Our Top Ten Tips for Conquering the Jungle Ultra by Beyond the Ultimate

Title: Our Top Ten Tips for Conquering the Jungle Ultra by Beyond the Ultimate

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Blog, Jungle and Updates


Welcome to the Jungle – a line I will never tire of saying. I’m Kris King, your RD, and I eagerly anticipate meeting you at the incredible Waqecha Cloud forest in the Manu National Park, locally known as the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest.

As Race Director, it has been my privilege over the years to witness firsthand the triumphs and trials of those who dare to take on this race. You’ll navigate highly protected areas, unpredictable weather, and the relentless humidity that only the Jungle can offer. Here are some of my top tips to increase your chances of reaching the finish line.

1. Master Your Hammock: You will need to master the art of setting up and sleeping comfortably in your hammock; it will be your only sanctuary from the elements for the five days. Know how to set it up tired, over multiple distances, then test, test, test. If you don’t sleep or stay dry in the small window of rest you get each day, it could be race-ending.

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: The jungle’s humidity is possibly one of the toughest environments we race in, making hydration crucial. Keep a steady supply of water on hand and replenish electrolytes regularly to stave off dehydration. Once you fall behind here, it is extremely hard to get back on track. Sip little and often, keep buffs and hats wet and make the most of the time in between stages to try and fully hydrate for the next stage.

3. Train Hills: The Jungle is far hillier than many realise. Track your total climbing metres throughout the week in training and gradually increase it along with your mileage. Days 4 and 5 have some noticeable climbs, and the terrain will amplify the demand on already tired legs.

4. Embrace the Mud: Get comfortable with being wet during training to adapt to the inevitable downpours you’ll encounter during the race. This is your license to crank the adventure dial on your training runs. Run through puddles, rivers, and as much mud as you can find. The terrain throughout all of day 4 and most of day 5 is technical enough to slow even the most accomplished ultra runner down.

5. Bring the Right Fuel: Fueling can be tough when the altitude of the early stages makes way for the humidity of the latter. Bring a variety of food options that have been tested in training. Most people will experience some sort of palate fatigue throughout the race; you will be thankful for a variety of sweet and savory food, do not pack lots of the same.

6. Strength Training Works: Incorporate strength training into your regimen to build resilience and prevent injuries on the rugged terrain. Days 4 and 5 of this race are more obstacle course than ultramarathon; you will be required to scramble, push, and pull your way through the jungle, and that will take its toll. For specific S+C workouts don’t forget to follow BTU on Instagram by clicking here.

7. Prioritise your Sleep: You may be looking forward to the calming noise of the Jungle in the evenings, and you should; it is special. Once you drift off, though, you now have 49 other tired runners sleeping in close proximity. The combination of excitement, nerves, environment, and general noise of the Jungle means many don’t sleep well at all. Bring any aid that could help you; a dry buff can darken your surroundings and stop that runner waking you up while they search in their bag with a head torch, earplugs can drown out the noise of snorers in camp. Any minutes of sleep should be valued in the Jungle.

8. Bring the Right Kit: Choose your gear with care, opting for lightweight, quick-drying materials. Test your equipment thoroughly during training and know it inside out. There is no exact way to pack, and it depends on you as an individual, but spend time finding the right bag and the best shoes for you. Other really important pieces of kit are sleeping bag and dry bags. If unsure of your kit choices, contact past runners and take them for a virtual coffee. There is an unwritten rule in the Beyond the Ultimate community where you pay the help forward. It’s a tight-knit community for a reason. Failing that, you can make use of the official Q+A’s closer to the time.

9. Keep Admin Tight: With any multiday, your personal admin is key. Know your bag setup, make note of where kit is at all times. Keep clean, wash your utensils thoroughly. Learn how to look after your feet (check out our YouTube series) and how to keep things that matter dry. All important kit should go into drybags, don’t lose your spork, wear your suncream.

10. Use the Power of the Pack: I have seen many people make it to the finish line who had no right to. One of the greatest strengths you can gain in this race is from your fellow competitors. Come to know the 7 other runners you are sharing your hammock circle with, learn the names of those in the stations either side of you. The trails can be a lonely place when you can only see three meters in front of you. When you need that company or that pick-me-up, a fellow runner can and will save your race.

See you at Cloud Forest

Kris King

About the Author

Kris King

For two decades, Kris has been an industry-leading mind on this grueling sport, having run ultra marathons, coached others to complete them, and designed some of the toughest races in the world.
Kris is the owner and director of Beyond the Ultimate, a company that organizes multi-day ultra marathons in some of the world's most breathtaking locations. He has been featured in numerous publications and has shared his expertise at conferences and events around the world.

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