Everyone knows Lisa loves Ultramarathon running and with a career in extreme sports spanning 25 years she's knows a thing or two about the good side and the not so good side to the sport and shares in this candid podcast all the pros, the benefits to mind and body but also the much less talked about downsides and risks so you can mitigate those and have fun on the trails, mountains, roads and deserts.
Ultramarathon running Pros & Cons Timestamp:
0:44 Telemers, longevity, flow
8:00 The mental side of ultramarathon
12:50 Ancestral aspect
14:25 Average age is high
16:02 why women excel in ultra running
17:15 Teaches us to face fear & anxiety
19:32 can be dangerous & Time-consuming
22:00 body damage
29:13 burning muscle mass
31:15 lung situation
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Transcript of the Podcast:
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Welcome to pushing the limits, the show that helps you reach your full potential with your host, Lisa tamati, brought to you by Lisatamati.com
Speaker 2: (01:03)
But generally speaking, you're going to be better. You're going to have better of cardiovascular health who are going to have no a BMI usually. So you would lose weight through doing distance running. It's also good for your, we have a lower incidence of stroke. We have a lower incidence of heart disease. We have a lower incidence. Even off came some when we flew out to marathons regularly. It slows down the aging process to some degree. In fact, one of the interesting statistics that came up and one of the studies that are made was that your telling me is I lengthened by on average and leaving the scene. Now you might be thinking, what the hell it's telling me is that I did a whole podcast on telling me is I've got a show called pushing the limits. I'll give you a small plug for that.
Speaker 2: (01:57)
And I had a world's leading experience on anti aging on podcasts who also happens to be an ultra marathon runner. That's how I know him Dr Bill Andrews and he is an expert in Telomeres which are the little caps at the end of your DNA. And as they replicate and the cells replicate themselves throughout life, these get shorter and shorter and shorter. And this is what dictates the length of our lives basically. And so ultra marathon runners t on average have 11% longer telomeres, which equates to around 16 years of lifespan on average. That's a massive, massive difference and a good reason to be doing ultra marathon running. Okay. So you're going to have long been telling me is going to have good cardiovascular health, you're going to have a lower incidence of stroke, lower incidents of cancer. And these are all based on studies.
Speaker 2: (02:53)
I won't cite all the studies here cause it would just be boring. But if you want to go out and do the research, you can find these studies as well. Now one of the other pros, just besides that, well, you also got to have the advantage of mental, more mental strength. So there's a couple of aspects. Look at this. From a running perspective, many, many ultra marathon Manas would tell you that ultra marathon running has saved them from depression, from mental health issues. That helps them overcome a whole lot of, certainly was a lifesaver for me. I dealt with depression for many, many years and ultra marathon running really pulled me out of it. Now why doesn't do that? Well, number one, being outside in nature hesitancy the spirits, it's good for the soul. It's helps you. We actually either, I think it's about an NC three that we were out in nature a whole lot boards.
Speaker 2: (03:57)
So when you're out doing ultra marathons and training for marathons who are naturally outside, you're getting your sunshine, vitamin D, you're giving up your endorphins as well the net whole times, and they're actually helping make the actually feel beat up. So for mental health, I think ultra marathon running is a really, really one of the, one of the big pros of that and helps us feel better physically and mentally and helps the, our hormones and so on. Now I will go over in the constitution, how will you do too much in the negative effects it can have on that. But when I'm doing all the parts, all right, it can also help you get into a flow state. So I read a really good book called stealing fire and it was all about how do you get yourself in the flow state, in your flow state and state.
Speaker 2: (04:49)
Stay with me. Occasionally get into when you're in a really creative space or when things are really rolling really well. And in the running world, this some site is called the violence tie. When you're actually floating here, we've gone through all the Hubstaff in a spice where it's just absolutely amazing, freezing along and just loving life. It's feeling powerful and strong and like one forever. Now that is low state and you can get into flow state when you're being creative assets, making jewelry. Like I do that also in money and this is a very hot and state. We you know, a lot of advances are highly recommend reading that book, stealing fire. We want to know a little bit about that and the runner's high all of that sort of good stuff. So you're gonna also have on average a lower BMI. You going to bet on your body.
