Running tips


Biking is a great compliment to running.


Diet and Refuelling

Tips from Dean Karnazes

Dean eliminated gluten from his diet and his athletic performance increased massively. A good alternative to gluten are lentil and chickpea flours. They are easier to digest and are protein-based.


Tips from The Body Mechanic in Australia about UTA preparation:

“The longer you run, and the higher your heart rate, the more your body will divert your blood away from your stomach and towards your muscles. Once this starts happening it becomes more and more difficult for your stomach to process solid foods. This is what often causes the nausea that so many runners experience.”

So don’t run fast. Mix up running with hiking. Be good to your body and stomach. You need real food (carb/protein/fat combo meals) to keep going.


Mental Strength

Probably half (and more) of your race is fought and won in your mind.

Australian ultra runner Karen Barrett said about the secret behind her mental strength:

  • Use the words ‘relentless’, ‘drive’, and ‘commitment’ rather than motivation. Motivation can come and go.
  • None of us know what our limits are. Human potential is endless, is there even a limit?
  • Decide before the race what the outcome will be and never stop believing in it.
  • The will must be stronger than the skill.
  • Believe 100% that you can do it, do it efficiently and to the best of your ability.


Encouragement from those who sign up for the Hornidal race:

“During the race you will discover that your biggest competition is yourself. This isn’t a competition where you worry about how far everyone else has gotten. It is a competition which tries to tear your down both mentally and physically. A competition where you constantly have to work with yourself to do your best. And then, hopefully you´ll see the one thing that seemed so impossible, the finish line! You have done it! You ARE a winner!”


Henning Lauridsen, a well known ultra runner in Norway, who has run the most 100 milers than any other Nordmann, has the ability to predict who will give up first in an ultra run. This is because for him ultra running is 90% mental and 10% physical.

Ultra runs are painful. Running an ultra means enduring constant pain, fatigue, soreness, etc. It’s as much a criteria of ultra running, as taking a backpack with food and water are. So once you understand this, then there is no reason to quit just because of the pain. The mind will try everything to stop running. The pain is in the brain, where the messages are processed. And it’s this battle which is what an ultra is all about, and which every runner goes through, if they are to finish. Those who are strong enough, are the ones who end up finishing.


Melissa Urie on using your mind to achieve the impossible

Melissa Urie says go into an event with the right frame of mind. If you want to be something – like an ultra runner – you have to think that you are one. You have to behave like one. You have to do what it takes. Nothing else. Being an ultra runner has nothing to do with looking the part. It’s about having the mental will power, stamina and preparation.



Words of wisdom from a native American woman who is the endurance biking champ in the world but doesn’t care about fancy titles and bullshit: “I may not be the fastest but I can go, go, go. It’s just me and the elements. I have a special relationship with mother nature and the weather.”



Andy Dubois wrote an article on DNFs.

To the article

Basically, know before you go into a race under which circumstances you will DNF. Those circumstances need to be life threatening or damaging to your form. There are two types of DNF: unable to continue where the decision is taken out of your hands, and chose not to continue, where the decision is in your hands. Most importantly: “If you are not suffering any of the pre-determined conditions for a DNF then you have no choice but to continue.”

DNF reasons you may later regret:

  1. Assuming you won’t finish in time – never assume anything.
  2. Not giving yourself enough recovery – stop and take a break.
  3. Getting lost and finishing slower than anticipated. Does it matter if you finish one hour slower than you want? No.
  4. Don’t be influenced by others.


How to tackle an ultra marathon …

  • Don’t think about the entire load that needs to be done
  • Break the entire plan down into bite size pieces, focus on each section
  • Use the time available wisely, for breaks, micronaps, hiking, walking, eating (walk 15 mins after finishing eating so digestion isn’t compromised)
  • The sooner you start walking or hiking in an ultra, the longer you can keep going, mix it up with 20 mins running and 5 mins hiking
  • Aim to be slower in the first half, than in the second


Women and hormones

Some points taken from a read of ‘Roar’ by Dr. Stacy Sims:

  • Eat plant based protein before and after a workout
  • Women in their menopausal state lose muscle and put on fat
  • Menopausal women don’t digest carbohydrates well
  • Women burn fat while exercising and carbohydrates while resting
  • Drink to thirst, its impossible to be low on sodium

Estrogen aids our metabolism, glycogen storage, lung function and bone density (estrogen helps calcium absorption in bones). After the age of 30, estrogen levels start to drop, and muscle and muscle density become less. Lower estrogen levels in the body trigger a fat storage reaction, as opposed to muscle building. The contraction and expansion of blood vessels slows, so the intensity of running may make you feel dizzy.

Posted by Jasmin on Apr 04, 2023

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