon distances (and counting), and as a result, I’ve developed many successful practices to handle the excess mileage. 

As a full-time husband and parent of three with a full-time career, I’ve learned how to fit ultra running into my life without burning out.

And it starts with finding a balanced program…

Please note: I am not a certified health physician and do not claim to be one. I’m only sharing the methods that worked for me. Remember, sometimes when you push the limits, the limits push back. So proceed with caution and never forget that safety comes first.

RELATED: The 200 Mile Ultramarathon Survival Guide

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

A Quick Preview of The Program

Below, I provide a quick guide to finding balance through different ultra distances. In fact, I even provide training programs for the 50k, 50-mile, 100k, 100-mile, and 200-mile distances.

The ultra marathon training schedules are divided into five categories. Each part is listed below. Make sure you read every section from beginning to end and download the running programs accordingly.

Here are the five categories:

1- Endurance: The Long Run

2- Muscular Strength: Weight Training

3- Flexibility & Balance: Yoga

4- Diet & Nutrition : Fat Adaptation

5- Mindfulness: Meditation

Later, I will break each part down. But first, understand that finding the right balance for yourself is critical. 

How energized you feel on race day will be the difference between a DNF due to complete exhaustion and floating through the miles.

Popping quick hits of sugary supplements can only last so long as an ultrarunner. Eventually, as you start reaching 100 and 200 mile distances, you need to look inwardly for energy as well. Inside is where your true power lies.

My Journey To Longer Ultra Marathon Distances

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

It’s been quite a journey. First, I learned to run long, really…REALLY long. This is the essence of ultra marathon running; this is what it’s all about. 

To do so, I developed an ultra marathon training system for running any ultra distance by running only ONE day per week. 

I explain how you can run any distance by running one day per week in my book: A Runner’s Secret: One Run Will Get It Done.

Second, I eliminated processed food which drastically reduced nausea during 100 milers, eventually leading to fat adapted running. 

I explain how you can easily become a fat adapted runner in my book: The Fat Adapted Running Formula: A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Fat Adapted Runner.

Third, I balanced my workouts with yoga, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises. This provides an increase in strength, flexibility, and balance. 

Lastly, I began performing a pre-run meditation before every run, mainly focusing on gratitude. As a result, I eliminate internal resistance (eg., fear, worry, and self-doubt), providing more energy for the external resistance (running!).

And during a 100 or 200-mile race, you need all the energy you can hold onto.

Look, I’ve destroyed my body on race day. So if you’ve been there, trust me, you’re not alone. 

In fact, a lot of what I’ve learned in ultra marathon running has been through trial and error. 

My strategies and anecdotes for nausea, chafing, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and overall suffering on race day didn’t come easily.

In the beginning, my running was all about pushing to the finish line with sheer grit and determination. One time I even collapsed and lost my memory completely…for hours. I tell the story in the opening chapter of my book The Ultramarathon Guide: A Simple Approach to Running Your First Ultramarathon.

But now, I’ve learned the miraculous power in letting go and finding balance. As a result, I float through the mileage of most races with minimum issues. 

Sure I still have my bad days, but they have reduced greatly.

Here’s the thing, when your body isn’t bogged down by processed foods or stiff from a lack of flexibility, you become lighter on your feet. Even more, you gain a sensitivity to everyone and everything that provides energy…

…and that which takes it away. 

You fall in love with your breath because you can intimately feel the miracle of life flowing through you. 

By letting go and finding balance, you align with this life energy, and as a result, you can run astonishing distances. I really put this to practice during a 72-hour race where I ran over 200 miles.

You see, the morning of the race, I was full of energy. This is natural.

But consider running on the second night, when you can barely keep your eyes open. When your groin and arms have been chafing for hours.

Your wet, and cold, and tired, and hungry…

You become fixated on the moon, praying it will make it across the sky for a new day, to reset your internal clock and resurrect your broken body back from the dead. 

Fortunately, over the years, I’ve learned quick bursts of energy when running ultra marathons is short-lived. After a while, the gels and blocks just don’t cut it.

No, instead, it’s about a steady flow of sustainable energy. We are not burning paper here, it’s not a sprint. We are burning coal here, it’s an ultra marathon. 

So let go, find the balance (which you will learn from the programs), and align with a greater energy. The one from within…and without.

Now, before we get into the guide, first know this: you will experience extra resistance when changing up your ultra marathon training program. The path up always begins down…

RELATED: An Ultrarunner’s Guide To Mindful Running

The Path Up Always Starts Down

I started a new summer job at a local Bed and Breakfast. On the first day I was given a shovel, wheel barrel, and directions towards a field FULL of horse manure. 

You see, one of the tenants were evicted. The tenant moved out, but left his horses behind. In fact, the horses were left alone…for months…with no one cleaning up after them.

My new boss said “Good luck” and walked back into the office. 

I thought to myself, “What kind of job is this?” “Is it worth my time? “Should I leave?” 

I looked at the field, then looked at my car. The field…then back at my car…field…car…field…car…

And just when I was about to say “forget it”….it began raining. No….it began POURING.

Did I quit?

No. Surprisingly, the extra dose of adversity didn’t push me to the edge of giving up. Instead, it motivated me. It was no longer a task at work, but instead, a test of my work ethic.

Like always, I was up for the challenge. I opened the gate and began cleaning.

Here’s the point: I spent the whole day shoveling every square inch of manure off that field. And guess what? I never had to perform a task like it again. 

In fact, the rest of the summer was wonderful. The owner left me alone to manage the maintenance of the entire property. 

He left the scheduling up to me. It was the best summer job I ever had as a kid.

I gained two insights from that experience. 

First, most anything worth doing in life takes two steps backward before you can take three steps forward. Just like your muscles expand by demand, you must travel down before you can go up.

(Sadly, most of the time, people quit before enjoying the fruits of their labor.)

And second… I can never utter the following words again, “At least I never had to shovel sh*t for a living.”

RELATED: 10 Mindful Running Tips You Need To Know

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Run Long Living

Don’t Give Up On The Program

When you first become a runner, you feel enthusiasm, eagerness, and aliveness as you begin. However, once things become tougher–which they always do–a positive running experience can turn negative…and FAST.

Here’s where many people give up on their dreams of running an ultra marathon. They give up because of the relatively enormous amount of resistance upfront. 

However, they likely don’t know the secret of the endurance world. The secret I’m referring to is MOMENTUM. And once you gain momentum, things become much MUCH better. 

So how do you prevent giving up?

To start, try to view the subjective mind objectively. Remember, it’s your thoughts that create emotion. And those emotions can be a clue to what’s going on in your subconscious mind. 

As I like to say, the mind is the most powerful tool you have during your ultra marathon training program.

And here’s the good news…

You can develop the emotional intelligence to easily withstand the physical adversity. That’s because you align with the natural knowing that there’s opportunity hidden in every aspect of resistance. When this happens, suddenly, and without warning, your life flips upside down. And now, the once, old stressful world you live in becomes a new magical place you call home. 

RELATED: Supercharge Your Running Program With The Secret Power Of The Endurance World

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

Enjoy The Ultra Marathon Climb 

Once you work through the many different running issues, usually through trial and error (hydration, gear, chaffing, etc.), you develop your own unique process. A process tailored to your body and your mind.

You no longer focus on what you “should” do, but instead, listen to your body. Now you can scale the process to longer distances like 100 and 200 miles while making different tweaks along the way. 

The sad truth is that some runners give up well before experiencing the freedom of being an enduring runner. That is, having the abilities to run miles upon miles without stopping, and the joy and happiness that comes with crossing the finish line on race day.

That’s why I write. To help guide and inspire others to keep moving forward toward their running goals.

You see, there’s so much power in setting an intention, but instead, we can easily find ourselves lost, wishing on a star instead. So remember, it’s about bringing presence into your run, not leaving it mentally, trapped in the eternal thoughts of the future finish. When you become lost in the future on race day, you suffer. 

But here’s some more good news…

When you accept the suffering, you can transcend the pain. Do this, and every mile becomes a miracle. 

And by staying in the present moment, you’ll avoid suffering along your journey.

Look, an ultramarathon is a tough mountain to climb.

But sooner or later, you’ll get to that top of that mountain. You’ll look out into the vast horizon, and guess what?

… you’ll see more mountains, choose one, and start climbing again. 

If you’re reading this as an utrarunner, I’m guessing your already know this because you likely have multiple finishes under your belt.

Don’t ever forget this: True happiness rarely comes from the view at the peak of the mountain and almost always from the progressive journey of the climb. 

So before we get started, allow me to offer one piece of advice. The secret to never giving up on your new and balanced ultra marathon training program. 

Here’s the secret to never giving up on running: always take ONE more step.