Speaker 2: (05:41)
And this is a very good thing. I'll go into the negative sides, how it things muscle a little bit later and slowing down the aging that the telling me is, it also helps you have stronger bones. So contrary to popular belief, a lot of people come and to me, but you're going to Ricky joints running and I'm like, no, you're not going to join running. And lease you have a very, very poor running style. Yes, you could be doing some damage and great mostly. And if you've got, you know, something physically wrong, let's say we'll pose you or one foot longer than the other or those sorts of things, that's for the general average person. You're not going to Ricky points running ultra marathons. Ultra marathons are also usually done in a very sedate pace, not sprinting because for so long and so there's least impact.
Speaker 2: (06:33)
So high impact sports where you're changing direction and doing that sort of thing usually ends up with more Dwayne and breeds. Then ultra marathon moneymoon actually was going along nice and slowly. Now when you are doing the short chaps or the sports like netball or tennis for you ask, stop and start, you actually create stronger bones then runs through runners. If you take a cross section of the bones and nations for example, our action strong work and doing those spots that pop to things that for things like your knees, your hips, you're not actually going to do a heck of a lot of chem. It's some Jasper anything along in a very nice today pace. And so as an ultra marathon man and that if you're doing sprints in your or they'd run out and that can be a little bit different because you're putting a lot more load through the body, but generally you're going to have stronger bones.
Speaker 2: (07:27)
So the old method that you're going to wear your joints out and all that sort of thing is in my opinion, a myth. And I'll front I of a 70,000 case and sit by my knees and my, my hips and everything is good, touch wood. And basically my, my take on that is that no life's bad yet and you've been we're out or rushed out. So the Muslim we'd sell know you're gonna do it. And there are ways and what we do at running hot coaching is to try to spring from your body so that you don't have as much fear and tear so that you're running correctly, that you're having good planning technique and all of those sorts of parts because as well, now going back to the whole meeting side of it, ultra marathon runners tend to be very focused, very high achieving people, people with a type a personalities and sit themselves.
Speaker 2: (08:15)
Big goals. Now I don't know what comes first, the chicken or the belts marathon or having this type of thing, senility, but on average the marathon is a very focused, a high achieving people so that the tops, even one on one floor because they're going to be hitting job done. We're very good at gold seating. And we're very good at overcoming obstacles now, ultra marathon running. And to know it takes a long time. It takes massive amount of discipline. It requires sacrifice. It requires that you can push through pain, never sometimes you boredom, you have to go through all and you have to understand the whole risk of what I'm doing for. So there are lot of skills that you learn along the way as an ultra marathon runner that can really benefit every other aspect of your life. In fact, this is what my, my, what my bread and butter is, is going in talking to corporates and doing motivational speaking and talking about the benefits that you get when we push outside the comfort zone.
Speaker 2: (09:23)
You bring something like ultramarathons and it's not just there, but and how you can apply those lessons into dining life. Now if any of you know me know my story with my mum and if I had been an ultra marathon runner, I don't think I would have had, I know I wouldn't have had the skills to be able to fight through all the obstacles that we faced. The fear and bringing her back to full health again. And so I'm a real proponent on the power of all of those things that you learned while pushing the limits that will help you in life. And on that note, I've got mum's book, I've just finished writing mum's book. It's now at formatting stage and it will be being released in March, 2020. The book was called relentless and it's telling the story of what I did and how I want my mum back from being in the, not much over a vegetative state to being full back into life fully and the payment, driver's license, everything and the journey that we need bond, there's a lot of mindset stuff with a lot of personal development.
