10 Differences Between Ultra Training & Marathon Training + Monday Matters!

Andrew’s sister planned a Disneyland trip with her family and invited us!  We jumped on board (Knox is with his mom on vacation and we miss him a lot)!  I’ll read your comments today but I probably won’t have a chance to respond to many until Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  There will still be posts each day (along with a friend to friend this afternoon)! I hope your week is off to a great start and let’s start with a few random things!

*Frozen (from being in my pack while running) candy is even better than non-frozen candy.

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*Another reason for you to come visit Utah at some point… we have a 17 mile long paved trail.  They have a little vending machine area for all of the endurance athletes that use the trail and need some calories/electrolytes/goodness.

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*One of the many reasons dogs are the best… they make you feel like a million bucks whenever you get home.

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*Why not save a little pancake in your hair for later when you need a snack?

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*I loved what Lora (she is awesome) shared with me the other day… try out futureme.org !

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I’m learning a lot about how different ultra and marathon training are from one another!  I’m sure I will continue to learn more and more about the differences because I am a beginner in this ultra world.

Both are hard, great, rewarding and addicting in their own ways.  Here are some of the differences I have noticed so far:

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*The meals I eat before my long runs.  During marathon training my meal before the run consisted usually of UCAN, a huma gel and a banana or some bread.  Before my long runs now… I’ll have a breakfast burrito, a sandwich  or something more hearty.  My stomach could not have handled this during marathon training before a run because my paces were a lot faster and I just couldn’t digest things very well but with ultra training my long runs are slower so I can take in a good amount of food before my run without any problems.

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*Marathon training= I am pretty sure I always had a complete rest day the day after a long run but there may have been a few times that I had a 30-40 minute easy run the day after if I did my long run on a Friday.  Getting out to go long the day after a long run takes a lot of mental games for me to get out the door but it is crazy how much it helps to reduce the soreness from the first long run/trails.

*I can run longer than a lot of electronics can last.  During marathon training my electronics rarely turned off before I did (unless I didn’t charge them properly) but with ultra training I’m out there for much longer than I used to be and sometimes my electronics can’t keep up (this is why I got a new Garmin).

*Preparation for races and training runs are both necessary but so different.  The gear I bring with me, the fuel I take in during the run, the amount of water I need to drink, the hydration pack and the extra clothing… I feel like I’m learning a new language.

*I’m not thinking about time, I’m thinking about survival ha.  For so many years I have thought a lot of about time/splits/paces for pretty much each and every marathon I have done.  I’ve always enjoyed that side of training but with ultra training that doesn’t exist for me which is also fun.  We also stop and talk to people often during our training runs.  During marathon training I rarely stop but on the trails we have been meeting some cool people and really cool dogs.

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*I don’t listen to music on the trails but when I’m in marathon training I listen to music for all of the hard workouts.  I either listen to nothing or a podcast with ultra training.

*I didn’t think it was possible but I’m hungrier with ultra training than I am marathon training.  The day after the double long runs I don’t think it is actually possible for me to feel full.  My mileage isn’t that much higher with ultra training (yet) vs marathon training but that back to back long run just makes me need all of the food.

*My feet are LESS trashed and my body hurts less with ultra training.  Sure I get sore but I think slowing down and running often on softer surfaces has actually made my body less upset at me and my feet are happier too.

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*Never ever have I had to think about CHANGING CLOTHES during a race but this is something I’m thinking about for our ultra depending on weather/sweat/chafing/etc!  We are going to be out there for 12ish hours so our race day preparation is taking a lot more thought than my normal race day prep.

PS a similarity is that Andrew wears shorts no matter what distance he is training for.

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*TMI—> I don’t feel like puking after these workouts like I did often during/after my marathon speed workouts.  This last marathon training cycle really pushed me and there were so many times I thought I was going to lose my breakfast because I was pushing it to my limits.  With ultra training I don’t ever feel like that but my endurance is DEFINITELY tested over and over again and I feel very tired at the end of my workouts.

And the beauty of running ANY AND ALL DISTANCES:

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(Quote from this book… Reading this portion gave me all of the goosebumps).

I already know my future life dilemmas—> What do I train next for: a fast shorter distance, a half marathon, a marathon, an ultra, a pr, a crazy technical course and the list goes on and on and it’s going to be really hard to decide what to do because they are all so great.


When you are training for different race distances, what are some of the biggest differences that you notice?

Disneyland food fans—> What is one thing that we NEED to eat while we are here?

What is your current favorite pre-long run meal?

What was the best part of your weekend?

-Driving 9.5 hours with a 13 month old;) #worthit

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I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was a kid. The only thing I remember eating every time I went is the chocolate covered, frozen banana rolled in nuts. Yum!

All those things you said about ultra training are my favorite things about it. I need to hurry up and BQ so I can just be a slow, happy trail runner.

Have fun in Cali!


Yay! So happy that y’all are getting to come to Disneyland! You should definitely get the Dole Whip!! The churros are really good, too! :)

I love reading your training updates because it helps inspire me to keep pushing to build up my mileage. I’m finally starting to feel stronger in my running, and even though I haven’t run double-digit distances in a VERY long time, I’m confident that I will be there soon and hopefully be able to race again by this fall!


I have found it very hard to go back to road racing after running ultras.

I have been out with a plantar issue for several month and even the thought of a 5k doesn’t excite me as much as spending hours on the trail.

It is so much nicer to slow the pace, talk to people and enjoy the scenery.

Packing for your race….. always pick gloves and extra head bands. If you take a fall the gloves will be the best way to keep a bandage on bleeding palm. If it’s cold it’s the easiest way to warm up. ?

Welcome to the crazy world of Ultra!


I had no idea that vending machine was there! That is awesome. I’ll have to plan a long run on that trail next training cycle just to check it out.


Where is that trail?


Its gotta be somewhere on the Provo river trail. It goes from bidal veil down to the lake.


It’s the Murdoch trail, not Provo river.


Oh yay, thanks for letting me know!


Best part of my weekend – Being in Arizona!!! I haven’t been back to AZ since I graduated college 10 years ago and it was the perfect time to visit (-12 degrees in Chicago, 75 and sunny in Phoenix!). My ex-boyfriend (who isn’t my ex anymore!) and I had the best time hiking around Scottsdale, Sedona (my favorite place in the world), and even made it to the Grand Canyon!

… And of course we came back to a snowstorm in Chicago!


Hi Janae! I hope your family has a lovely time at Disneyland.

Eat a mickey cake pop! They’re amazing! And giant! I’ve never been to Disneyland but I live in Florida so Disney World a bunch of times, but I’m sure they have the same things!

My favorite pre-long run meal is oatmeal. Its hard waking up 2 hours before my long run to eat and let it digest but its worth it because I feel like it gives me sustained fuel, and I just catch up on blogs and such while I’m letting it digest.

I honestly don’t know the difference between training for different races, because before this half I just did I never trained with a plan, I just ran and did the race for fun and never looked at pace or tried to get faster. this half I trained and it’s ALL been new to me, the speed work, the nutrition planning, the outfit planning, the extra sleep, the mental strength… there’s so much that goes into it! I’m doing a bridge program to my next half in 5 weeks and then I think I’m going to tackle a couple shorter distances, so it’ll be interesting to see then how different my training goes:)

My weekend->seeing my friend get married! I love weddings and they’re always so beautiful and encouraging. So many tears during the first dance and such. It was a great time with some close friends.


Chocolate covered peanut butter sandwich.
Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron.
Matterhorn Macaroon.

Who cares about food? It’s all about the treats and you need all three of those ;)


I’m going to visit Park City in Feb & would love to know how to get to this 17 mile paved trail!!


Just wondering where the 17 mile trail is that you mentioned?


I haven’t been to Disneyland in FOREVER. Brooke is going to love it! Can’t wait to hear all about the trip!

I have noticed a difference in how my body feels this training cycle, too. I am training for another marathon, but I am running on trails once or twice a week. I think it definitely helps me joints! I didn’t run much trail during my last training cycle because I was nervous about getting hurt, but I think it’s helping this time around!


Have so much fun at Disneyland!! I haven’t been there since I was 10 so sadly no food recommendations .

What you said about ultra and marathon distance training is spot on. I was SO hungry all time time during ultra training much more so than during marathon training. Also, I was a lot more tired during ultra training. It was run, shower eat sleep work, repeat. Some days I seriously didn’t feel like a human haha. But so worth it. Naps were essential – sometimes I would fall asleep when I didn’t mean to!

Best part of the weekend. Caught up with some girl friends on a run some of who I haven’t seen in 6 months or more and afterwards one of the girls husbands made us brunch in their home. So lovely!

Have a great day and enjoy your stay in Disneyland Janae!


Loved this post. Even though I haven’t run an Ultra or full marathon ever. I think trainings can get so different depending not the type of race or goal you have. For example, right now I train to run a Half Marathon faster than what I did last time. Last time I only trained to finish, and can definitely notice the difference between both training cycles.

My favorite pre long-run meal is and will always be PBJ toast.

Hope you enjoy your trip to Disney <3


That vending machine on the trail is one of the smartest/greatest ideas!

Everything at Disneyland is delicious! Our kids always love Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney.

I have a really difficult time eating anything before running. I usually stick with a 1/2 banana and a 1/2 pbj sandwhich if I eat anything.

Best part of the weekend was a semi-trail 1/2 marathon and a top 3 placing, only to be beaten by my friends and running partners. And seeing my baby girl all dressed up for her formal that she attended with her girlfriends. So fun!

Enjoy Cali and Disneyland!!


We’ve been to DLR 5 times. I would recommend you check out the DisBoards and study up on the Max Pass (online Fast Passes) and how the system works if you are not knowledgeable already. Get your online accounts set up beforehand and whatnot. You can also pick up plenty of touring tips there.

We are not big foodies at Disneyland since the prices are so high. We usually eat near our hotel (Fairfield Inn) at McD’s (chicken sandwich or salad), Panera, or Pizza Press (that moved I think?) or drive to In ‘n Out. That being said – we do always get the Dole Whips.


Disneyland foods: Turkey legs all day long, mint juleps, beignets, and dole whips. I also really loved the clam chowder bread bowls at California Adventureland. Just the best.

I’ll be living through your Disney adventures! I was so sad when we moved from LA and had to give up my season pass. Have fun!!


P.S. This if for Andrew – a cut and paste from the DisBoards user WonkaKid (who is like the Jedi Master of Buzz Lightyear):

OK — here are my standard BL tips :

•Only ever shoot diamonds (5,000 points) and triangles (10,000 points – 50,000 when lit). Shoot squares only when lit (5000 points). As I explained to two girls in line behind me recently, shooting one triangle is the scoring equivalent to shooting 100 circles. Don’t waste time on circles.

•Shoot targets multiple times, not just once. I often leave the first room with 250,000 – 300,000 points.

•If you have trouble hitting targets, take a moment to shoot at a blank wall to determine if your gun is shooting high, low or to one side. Often times that’s the key. Not all guns are created equal ;-).

•Make a note of where the triangle targets are and go for them as often as possible. For example, in the second to last room (where the second Zurg is), there’s one behind you as you near the exit. You have to shoot the circle beneath it to make it pop up. That alone — hitting it ten times — can earn players at least 100,000 points.

Hopefully you guys read this prior to getting on Buzz Lightyear!


Haven’t been to Disneyland in years but I have fond memories of the corn dogs and mint julips and at one of the candy stores they sell this amazing chocolate covered marshmallow caramel candy. Have fun!


I was at disneyland earlier today!
My favorite treat is the apple pie caramel apple- it’s the one that looks like it’s dipped in white chocolate with marshmallow mickey ears and a kind of graham type coat at the base. Pretty much all the candy stores have them.
If you have parkhopper tickets, I like the food at CA adventure better- favorites are the Studio Catering Co taco truck, Cocina Cucamonga, and Pacific Wharf Cafe. In Disneyland itself, Bengal Barbeque for quick meals. Cafe Orleans has fantastic garlic fries if you want to take the time for a sit down meal (also right now they apparently have a seasonal fried chicken and beignet special that for some reason I really want to try).
If you haven’t already you NEED to be using the disneyland app- so so helpful for wait times, max pass if you got that, and also you can mobile order from most of the quick service restaurants, so when you get there you just go up to a side window and pick up your food instead of standing in line.


ALSO just remembered. If you go to CA adventure, Bing Bong’s sweet stuff has this massive unicorn candy apple that brooke would probably love. It’s amazing.


I Went to disney world in the summer and was SO excited to try dole whip …and I was disappointed! Wasn’t my thing.


You should book a reservation right now (or as soon as you get to Disneyland) for the Blue Bayou in the Pirates of the Carribean. Ask for seats out by the ride ?? and, order a Monte Christo sandwich. It’s one of the most special & best meals Disneyland has!!!


Hi! Just recently started following and I’m a big fan! My husband and I are planning a Disney trip soon and our baby will also be 13 months when we go. What things does Skye enjoy there? Do you have any traveling tips?


I cannot eat before a run. If I do, I need at least an hour to digest, preferably more, and it better not have been a big meal or I’m guaranteed to get side stitch. I know it’s a skill I just haven’t worked on. I just much prefer eating more before I go to bed then not eating in the morning until after I run.

So I saw my physical therapy yesterday because I had been having some hip pain again and it turns out the problem was my pelvis was misaligned. She did some stuff to me and now it’s back where it needs to be and I feel much better! Sometimes it’s crazy to think how our bodies are made up of these parts that can be shifted and adjusted like a machine. I’m so glad it was a relatively simple solution and I hope to get in some pain-free running this week!

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