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Training Tips For Taking On a New Challenge with Maite Rojo

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Pushing yourself to a new level of challenge can be a daunting task. Whether it’s a new sport, farther distance or harsher conditions, taking on something out of your normal comfort zone may require additional physical and mental preparation.

Here to share her experience with upleveling in adventure is Maite Rojo from North Spain. Maite is an ultra runner and running coach who went from running marathons to the Spartathon to the Ultr’ardeche and more. When Maite joined us on the Tough Girl Podcast, she shared her experience increasing her abilities and training for a successful event.

Whether you’re running or taking part in a different kind of adventure, Maite’s training tips may help you prepare with a new perspective.

5 Training Tips for a New Challenge

1. Consider Your Strengths and Weaknesses

When you’re planning out how you’ll train for a new challenge, consider your individual strengths and weaknesses. While there can be great training plans out there, only you know how your body works best.

Working within the running community helped Maite see that her strength was recovery. She could do many hard sessions and recover by the next day. That played into how she planned her training.

On the flip side, Maite has always had a very skinny physique. She knew that strength training would be important to improve the abilities of her body. She incorporated this training at times when she was out sailing for work. She couldn’t run on the boat, but she could strength train.

Rather than seeing your weaknesses as things that make you unqualified, find ways to work on improving them in your training plan. Also, take note of the strengths you possess that will help propel your training forward.

2. Prioritize Your Body

It’s easy to forget about stretching, massage and other activities you may do to take care of your body, especially when you lack much time for training. However, Maite recommends not skipping this part of the training plan.

“I’m 50 years old now,” Maite shared on the podcast. “I want to continue running and doing sports for many years. The stretching is very important.”

Without stretching, you are slowly losing capability within your body. “It’s so easy and simple even animals do different positions,” Maite noted. From massages to rollers and simple stretching exercises, make sure this staple is set in your training plan.

3. Focus on Your Love

When training or adventure gets tough, focus on your love for the sport. Living with such a passion for sailing and running helps Maite get through challenges in training and beyond.

She’s never thinking about quitting because she enjoys it so much. If a situation did become unfamiliar or daunting in some way, Maite kept her focus on the beauty around her. If she felt fear running late at night in a race, she listened for the sounds of animals, looked for the brightness of the stars or found the shape of the moon. When things get tough, she focuses on the beauty of the here and now.

“You are where you're supposed to be,” Maite said. “For me, that was magical.”

What’s going to carry you through the tough times? Thinking about an affirmation or practice in advance may help prepare you to endure and succeed.

4. Know Where You’ll Find Support

One key way to prepare before a big event or activity is to plan out or look up where you’ll have support along the way. Maite made sure she knew where all the aid stations were. Having set points where your support team will meet or knowing where event facilitators will be offering help can give you peace of mind before a challenge.

You can also prepare your support team to offer you the encouragement you need. Nervous about cutting times for her race, Maite had her brother tell her how far ahead she was from the cutting points. Knowing she was one hour or two hours ahead helped relieve that stress during the race.

If you haven’t created a support team for your adventure already, consider who and how might be helpful. Could you use a supply stop or a simple encouragement? Never underestimate the power of these volunteer (or requested) angels.

5. Enjoy Making Progress

Finally, it’s important to remember that progress takes time. Enjoy the beautiful ways that your body adapts. Remember to look for this positive change, especially on the days when training is tough.

“I always say follow your heart,” Maite advised. “If it's meant to be, follow and go for your dreams and your challenge. If it isn't meant to be, change direction and go for something else. Follow your heart.”


We have an incredible community of female runners in the Tough Girl Tribe. You can join this inspiring community by becoming a Patron of the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon.



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