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Practical Words of Wisdom: LISA TAMATI

Lisa Tamati in an 'activated' nutshell?

When I say modern day superwoman this is by no means a remote exaggeration - this incredible woman has more mental determination and life adventures than half the population put together. She has completed ultra-marathons in terrain that most people would just sit down and cry - covering over 65000km or two and a half times around the world in training and races in the past 13 years. She has been a TV presenter, an ambassador for Canteen, the author of two books, NZ wide motivational speaker, nominated and won multiple awards, raised over $200,000 for charities, she is a successful jewellery designer...the list goes on. At the same time Lisa has remained incredibly grounded and honest about life experiences and spending time with this amazing lady has certainly been my privilege.

Ultimately, she is an adventurer at heart and makes the most of every opportunity that life throws her.

Reflecting on your incredible adventures across the world do you have a race that was a personal highlight and why?

There have been so many wonderful adventures. I have had the privilege of running around 140 different ultra marathons and a number of expeditions and its hard to pick one but perhaps La Ultra - The high which was a 222km race in the Indian Himalayas over the two highest passes in the world. When I signed up for it it had only been held once before and everyone of the runners bar one, and some of the crew had ended up in hospital with altitude problems. The trouble was we had to go up to around 5700m twice within a very short time period and while running 222km non stop and to top it off the temperatures ranged from -5 to 40+ and there was an awful amount of mountains to climb. The roads if you can call them that were also very dangerous with precipitous cliffs and convoys of army vehicles that spewed out unfiltered diesel into an atmosphere that only held around 33% of the oxygen that is available at sea level. I signed up because I wanted to be the first woman to do it but I am an asthmatic and have a small lung capacity and I am no good in the cold or the mountains so this race was way out of my usual comfort zone of running through deserts. To add to the problems I ripped the ligaments of my left ankle after a 100km mountain race in Australia just 10 weeks out from the event and also had a brain concussion caused by a hypoxic training tent I had been using to acclimatize to altitude (I went too high too fast and ended up very sick and with a concussion). It was a harrowing event but I managed to do it in 53hr and 5sec and was the second woman to complete it beaten by a 55 year old grandmother from England who also has asthma, which just goes to show its not all about talent but more about determination and guts and being able too push through barriers. A documentary was made of this run so for those that are interested here is the link to the trailer:

What are 3 foods you can't live without?

Super smoothies (this covers a bit more than 3) which can contain anything from kale to spinach to almonds, dates, chia seeds, coconut water to bananas, yoghurt and flaxseed etc. I love coming up with new combinations and this is a great way to start the day.

What is a favouite snack when your on the go?

I have a problem with sweet foods so I make sure I make my own endurance balls which use dates, nuts, chia seeds, flax seed, linseed, coconut oil and coconut, again in differing flavours to give me a quick but sustainable energy release when I am on the go go go.

What would be your number one tip for other endurance athletes?

Always remember its in the recovery phase that you make the gains and improvements, pushing to hard without adequate recovery is a recipe for burn out, adrenal fatigue, depression and exhaustion. Balancing your life to include left brain activities and right brain activities, times of rest and times of intense effort will lead you to achieving better results.

This is not even the tip of the iceberg in terms of the what Lisa Tamati has to offer....


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