Why Do Women Run?

Sharyn O’Halloran

The answer to this question is different for every woman you ask. Some run to stay fit. Some run to look good. Some run for personal accomplishment.

A 2013 survey of 30,425 core runners nationwide (56.4% women and 43.6% men) provides some insight. Core runners train year-round, running an average of 208 days a year and logging nearly 1,165 miles per year. On average, core women runners are 40 years old, 60% are married and 77.8% are college educated.

The primary reasons women start running include exercise (23.1%), weight concerns (17.1%), or family/friend encouragement (7.6%). Women’s motivation to keep running centers on how it makes them feel, with staying in shape (79.0%) and staying healthy (78.4%) as the most commonly mentioned drivers. Equally important, however, over two-thirds of the women surveyed ran to reduce stress (76.8%). Men also ran to stay in shape (76.8%) and stay healthy (76.8%). But men saw running as recreation, with 60.9% of men saying they ran for fun.

For me, running is a way to step outside of myself and only think about completing the task at hand. It is something I control. It is something I decide to do. It removes me from the demands of work and family. I get to focus on strengthening my body and at the same time toughening my mind. The result is serenity and a sense of balance that is usually beyond my grasp.

Why I run extreme endurance events is another thing altogether…


Copyright © 2014 womenontherunblog.com. All rights reserved.

Preparing for an Ultramarathon

Preparing for an ultra marathon takes patience and dedication. The following are tips for training for an ultra marathon:

1. Start off by running on flat terrain. As you progress, move on to terrain that is similar to what you will be running in the actual race.

2. Refine your nutrition to find what works for you, and drink continuously, including sports and energy drinks.

3. Build up your base. Ultra marathons can be a combination of walking and running, but work on long distances on two back-to-back days once a week.

4. Pack drop bags that include food as well as extra clothing and sunscreen.

5. Be prepared for the emotions. The challenges of ultra marathons are largely mental, so remain positive.

Copyright © 2014 womenontherunblog.com, All rights reserved.

Types of Ultramarathons

An ultramarathon is any race of longer than the standard marathon, or 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometers), and there are two general forms to the race. One involves a prescribed course, and the other a prescribed amount of time. In the former, the runner who reaches the finish line first wins, while in the latter, the runner who achieves the greatest distance is declared winner.

There are standard and non-standard ultramarathons. The generally accepted standard ultramarathon distances are 50, 100, 150, 200, and 1,000 kilometers, and 50, 100, 200, and 1,000 miles. The standard times are 24 and 48 hours, and 6 days. Runners are permitted to run or walk, and take breaks as necessary, with the only penalty being the time lost from their own performance. However, racers can be disqualified if they do not finish the race under allotted times.

There is no limit on an ultramarathon’s length; one of the longest certified ultramarathons is the Sri Chinmoy 1300-Miler, also called the Ultimate Ultra, run annually in New York’s Flushing Meadow Park on a 1-mile course.  Another lengthy ultramarathon is the Trans America Footrace, a run from Los Angeles to New York City in 64 consecutive days.

I will be competing in the North Face 50 mile Endurance Challenge  in New York’s Bear Mountain State Park in May 2014.  I will be posting blogs on my training experiences along the way.