Firstly: I think I am a little bit in love with Susie Chan.

Secondly: You probably are too, right? (It’s ok, you can admit it).

Last week, I interviewed Susie and let me tell you, she’s every bit as lovely in person (ok, over Skype) as she is on Twitter. I haven’t really interviewed anyone before, but as soon as I followed the tweets on her timeline as she ran – and finished – the Thames Path 100 mile trail race back in May, I realised that I just had to talk to her and find out more.

I am so intrigued by ultra runners, there’s something about them that I can’t get enough of – the way they challenge and push themselves through some pretty uncomfortable distances – that I think we can all learn from. Maybe it’s the quiet, humble mental strength that intrigues me most. I’ve found ultra marathon runners to be some of the most modest and unassuming people I’ve ever met, they seem to possess a mindset that’s so rare in people – a deep determination to keep moving, even in those moments when it would be so much easier to give up, a belief in themselves that they can overcome even the most adverse situations. I guess I wonder if this is something that translates into everyday life too.

In my audio interview with Susie, here’s what we talk about:

  1. What it is about distance running that makes Susie go back for more.
  2. How Susie’s running evolved within just two years, from her first half marathon to the Marathon Des Sables to the Thames Path 100.
  3. The similarities between setting race goals and life goals, and the planning that has to happen in between to achieve them.
  4. How Susie picks an A race, and what her training strategy, focus and build-up looks like.
  5. How Susie stays focused and avoids overwhelm when working towards a longer goal or race.
  6. How she breaks races and training down into smaller chunks, as well as during a race (and how this way of thinking helped her run the Thames Path 100).
  7. When the going gets tough in training, or during a race, how Susie gets through those dark moments.
  8. What you can achieve – during a race or in life – with self-belief, courage and a positive ‘head’, and what Susie has learnt about herself.
  9. How setting a goal beyond her means – such as running the Thames Path 100 – no matter how terrifying, helps Susie to focus and learn that she can do things she thinks she can’t.
  10. How you (yes, you) can do anything, and Susie’s advice on how to get there.

If you have any questions for Susie, feel free to ask in the comments. Enjoy!