Humanitarian, Athlete, and Mindset Coach, Turia Pitt, jumped on board as Kathmandu’s Ambassador for the Kathmandu Coast to Coast in 2019. Turia entered the 30.5-kilometre Mountain Run challenge, and hopes her presence will encourage more women to consider competing in multi-sport competitions.
At 24, Turia'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 truly can achieve anything.
Turia's Top 5 Tips for Training:
1) 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
2) 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
3) If you can, try and check out the course beforehand. And obviously speak to as many people as you can about what to expect.
4) Prevent injuries as much as your can. Factor in sessions with a physio.
5) 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.
Turia's Top 5 Tips for Mental Preparation:
1) 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. If you're keen, you can learn more about why I chose to compete again with Coast to Coast.
2) Develop my mental strategies for pushing through on the day. For me it includes visualisation, reminding myself of all the challenges I’ve already overcome, and a gratitude practice during the event.
3) Focus on my own race. I make sure I don’t’ get sucked into comparing myself to others.
4) Get in the zone. I listen to my hype up track on the way to the event.
5) 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'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.