Ultra running is filled with adversity to challenge you both physically and mentally in every way. It won’t be easy, but it will be possible. You are more enduring than you could ever imagine.

RELATED: How To Run Longer With 6 Natural Running Powers


Now, let’s start the program. Keep reading for a breakdown of The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Program. 

Remember, I provide training programs for the 50k, 50-Mile, 100k, 100-Mile, and 200-Mile distances.

To clarify, this program isn’t about balance in terms of even proportion. As an ultrarunner, of course the long run is going to be your primary focus. But the different exercises and practices will support your efforts in becoming more enduring.

Each part of the body relies on the other for support. If one part is neglected, another suffers. Finding the right balance is necessary to staying healthy and energized during your ultra marathon training program.

Let’s Begin!

1- Endurance: The Long Run

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

In The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide, your weekly long run is naturally your main focus. Remember, we are not looking for a program of even proportion here, instead, it’s about finding a unique balance between running, fitness, flexibility, nutrition, and mindfulness to support your long run lifestyle. 

Your weekly long run is building your endurance. 

There are two types of endurance: cardiovascular and muscular. I will briefly explain both. 

First, cardiovascular endurance is how efficiently your heart can provide oxygen to muscles during prolonged physical activity. 

Second, muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle to continuously exert force against resistance over a long period of time.

Running covers both cardiovascular and muscular endurance. And as an ultra runner, your main focus should be running long. 

No need to cross train with other endurance-building exercises. Although, in this program, you will perform alternative exercises to achieve balance. That is, to prevent burnout and support your running body during ultra marathon training.

As a result, you will likely be less sore, feel healthier, and more energized than ever before. Your energy will flow freely and you’ll feel a miraculous increase in alertness.

In the program, you will run only 2 days per week. One long run and one recovery run on tired legs. The runs are back to back. This simulates running with “dead legs” which commonly occurs on ultra marathon race day.

I’ve personally trained and raced every standard ultra distance by running only ONE day per week, as I explain in A Runner’s Secret: One Run Will Get It Done.

And at the same time, I’ve also ran every standard ultra distance by running only TWO days per week. Now, whether I run 1 or 2 days is based on my schedule.

And now…I share each TWO-day schedule with you. Simply click the button below for your free copies. Training programs are for the 50k, 50-mile, 100k, 100-mile, and 200-mile distances.

If you live a super busy life, which I can relate to as a parent, these programs could be the answer to your running prayers…

*** Training programs are now only available in my new book below ***

If you are looking to start your new mindful ultramarathon practice then grab a copy of ‘Mindful Ultramarathon Running: Train to Run Longer, Stronger, and Faster With Less Effort‘ below, programs for the 50k, 50-mile, 100k, 100-mile, and 200-mile distances included.

Click here for the eBook version.

Click here for the Paperback version.

2- Muscular Strength: Weight Training

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

The strength training section of this program will likely bring focus to areas of your body that don’t receive enough attention. As an ultra runner, increasing your core strength is a game changer. Muscular strength will support your efforts in running longer.

*** This section is now a part of my new book below ***

If you are looking to start your new mindful ultramarathon practice then grab a copy of ‘Mindful Ultramarathon Running: Train to Run Longer, Stronger, and Faster With Less Effort‘ below…

Click here for the eBook version.

Click here for the Paperback version.

3- Flexibility & Balance: Yoga

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

“Flexibility” is the range of motion in your joints, while “balance” is the ability to stay in control of body movement. 

I have found that performing exercises that increase flexibility and balance can improve endurance and prevent injury. That’s because a new bending body is less stiff. In other words, your lower legs have a wider range of motion.

*** This section is now a part of my new book below ***

If you are looking to start your new mindful ultramarathon practice then grab a copy of ‘Mindful Ultramarathon Running: Train to Run Longer, Stronger, and Faster With Less Effort‘ below…

Click here for the eBook version.

Click here for the Paperback version.

4- Diet & Nutrition: Fat Adaptation

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

Next, consider not only what you are putting into your body, but also, your outlook on food in general. 

So let’s take it to the kitchen…

Have you ever heard someone say, “Are you still on your diet?”

Do you see what’s wrong with that question?

By “going on a diet,” we declare that our poor eating habits are the norm. We are only leaving home for a vacation and will eventually return. In this way, diets are a trap, and it requires a paradigm shift to escape…

Here’s one for you:

We are real live people who require real live food so our bodies can function the right way. When our bodies function correctly, we are healthy, when they don’t, we are not healthy.  

A healthy body is an energized body that metabolizes efficiently. This is essential for ultra marathon running.

Here’s another way to say it: a healthy runner’s body is to eat healthy… and to eat healthy is to eat real live food. The rest will take care of itself.

Plus, the cleaner you eat the less energy required for digestion.

And never forget the power of fasting for the body.

I discuss this subject more in my book The Fat Adapted Running Formula: A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Fat Adapted Runner

Within the pages, you receive training programs for combining fasting and running.

Personally, I eat as close to the source as possible. Over a decade ago, I cut out grain and dairy. A few years back, I stopped eating meat as well. 

By eliminating processed foods, your body detoxifies itself. You become more sensitive to what provides energy, and what takes it away. 

And when you get a taste of a real healthy lifestyle, you will never go back. 

Eventually, you only want to consume foods that cleanse your body…not clog it. There’s power in plants, but you need to cleanse your body to feel the magic. 

To sum it up: eat clean to increase energy levels for ultra marathon training.

Weekly Fat Adaptation Recommendations: Practice intermittent fasting. Eat nuts in the afternoon, and one large meal for dinner rich in vegetables and essential oils. 

Fat adaptation is the secret. If you are ready to go all-in, then read The Fat Adapted Running Formula: A Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Fat Adapted Running.

5- Mindfulness: Meditation – Mind, Body, & Soul

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

Be open to receiving. Accept this section as a gift. Let go and relax into a pre-run meditation. 

Allow this meditation to last 10-15 minutes in length. Focus on eliminating internal resistance, increasing energy, and settling into the present moment. 

Don’t force it like a sprint, but instead, plug into it like a network.

Allow your awareness to find its home deep within the stillness.

You see, we put so much emphasis on the visible world. But everything material was once an invisible thought waiting to be born. It’s about finding the right sequence and bringing it to life.

Think about it. Every word I’m writing in this guide is already in use somewhere else. No, not in the same sequence or with the same intention. However, every single word was spoken or written many times since the English language began. 

I did not invent the words, but instead, discovered the sequence. I pieced sentences together inside the invisible world and brought them to the visible. I transferred each sentence from thought to material. 

We are all creators. Our creations happen both consciously and unconsciously. We create art and literature, buildings and statues, laws and guidelines, thoughts and excuses, dreams and nightmares. So make an intention to create a great run, and allow your feet to be the brush strokes of a running masterpiece. 

And use these creative powers to your advantage during a pre-run mediation. Think about it…

If you can think yourself sick, then why not well? If you can think yourself sad, then why not happy? And if you can think yourself into a bad run, then why not a good run? Why not into the best run of your life?

The point is this: If you can think of yourself as a 200-mile ultra runner, then you can become one. Meditation will help you quiet the mind and navigate towards your goals.

Sure it will take time. Any peak you scale starts at the base of the mountain. 

I know. I’ve been there. 

I went from running a few miles on a treadmill to running over 200 miles in one race.

And here’s the truth: The same runner in you is the same runner in me, everything on the surface is just fear and conditioning. 

Ever forget you are running? Time disappears, does it not?

And miles feel like minutes. 

It’s like magic…

As I like to say: The moment I forget I’m running is the moment my soul takes the wheel. I don’t know where I’m headed, but I know it’s a beautiful destination. 

So focus on a 10-15 minute mediation once or twice per day. One in the morning and one before any run. 

You can find a short guide online, or follow the one I outline in the next section.

RELATED: The Secret Path To Everlasting Ultramarathon Motivation

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Pre-Run Meditation

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

Keep reading as I briefly explain how to perform your pre-run mediation.

*** This section is now a part of my new book below ***

If you are looking to start your new mindful ultramarathon practice then grab a copy of ‘Mindful Ultramarathon Running: Train to Run Longer, Stronger, and Faster With Less Effort‘ below…

Click here for the eBook version.

Click here for the Paperback version.

Start Your New Journey NOW

The Balanced Ultra Marathon Training Guide // Long Run Living

It’s challenging.

Going to bed at 9:00pm only to sleep for an hour and a half. Then wake up at 11:30pm to run 30 miles before work.

I do it not only to become a better runner myself, but to gain greater insight and more experience to share with others.

I don’t try to write clever; I try to write real. A witty statement is entertainment in the moment, but a paradigm shift can be a blessing for life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

By doing so, I hope I can help you reach a running goal that you hold close to your heart. 

Long-distance running has changed my life in so many positive ways. It only feels right to turn around and lift the next person up. 

And as an ultramarathon runner, there is one thing that matters more than every other: MINDSET. 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve run over 100 ultramarathon distances, some as long as 200 miles in length. And after all those miles, here’s what I can tell you: ultra marathon running is an inside job. 

How far you can run outwardly is a direct reflection of how far you are willing to dig inwardly

If you are happy with yourself, you will be happy with your running.

You can get caught up running from the outside-in, pushing your body through each run…then burn out. Or you can run from the inside out, eliminate internal resistance, and let your inner runner free!

That requires patience. That requires the act of letting go.

Because it’s not the miles you must conquer in running long-distance… it’s yourself…

Look, ultra running takes a lot of time and energy. That’s why it’s important to find a balance.

Run from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Allow your outer results to be a product of your inside work. 

The miles you travel inwardly will allow you to travel more miles outwardly. 

And if I can recommend anyway to get started, it’s through Fat Adaptation. Fasting is food for the soul. And nutrition is the foundation to all your running goals.

When you are efficient at burning your fat stores, your opportunities are endless.

I can tell you from experience. As a fat adapted runner I’ve run…

-over 100 ultramarathon distances

-40 miles with no food or water

-numerous 50ks with no food or water

-nausea away from my ultramarathon career

-15-20 lbs off my race weight

-several 100-mile races

-116 miles across the state of Florida

-one of the longest distances in the world: 200 miles

Will becoming fat adapted guarantee similar results? No, but will it provide the opportunity to achieve similar results and beyond? Absolutely!

As you can see, fat adapted running has its advantages. Once you become a fat adapted runner, it’s up to you to maintain your new superpowers. What effects those powers the most is what you’re doing when you’re not running. It’s about how true you can stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Over indulging in sugar throws you out of balance. Fat adaptation will provide an everlasting flow of sustainable energy. The type of energy the allows you to run incredible ultra marathon distances. 

Ready to get started? If so, grab a copy of The Fat Adapted Running Formula below. 

Click here for the eBook version on Amazon.

Click here for the Paperback version on Amazon.

Click here for the Audiobook version on Amazon

Click here for the Audiobook version on iTunes

One Last Thought For Your Journey…

I was experiencing extreme nausea after every ultra marathon. 

I was at the point I’d try anything.

Fortunately, I stumbled upon a few videos on fat adaptation. I didn’t know anyone who was a fat adapted runner at the time, so I didn’t really know what to expect. 

There are moments in life where your intuition speaks loudly to you. This was one of those moments. .

The problem: there’s no physical evidence that can prove your success.

It takes a leap of faith…

I was risking the progress I have made thus far. I already reached a 100 mile ultramarathon at a decent pace, I didn’t want to lose that.

It was evident that becoming fat adapted took a step backwards to take two steps forward. You have to slow down before you can speed up. 

It was going to take time…And for what?

To help with an upset stomach during an ultra marathon? And who knows if it would even help?

What I learned: we tend to get in our own way when it comes to ultra running. 

The beliefs we create help us at first, only to be the same obstacles we must overcome in the future. .

Obstacles will always be there. 

But the right solutions won’t. 

When you find one, and something inside says to go for it…that’s usually the best time to make a change. 

I was grateful for carbo-loading. It helped me in the past. But now, it was an old belief I needed to get rid of. 

And once I became a fat adapted runner, my jaw dropped. My stomach issues vanished, and I felt like I was running longer with less effort. I ran more 100 milers, 200 miles, and even longer.

For the first time ever, I truly knew I could run long distances for the rest of my life. I found the final piece in bringing balance to my ultra marathon training. Thank you Fat Adapted Running, I Am forever grateful. 

It takes letting go to fly high. Let go, look over the edge, and take a step forward…

I think you will be happy you did…

Remember…Impossible is only a word to describe the unknown territory that sits on the other side of what you consider possible.

Click here for the eBook version on Amazon.

Click here for the Paperback version on Amazon.

Click here for the Audiobook version on Amazon

Click here for the Audiobook version on iTunes

The Fat Adapted Running Formula // Long Run Living

And if you haven’t already subscribed to our newsletter for exclusive quotes and content, please enter your email below. Thank you and Live On The Run!

Sign Up For Our FREE Newsletter!
Get exclusive quotes and the latest content first.
Thank you for subscribing!
The Ultimate Guide To Fat Adapted Running // Long Run Living
Related Posts

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

This site is protected by