Tuesday, June 22, 2010

INTERVIEW: Liz Woodgate talks about Ultra Running!

Liz Woodgate, our rousing speaker @ “Rise Then Shine” on 16 June, is a mum, successful small business owner and an Ultra Runner.

Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Liz:

Q: You’ve run over 30 long-distance races, culminating last year in a 240km affair across the Alps - what drives you?

"I believe in setting a good example for my children by setting and meeting goals; my 15 year old son has dreams of riding in the Tour de France and I hope that in some way my achievements have helped him do that. I cherish every training kilometre I put in and spend with friends and feel extremely fortunate to be fit and healthy enough to make it to a race start line each time. I love that I have inspired other women, now close friends, to come running with me and who now have numerous marathons on their resumes. I love that in this sport the girls can mix it with the boys… and you are never be too old. And finally I love that you can win in a sport where ‘winning’ doesn’t necessarily mean coming first; in my book, just crossing the line makes you a winner."

Q: How do you keep yourself focused when racing such distances?

"1. Break it down
It’s essential not to over-think the distance; I don’t stand on the start line thinking ‘I’m about to run 100kms!’ Focus on your first 1km and then the next one. Once you’ve reached 5km you’re almost at the 10km mark and so on. Even a slow jog is faster than walking – the more you run, the quicker you will finish.

2. Don’t try anything new on race day!
Practise your eating plan; wear in your clothes and equipment; get used to running in the bush in the dark; run in the rain; make all the wrong turns and mistakes during your training.

3. Set realistic goals
Make your first goal to get to the start line, fit and healthy. Second, aim to finish and lastly, aim to finish in a realistic time. And if conditions change or deteriorate, simply re-adjust your goals. Only by setting realistic goals will you enjoy the race.

4. Accept factors you can’t change
If it starts to rain, get wet; everyone else will be getting wet too. Just make sure you have appropriate equipment and clothing, that you have already tested, in all conditions. Accept that parts of the race may be congested and that you may need to walk; remember, everyone else will be held back too. Be flexible. Adapt to your changing circumstances and move on.

5. Work as a team

About Liz Woodgate: In 1996 Liz completed her first Ironman Triathlon. Since 2003 she has completed 6 Ironman races; 9 road marathons; the 6ft Track Ultra marathon 3 times; Oxfam Trailwalker 7 times; and the North Face 100km 3 times. In 2009 Liz travelled to Germany with her husband to take part in the 5th Gore Tex Transalpine race, a staggering 240km off-road race across 4 countries and climbing mountains with an accumulated ascent of over 15,000m... in 8 days!

A huge thank you to Liz for catching up with us, sharing some phenomenal photos and sharing her experiences! - RW

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