Rory Bosio from The North Face global athlete team can run over 100 miles in just 14 hours and she recently took part in the Lavaredo Ultra Trail – a stunning 103 mile course in the Italian Dolomites where she set a new course record. It’s safe to say she’s a fitness expert.
We caught up with Rory to get her guide to fitness, discussing mental preparation, nutrition and advice for those looking to get into running.
What you can tell yourself when training gets tough and you want to give up?
I remind myself that the pain & discomfort is not eternal. It will end soon. I also think about how I would feel if I didn't finish. I've DNF'd before when I should have pushed harder. It felt worse than the suffering I was enduring in the race! If I'm in a really low point I try to distract myself by thinking about something besides running, usually something mundane like doing laundry or cleaning. It takes my mind off of the pain. During my long training runs I practice mentally zoning out.
Warm ups and cool downs after exercise?
Pretty casual warm ups. I use the first 30 min of my runs to loosen up and work the kinks out of my stride. I'll throw in some dynamic stretching (think lunging and stretching with more movement involved). I'll walk around for 5-10 min after my run. Mostly I avoid getting into my car or sitting down immediately after a run. Even just walking around the house or doing a couple chores is a good enough cool down. I stretch for 15-20 min after I take a shower before I go to bed at night.
Your recommended diet in preparation for a race?
The night before I try to eat a lean protein, either salmon or chicken thighs, a complex carb like quinoa or sweet potatoes and a healthy fat, usually avocado. The morning of a race I have a big bowl of oatmeal with berries & nuts. In general I eat a pretty healthy diet but I don't believe in restricting myself. So there's plenty of dark chocolate and red wine in the mix! I'm a happier person if I don't deny myself treats all the time. And I love red meat, the fattier the better, which always surprises people.
Your advice and getting the right kit?
In terms of finding shoes try them on before buying. Don't purchase a pair off the internet sight-unseen. Practically every city has a local running store with knowledgeable staff. Pick their brains about the best shoe for your style of running. A proper fitting show makes all the difference, especially for long runs.
What single piece of advice would you give to someone who was looking to get in to running seriously?
Don't take it too seriously! It should be enjoyable and a diversion from all the stresses of everyday life. I look at running as "me time". Running shouldn't feel like a chore. Don't be too rigid with your training schedule. That said, if you are just starting out give yourself a few weeks of training before you throw in the towel. Most people, myself included, don't love running right away. It takes a little time to get in the groove. But then it becomes part of the normal routine. I can't imagine my life without it. Hmmm...I guess I don't know the definition of "single". That was a few pieces of advice!