Monday, 08 May 2017 01:36

6 motivational tips from the woman who ran for 12 hours straight

From completing THREE Marathon des Sables (where participants run five marathons over five days, through the Sahara desert carrying all of their overnight camping gear on their backs) to the Thames Path 100 (a 100-mile race along the Thames from London to Oxford), Susie Chan is not afraid of a challenge.

The endurance runner even spent 12 hours on a treadmill recently, and broke a Guinness World Record in the process. What makes Susie's efforts even more remarkable is the fact she only started running in 2010 in a bid to get healthy.

Let's be honest: when it comes to that level of exercise you need more than just physical strength. So we sat down with Susie to get her top motivational tips to help give you the mental edge come event-day, or just as you run around the local common:

1. It really is mind over matter
"You can train all you like, but if your mind is not strong, the battle is so very much harder, plus the option of giving up seems easier. Keep your mind fixed on your goal, and when the going gets tough, be able to remain focused and positive. I sometimes distract myself by thinking about all the rewards I will get at the end of the race, such as a hot bath, lovely food and drink!"

2. Don't get obsessed with timings
"My favourite finish lines are not always the ones I've performed best in, but the ones in which I overcame some very difficult times. This is often a useful source of motivation when you're finding things tough. Focus on the finish line, imagine telling all your friends and family about it, and wearing the medal around your neck.

3. Pace yourself
"It's very easy to head out too quickly, especially on race day. It can be way to tempting to get swept away with the crowd and the excitement or nerves. Make a race plan, and stick to it. You should be able to stay strong for a lot of the race."

4. Cross-training should be every runner's friend
"I don't just stick to pounding the pavement, I do hot yoga and strength training – both lend themselves to running. I've also been known to cycle and swim, too. When training gets boring, mix things up by changing your scenery or pace. On my run to work, I never run the same route twice."

5. Fuel up
"The biggest mistake someone can make before a long-distance running event or during training is not eating properly. You have to stay fuelled. I love food and eat little and often on my long run to keep energy up. It's also important to take on fuel regularly. During ultra marathons I eat pizza as I go, although I appreciate that's not for everyone – you need to find out what works best for you."

6. Find a support network
"I have bad days like everyone else, but I remind myself that running is only a hobby. Everyone has bad days or days they can't be bothered, but don't beat yourself up about it. Running ultimately makes me feel good and I've met some fantastic people through doing it. That's much more important than not running six miles as fast as I would like some days. It's all about having a positive outlook. I also find Twitter and the hashtag #UKRunChat a great tool for meeting people, support and asking questions."

(Netdoctor -- Becky Fletcher)