Today on the podcast:

Kris King is an athlete known for being an expedition leader, ultra-runner, and storyteller.

He is associated with organizations such as Beyond the Ultimate and the Spine Race.

Beyond the Ultimate is a company that organizes extreme ultra-marathons in various locations around the world. Locations that include the Amazon jungle, the arctic (the 230km race I completed in 2019), the desert and their new race in the mountain in Kyrgyzstan (which I’ll be doing in July of this year)

Here are some of the things we talked about in today’s podcast:

Episode Outline

  • 04:47 What drew Kris to endurance events and ultra-marathons in particular
  • 10:06 The growth of adventure races vs standard marathons and ultra-marathons
  • 13:25 The conception of BTU and designing races in some of the worlds coolest places
  • 17:54 The biggest mistakes people make on multi-day stage races
  • 22:46 BTU’s most difficult races
  • 26:12 How to prepare for a BTU race
  • 31:34 Dealing with pre-race anxiety
  • 35:21 The skills ultras teach you about managing life
  • 38:12 How much of ultras, stage races and adventure races are physical vs mental
  • 41:22 What Kris is most excited about in preparing for the Mountain Ultra
  • 47:25 How to guard against talking yourself out of joining a BTU race

Key Points

  • There are lots of niches within the endurance space. There are a lot of people who, like Brian and Kris, don’t particularly enjoy running traditional races on a track. However, they’re in love with the challenge of adventure races in remote locations. You won’t even necessarily meet like-minded people on such races, but you’ll encounter such a wide variety of personalities and worldviews that you finish the race a changed person beyond the physical.
  • The three most common mistakes people make on multi-day races. Firstly, they try to set a certain pace for themselves as they do in traditional marathons. In this case, your pace is irrelevant. Secondly, they underestimate the environment, thinking it’ll be exactly the same type of experience they had in, say, the MDS. Thirdly, their mindset is not ready to take on the huge variety of ups and downs that come with the territory in BTU races.
  • Anxiety can cripple you, but it can also give you an advantage. Use anxiety as fuel, to motivate you to win and to prepare to overcome whatever it is that is contributing to your stress. In the endurance sports world, understand that once you understand that anxiety disappears as soon as the race starts, then you can channel that nervous energy into a proactive strategy to help you make the best out of the event when it comes.

Powerful Quotes by Kris

  • [Preparing for multi-day races] is like queuing up to get punched in the face. Waiting for the punch is the worst bit, but once you’re punched, it’s like, “That wasn’t so bad. I can move on with my life.”
  • Anxiety should be there. It’s healthy. If you weren’t anxious, I’d be worried for you: You’d have no idea what you’re about to do.
  • The physical makes the mental.

Discount code: KEANE300 for podcast listeners. 
£300 off any BTU Global Race Series entry. 

Did you enjoy this episode? Then definitely check out these two episodes next. 

Guest Info

Kris King

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