Perhaps the most important component of a solid ultrarunner, the mental processes that are required during a successful ultra-marathon cannot be underestimated - you can be amazingly fit and well-prepared physically, but if the mind isn't willing that won't help you in the slightest (I know - I've been there). Conversely, you can be underprepared for a myriad of reasons, yet with a strong will and the ability to problem solve your way out of issues, you can have a super successful run.
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We hear all the time about turning your body into a "fat-burning machine". In theory your body has enough fat stores to fuel a run for a damn long time, certainly longer than any standard ultra-distance running event. The beauty of developing a strong and efficient aerobic system is that your body is able to utilise fat as its primary fuel source, which facilitates running for an extended period of time without flopping to the ground in a sugar-deprived state of bonk-ed-ness.
The "core" muscles are more than just your abs. I consider it (the core) to include anything that is used in the process of stabilisation during the act of running. So "core" therefore includes your abdominals, your back, your butt - basically anything below the neck and above your mid-thigh that isn't an appendage (so arms and legs are out, as are man parts if you have them.)