International water activist, Mina Guli, knows a thing or two about long-distance running. She recently completed running 200 marathons in one year to raise awareness for the dire water crisis we are facing. With the Ultimate Human Race coming up this Sunday, Mina shared her 6 tips on how to get through an ultra-race, like the Comrades Marathon. 

“I am not a runner, by any stretch of the imagination, in fact when I was younger, I avoided doing any form of exercise, but I realised that to raise awareness for the very dire global water crisis that we are facing, I would have to do something very hard to make a real impact.”

These are the 6 reasons she is able to make it through her runs when things get really rotten, and it would be so much easier to give up.

Mina Guli ’s 6 ultra-race Tips

It is important to remember this is not a 90km race, it is 1km, one step at a time. Focus on the kilometre that you are doing and the step that you are taking on just being there in that moment.

Your goal might be to run Comrades, but at some stage along the route you are going to start questioning that – everyone does, it’s a 90km race! It’s very important to think in advance why you are doing this race and what your purpose is. It often helps to write this purpose on your hand or your wrist so that you can easily see it and remind yourself on the route why you are there and why you want this.

EThere will always be something that hurts – be real it’s 90km – but equally there is always something that feels good, whether it’s your fingers, your hands or even the tip of your nose, focus on that and how good it feels. Remember how powerful your mind is and focus your attention away from the hurt to the parts that feel good. 

Once again this comes down to the power of our minds. Phrase thoughts differently in your mind, instead of thinking, ‘I have to do this race’, think of how awesome it is to be able to take part in this event and how grateful you are for the opportunity. Say hello and thank you to all of the volunteers along the route who make a race, like Comrades, possible. When you give positive energy out, you get positive energy back. This gives you a boost of energy to lift you up and power you forward. 

So long as you get these two basic parts right, your mind and body will take care of the rest! You need to ensure that you take on the right fuel to help your body get through an incredible feat like the Comrades Marathon.

When things get really tough for me, I remind myself that we CAN do hard things, we are capable of so much for than we realise! I like to bring in all of the points above into my mantra to keep my head in the right space – I am able to do hard things, I stay in the moment. Enjoying each step, I focus on my purpose. I think about only good things, I am grateful and I fuel my body to the best of my ability throughout the run. 

Good luck to all the runner’s taking on Comrades this weekend. 

The founder and CEO of Thirst, Mina Guli is a global leader, entrepreneur and adventurer passionate and committed to making a difference in the world. Following a 15-year career as a world leader in climate change that started with law, but progressed quickly to the World Bank and to co-founding boutique investment firm Peony Capital, Mina established Thirst – a non-profit that is solving the water crisis by changing the way we think about water.

To highlight the global water crisis, in 2016 Mina completed the 7 Deserts Run — running the equivalent of 40 marathons across 7 deserts on 7 continents in 7 weeks. A self-confessed “non-runner”, Mina told the stories of some of those affected by the crisis during the run. The success of the expedition encouraged Mina to undertake the 6 River Run in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6. She ran 40 marathons in 40 days down 6 of the world’s great rivers on 6 continents. With media coverage around the world, including on CNN, BBC, ITV, ABC and CCTV, Mina’s messages about water have reached more than 4 billion people, inspiring a generation of water heroes.

Mina has been recognised for her leadership: she has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of Australia’s most influential women, and by Fortune Magazine in 2016 alongside Angela Merkel, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and the Pope as one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.

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