Kathmandu Ambassador Turia Pitt
Turia Pitt – humanitarian, athlete, and mindset coach – jumped on board as Kathmandu’s Ambassador for the Kathmandu Coast to Coast in 2019. Turia entered the 30.5km Mountain Run challenge and hopes her presence will encourage more women to take on multi-sport competitions.
As a Kathmandu Ambassador, Turia Pitt has tested and competed in the new Zeolite Range – lightweight and quick-drying gear aimed to optimise your performance when on the trail.
Learning and growing from a life-changing event
At only 24, Turia Pitt's life was turned upside down when she became trapped in a grass fire while competing in a 100km ultramarathon.
She survived against overwhelming odds, with full-thickness burns to 65 per cent of her body. Since then, Turia has rebuilt her life and defied every expectation placed on her. She is living proof that, with the right mindset, we can achieve anything.
Turia Pitt's training tips for new runners
Chat to most women who run about their WHY and you’ll get some amazing insights into their personalities and lives. What do they have in common? It's aaaallll about connection, mental clarity, solitude and unplugging.
If you run regularly but want to mix things up a bit and potentially unplug from all the BUSY even more, I recommend giving trail running a red-hot go. Once you breathe in the fresh air, embrace all that glorious mud splashing up your legs and soak up the peace of forest-bathing (yep, it’s a thing!), you’ll be hooked.
Unlike shutting your front door, burying your key in your sock and queuing up the Rocky theme song for a run around the block (come on, we’ve all done it!), trail running requires a little more forethought.
There’s a heap of info about trail running out there, so let’s boil it down to some top tips:
Plan ahead and prepare for the trail you’re running. Run with a group when you first start out. There are some great trail running groups out there, and they make for a fun way to connect with other women. Make sure you let your peeps know where you’re going and for how long, unless you plan to abscond forever and leave everyone sitting at the dinner table wondering where the hell you are! Ha!
Invest in some gear that will support you on the run. Trail running shoes are definitely the first thing you should look into. Compared with many road running shoes, they give you a Spider-Man grip on wet and rocky surfaces. I also absolutely recommend a trail running vest to hold energy snacks, keys, wet weather gear, sunscreen, emergency flares (kidding!) and that ‘vintage’ energy drink – water! This might seem like a big investment but having everything in one place and your hands-free is super important for your safety and technique.
Respect your environment. Sticking to the trail = legit mud fun. Skirting the mud, trampling vegetation and causing unnecessary impact is not what we’re about.
We may be super-efficient task busters with others, but sadly we’re pretty crap at taking the time to connect with ourselves. With benefits like stress hormone reduction, mental clarity and empowerment, trail running gives you the ultimate respite from a busy world, yo!
Commit to your training program. Accept that some training sessions will be awesome, some will be mediocre and some will be crap – it doesn’t matter, I just keep showing up. Consistency is key.
Train in the gear you’ll be wearing for a good period of time. There’s nothing worse than ill-fitting shoes or gear. For me, I also need to look at what I need to have custom-made. For example, at Ironman I had to get a custom-made bike as I can’t use the brakes with my fingers.
If you can, try and check out the course beforehand. Obviously speak to as many people as you can about what to expect.
Prevent injuries as much as you can. Factor in sessions with a physio.
Stick to the training program. If you have a 2-hour easy jog, make sure it’s easy. If you have a 30-minute race pace, make sure it’s actually at race pace.
Taking on mental preparation
I make sure I’m clear on my WHY. I’ll keep coming back to it time and again in hard training sessions and at the event.
Develop my mental strategies. For me, it includes visualisation, when I remind myself of all the challenges I’ve already overcome, and practice gratitude during the event.
Focus on my own race. I make sure I don’t’ get sucked into comparing myself to others.
Get in the zone. I listen to my hype-up track on the way to the event. If the nerves get to be too much, and self-doubt is lurking, I try to take the emotion out of it and lay out the facts for myself.
I’ve shown up for every training session. I’ve stuck it out in the rain and the dark and the cold. The worst thing that can happen here is that I don’t finish the race. But I’d rather take a crack at things and fail than not even try at all.
Turia Pitt's best piece of advice?
"Absolutely go for it – when you set and get a big goal like this, the boosts to your confidence and resilience are immeasurable. But don’t go it alone. My coaches, Bruce and Christina Thomas from Energy Link have absolutely changed the game for me. The importance of a positive mindset when competing in a major sporting event can’t be overstated. When things don’t go as you plan in your race, or you’re battling pain or thoughts about giving up, you have to dig deep into a positive mindset even when you’re certain you have nothing left to give."