Speaker 2: (10:29)
There's a lot of toughness. It's always have lots of stories from the running because that sort of illustrates a lot of these points. So from a legal point of view, the students that you will learn and you're pushing the stuff that they wrote from their phones, I've gone to benefit for everything in your life, whether it's or you know, corporate job or whether it's new studying for something or you're just your editor or your business, you'll be able to push through barriers and keep going. You learn persistence, you learn discipline, you learn to overcome obstacles. You learn to think outside the square. You learned to deal with fear and keep moving anyway. You learn to work for massive fatigue and pain and keep going and just doing so many great things. And that fire, he liked that of going for an ultra marathon who stained you in really good state for everything in life.
Speaker 2: (11:22)
Now, on average, a ultra marathon runners also have less sick ties. So from an employer's perspective, these are the guys you want to be blind because they're going to have nice time off, especially as I get older this time off for my medical problems. And they States [inaudible] statistical fact from studies that have been done. So another good breeze. Now another one is confidence. The men, a confidence that you're going to get when you push yourself and you overcome obstacles to achieve an ultramarathon, then who are going to have a lot more confidence or anything that you're going to be facing a lot now doing ultra-marathons typically they are in places that are beautiful, amazing off the beaten track. I mean, I've had the privilege of running now raising prices around the world. I've done a 2000 cases to hire of the Moroccans to Howard's tossed the museum, the Arabian visit, the Olympian [inaudible], Jordan Gobi desert, fifth Valley and USA different paths in the Outback of Australia, the Indian Himalayas, hip laced Himalayas, you know, and build on the forest.
Speaker 2: (12:31)
So you know, these, these races typically run in some pretty out the special places where you get to experience different cultures and experience itself in these different functions, in a different environment and pushing your limits. So stuff that you learned there is also super, super valuable from an institutional point of view. I truly believe that we are born to run this. My good friend Chris McDougall's book born to onesies. We are born around this. This is what our ancestors have done throughout millennia is moved. Well, we'll run long distances every single day. And that's what keeps us healthy and strong. And we are very good at that. We back in the caveman days, we were doing consistent hunting when we would at run out pray. So this has a long, long history. It's not just Monday mean woman out the influence of marathons. This has history to it.
Speaker 2: (13:32)
Since what we've done. In fact, I've tried to get off the ground a TV series called run the planet. A friend of mine and we tried it. We ended up doing islet for the series and the Outback of Australia reenacting an Aboriginal median of the prime. And that was just one of the stories that we uncovered. We uncovered all these phones all around the world, different tribes that were proof that as humans, we've always done this long visit stuff. I mean, if you've read, born to run, if you haven't must go on, we bet book as well. That's more about the Tarahumara and the insulin non for their insurance Bates. So this really goes back to now and since from way of being and I think it's, you know, part of the reason why we, we do so well in the sport now the other exists, you don't have to be 20 years old, be successful in this sport.
Speaker 2: (14:35)
You don't, your life isn't over. It's 25. In fact, an ultra marathon running the average age is about 42 for ultra marathon manners. The average age of the first time ultrarunners is 30 sect. Your endurance apparently doesn't pick around, 48 and from there on it's only a very slow decline. So a 19 year old and a 64 year old are currently on the same Naval and there's lots of sets that I've come up with. These are from different studies, as I said. So it's the sort of thing Excel at later on life. And you also will find that the more experience that you have, the baby you will become. So it's not just about things, but physically it's very much about having experienced by some different situations and different difficulties from having the ability to overcome those affect, make seeds.
Speaker 2: (15:34)
So age doesn't have to be a barrier in ultra marathon money, which it is for most sports. Let's be honest. You can't be a professional rugby player at the age of the new can't, you know, I don't know the top of your game and netball, you know, later on in life you have to have done it early days. Certainly the things that gymnastics and so on, they'd say it's young person's fault, but this is really a sport. The people that sell in experience counts. Another great thing I think is that woman did particularly well and ultra marathon running because it's statistically Minnesota better than us over the other, the, you know, distances. But the longer the distance that, the closer that gets. And certainly in some of the biggest vices in the world, a woman has been on the top of the podium. Many fonts.
Speaker 2: (16:24)
So there's not that much difference. The plane, the sixes as there is most sports, Europe comes down to muscle, out of spring or all out speed because ultra marathoning is really more about what's up here and how come we have a, it's women. We have a I've read some studies that we have a beta ability to bring, set then advised on average. I don't know what the latest studies are on that, but it does seem in my experience of running all around the world and seeing Hogan and muse license we often would close to the top if not at the top. And I'm diff Valley for a couple of times, a woman's field top of the podium. And so it's quite exciting. Sort of labels out the the differences in the sixes and the different sense. And it also teaches you the overcome fears.
Speaker 2: (17:20)
I think this is one of the biggest advances in say we have fear every day in our lives and move by some difficult situations and huge amount of change and transformation that we're going through as a society. And learning to deal with Thea and function anyway isn't really good thing. And you do have fears when are doing out cause suspicion. If you're doing in bang like item fuck, I've done a lot of them. Or if you're running through the night in the middle of the mountain or somewhere on your own, same theory. You know, so you learn to function with that. It can also lower your anxiety if you're out wounding up cortisol and well it's not completely true. Do smell cortisol when you're actually training, but on average it no is more anxiety because we'd go outside and stuff. Okay.
Speaker 2: (18:15)
So those are all of the pros that I've come up with for ultra marathon money and four, there's a whole lot more. Another great thing is that you belong to a pretty expensive corporate people. You know, it's only like 0.0 is there. 0.1% of the population or whatever it is that actually does ultramarathons and certainly in the longer ultra-marathons. So you know, for the paddle and the social aspect because I'm so not to be underestimated, typically in not marathoning. It's not just about the winners and it's not just about winning, it's about overcoming the self and overcoming the obstacles and human nature. It's not all for most of us, it's not about being at the top of the podium. And that's not the number one thing that people cite when they were made set out to do marathon. And it isn't even worth that time.
Speaker 2: (19:08)
It's not like marathon running where it's all about what's fun to do, doing on the three hours, one to four hours or whatever you about Aaron. It's all very, you know, a measuring contest. It's not so much the same as we've certainly in trial visits. It's far more about finding out what you're made of in becoming stronger doing it. So it meets only out to some of the cons of it. This is bad. This is all running out marathons or the dangers of funny marathons. Socially, some of these are run very dangerous places. Like I said I had some pretty scary times and some of those pieces between the Sahara and Egypt and Niger, Jordan and places that were, you know, pretty dodgy. Not only from a nature to speak of but also from the people and going from bull zones and stuff like that.
Speaker 2: (20:03)
Okay. So whoever don't know phone, but we do put ourselves in dangerous situations. Sometimes we might be running for mountains in the middle of the night and what the alone. So there is an element of danger a lot on it as a, you know, the draw card of this, but it is possible just bonded. The next thing for disadvantages on say would be like sacrificing hell of a lot of time in the, in your life to do an ultra marathon. Even though like we money coaching and coaching can speak of and not high mileage poachers. So we try to keep the time commitment within reason to prepare for marathons. And we probably have spring training and Emma ability training and the nutrition and the mindset is part of all that echoed. However, it's still a relatively based in this sort of to prepare well for an ultra marathon.
Speaker 2: (21:05)
In this means sacrificing time with your loved ones, your children, your partner, your business, your life. You know, it goes on bold when you're appearing for something scary rights. And that followed back over my life. I probably asked a lot of of my, you know, my husband or my, my parents certainly and my friends to, you know, put up with the fact that I'm not really available for them cause I'm off funding some ridiculous thing every day. So there is a real big sacrifice and that's something that, you know, the last couple of years I couldn't do, I had to reborrow my life with mum being so ill and with business and you know, you can't always commit to that level of dedication that doesn't require it. Makes it difficult okay. So what are some of the other stuff right from a, from a health speak though?
Speaker 2: (22:01)
I'll tell you some of the, the, the health issues that I've come across. And these may or may not affect you. And I've done some pretty extreme things to my body. So, you know, take this with a grain of salt doing it. Okay. You're not going to have a lot of dates, but you can get problems with your kidneys. So rhabdomyolysis is a very common problem among salt marathon one. So this is where your body starts to break down. It's muscle proteins and if the crystals get pumped up into your kidneys, and this can cause kidney damage. Now this is usually temporary but rhabdomyolysis and something that needs to type seriously with new set to say like pockets and fluid and you're getting a little Tommy, you would normally wouldn't. And you're racing in. It could be that your kidneys are having a hard time keeping up with the breakdown of the muscles that's happening.
Speaker 2: (22:58)
So kidney damage is a, is a, it's a real problem, especially if you're also running dehydrated and they looked spray me hot climates. That's what I specialized in. And I had read the Milo's this dozens of times in my life and I have kidney problems. One of the reasons why I'm not doing anything don't really want to end up on dialysis and they're not near that yet. But if I want to have longevity, the net is something that has made two problems. Another problem that I ran into is burnout and adrenal exhaustion. So I have made the trouble with my HPA access to hyper cell on that three adrenal exes. My cortisol levels are got out from the amount of stress that I've put my body and my mind through the life. So not just ultra running, but we've had a big play crushing the absolute boundaries of time.
Speaker 2: (24:00)
And this is had other knock on effects for my house that can't hundred percent par light, but I believe it's contributed to a lot of the problems that I've got. So burnout is a real problem. Cortisol As a problem. Cortisol cortisol Titans, cortisol graph of, of what your cortisol is doing during the day. We can do this for we could save it. That's not good. And cortisol is the responsible for so many things in their life and their body. So we need our bodies on the streets for example. They, we are shutting down our immune system. We're not shutting it down, but we have definitely hindering our immune system. We are hindering out by distance systems so we can end up with just the problems and we could get sick and we're opening the door to lots of problems and possible diseases cause we are on the streets and since threes we either it comes in the form of maintenance freeze or from running marathons or from a emotional stress, from relationships and so on.
Speaker 2: (25:10)
All of these things, you have a stress bucket and if you're putting too much into it and ultra marathon training, aid running is a big part of that story slowed. So if you have a very bad express job and would have very hot and streets relationship and children and men, you've gone from marathon money on top of that, you can overload your bucket and you can in that major trap. Trouble. Health wise you can stress is the number one killer in the world. Okay, so in something that needs to be taken into consideration, exercise is a form of stress for your body. It's a form of stress that when we are not overloaded with other thoughts and sprays that we say good for us and causes us to adapt and change to get stronger. However, if you are overdoing it over, over committing more resources to the training thing, stress can be very, very big for meaningful to every health system in your body, from your hormones, for your adrenalin's, your cortisol, straighten your heart through United that it your budgets and system, your immune system.
Speaker 2: (26:18)
As I say, all of these affect us can be effective and that's one of the reasons why running hot coat thing, we had something called a wellness cheek, which is, it's a simple little spreadsheet that we liked to get our athletes to fill out every day to see where they're sitting. On a span of one to 10, how would your sleep, how was your experience with those? How were your injuries? And we have a homeless. The things that they go through and if they very low scores, they will pull them back on the train and if they have very high scores in, they can go for it. You can also do this with heart rate variability. If you've got a access to a monitors that will check your heart rate, your ability and we'll give you sort of similar feedback. So whether you use the analog or about thinking outage that doesn't something that we need to keep an eye on.
Speaker 2: (27:06)
The total stress. So don't get into overtraining. I mean, of course another negative effect is possible injuries, whether that's, you know, breaking language or fell over or twisting your ankle or hitting overused injuries. We'd have problems with amazement, MEPS in the back or these things. And a lot of this chain be mitigated, can't be rolled out obviously, but can be mitigated like doing run specific spring training and training. And that's what we're really big on the spring training for Latinas. It's not cross training, it is running frame. It's a part of running frame. Need to be doing a strength boot that needs strong hips, needs, strong core, we need strong alphabet needs, strong quads. And all of these things have a, a real one to one correlation with how many injuries you will face over your lifetime. So strength training is a really important aspect for that end, so as mobility, but it's strictly a straight thing.
Speaker 2: (28:02)
Your [inaudible] yoga, your myofacial release message, find Molly or those things don't complete those aspects. We were really big on those and making sure that you're doing those and don't run into these injury problems. And things like yoga can really calm the body down and get you into a parasympathetic state. So this means that you actually lowering the splits, lowering for the sole release and best for really benefit you as well. So it's about balancing them out. So meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga or these things help balance out the running training. So running planning is a sympathetic activity, meaning it's texting the sympathetic nervous system. It's not parasympathetic, it's not meditation, it's not slowing income down. It's doing the opposite. So sometimes the need to balance that out with, with doing that mobility with doing things like meditation and the breathing and just lowering what's gained those crystals.
Speaker 2: (29:11)
And so overall street school one of the things that ultra marathon money or negative part of it is that it's a catabolic activity by nature, which means it is eating your muscles slowly and doing an ultra, a really long rope trust. They have the motto blot be earning a hell of a lot of Massimo's which is bad for your kidneys but also bad for your musculoskeletal system. And so we need to counteract that with spring training so that you don't end up losing muscle mass and see a lot of older runners especially who look like, you know, beef jerky for the one that I've been away. Very, very thin, very low B in mind, but also very low muscle nays and we don't, it is not good. It is better from a cardiovascular point of view and a B in my point of view.
Speaker 2: (30:06)
And it's not great from a muscle. We need muscles. We need strength. And we made these aspects to, to keep them strong. We don't want bowl, but we do want strong, you know, strong and muscles that can help us stay up white when we're running on times that helps out this out some of the other sorts of things. So that's, that's that side of it. The catabolic problems. You can also have some basic things happen to like problems with your eyes and you're always outside running and Bri wouldn't be fine. That's, I'm seeing quite a few iron injuries. Sleep deprivation and you're running through days doing outros and even in the training they sleep, trying to fit into your life plus training. So these are negative things. Sleep is just absolutely virtual. Obviously when you're doing an ultra marathon, you in the middle of a under model or a 200 K or what even moved on to have sleep deprivation and you're gonna be completely Gaga.
Speaker 2: (31:07)
But if in daily life at least can try and given an adequate amount of our slate. Another thing that we have more of is, is math on manners is upper respiratory ailments. So we are more like asthma, we're more likely to have exercise and boots. Asthma, we're likely to have hay fever and allergies cause we're using our lives a lot. We're breathing hard out and so we need to be aware of those and we're not the thing that it's since I've begged for, and I have this on advice from my midwife that it can be quite bad for the pelvic floor for women. And I don't know all the details of that, but we can have problems. So running super long distance, not great for the public form. We need to camp right fit once, gave with some strength exercises typically during outfits and also quite often face things like hitting the wall and nausea and vomiting and distant tree.
Speaker 2: (32:09)
It's a very glamorous sport. This one. And those are things that people typically passed pretty quickly, but very unpleasant in the moment. And Kim, we ruin your eyes. It's that bad. So I hope I've covered a lot of ground today. Talk flat stick that all the pros and the cons. And I've got two pages here that I've written notes of and I'll tell you what is twice as many pros as there is cons. So just remember that there is some, there, there is some things that you need to be aware of and mitigate. There's also massive amounts of things that are really, really beneficial. So if you've liked this a little sessions today, please give us Amin. I've left a five star rating on iTunes. These little things really help content producers like me, get our word out and get known for what, what you're teaching.
Speaker 2: (33:03)
So all of that help us. Really, really appreciate it guys. So thanks for listening today. If you've brought any questions, please reach out to me. I'd love to talk to you about your running that, your health fitness about hormones. We do a whole lot of health pissing at running hot potions and we're not strictly one coaches and also health coaches. We also do genetic testing and we also have mindset mindset Academy. So if you are interested in any of those sorts of things, please let me know, right guys, thanks very much for your time today and we'll see you.
Speaker 1: (33:34)
That's it this week for pushing the limits. Be sure to write, review, and share with your friends and head over and visit Lisa and her team at lisatamati.com.