I like the challenge of being able to complete something that a few years ago would seem completely impossible
There were two reasons I launched Sparta Chicks Radio back in 2017.
I wanted to discuss topics that weren’t otherwise being discussed and to bust some popular misconceptions around training and racing.
One of those misconceptions is around age and training history.
The story I’ve heard numerous times over the years goes something like this - successful athletes started young and have been training for years and if you didn’t, well, there isn’t much hope.
Let’s bust that myth with this week’s guest on Sparta Chicks Radio, trail and ultramarathon runner Lou Clifton.
Lou discovered trail running at the age of 43 and, just 4 years later, is competing against - and often beating - women 15+ years younger than her!
“…my late 20s to early 30s, most of the energetic activity I was doing was dancing at clubs and parties.”
In her 30s, Lou discovered, and travelled the world, rock climbing.
But it was only in 2011 that Lou’s ‘bucket list’ led her to complete her first running event; a Half Marathon with only 5 weeks of training.
In 2015, Lou discovered trail running - and she’s been hooked ever since!
Since then, Lou has won both her 1st 100km race and her 1st 100mi/160km race.
Plus earlier this year Lou finished 2nd at the prestigious Ultra Trail Mt Fuji; the largest 100mi/160km race in the world!
In this conversation, Lou and I discuss:
* how she developed a passion for rock climbing in her early 30s and what prompted her to focus on running in her early 40s,
* why she thinks she was able to develop relatively quickly in the sport,
* how she misses the naivety that comes from being new to the sport and not knowing who her competitors were and what they had achieved in the past,
* why she doesn’t always look forward to training and what she tells herself to get out the door before a hard training session,
* why she prioritises sleep and will do a shorter session or even miss a training session if she thinks she hasn’t had enough sleep,
* how she mentally prepares for a major race, including turning pre-race nerves into positive energy,
* her experience with the Imposter Complex (and why she doesn’t like the word ‘imposter’), and
* her experience at Ultra Trail Mt Fuji race and why she describes the result as “bewildering”.
Notes and resources:
To find out more about Lou or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram.