#148: Suzy Walsham on Stair Running & Mental Toughness [Podcast] - Sparta Chicks

#148: Suzy Walsham on Stair Running & Mental Toughness [Podcast]

Sparta Chicks Radio

Sep 27
Meet Suzy Walsham

(c) Max-Louis Köbele / Red Bull Content Pool

Because it is so hard, I really like that challenge. So it becomes a mind game to how much you can keep pushing yourself when every part of your body is telling you to stop and have a break.

Stair running champion, Suzy Walsham, joins me on Sparta Chicks Radio this week.

A runner since childhood, Suzy’s (injury-plagued) track career culminated when she competed at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games in the 800m and 1500m.

In the months that followed, Suzy and her husband moved to Singapore for her work (she was an accountant) and not long after, and on a whim, she entered a stair running race.

The prize for winning it; a trip to New York to compete in the famous Empire State Building Run-Up, an iconic race that garners media attention from around the world.

And she won — both her first race in Singapore and then her debut at the Empire State Building!

And at the age of 33, a new career as a stair running champion was born.

Since then, she’s gone onto win 10 x titles at the Empire State Building event (the most race victories of any athlete, male or female) as well as 9 x Tower Running World Cup titles.

8x Vertical Circuit World Champion

In this conversation, Suzy shares: 

* why the relatively obscure sport of stair running draws so much media coverage,

* her struggles with injuries - including 14 stress fractures - throughout her track career and why she feels she was never able to achieve her full potential,

* racing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in front of a home crowd at Melbourne after so many years of trying to qualify, 

* what prompted her to enter her first stair running race, 

* her experience competing - and winning - on debut in New York at the Empire State Building race,

* what she loves about stair running,

* the tactics she uses to convince herself to keep going when her body is screaming at her to slow down or stop,

* her experience with the Imposter Complex, particularly she was lining up to race at the Empire State Building - one of the most iconic races in the world - in only her second event, 

* the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions on her training and racing this year and how she’s struggled with, and then found, her motivation,

* how ageing has affected her training, racing and her ability to recover, and

* how she handles pressure or expectations, and how her response to it has changed throughout her career.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Notes and resources:

iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

To find out more about Suzy or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram