How Ultra Runner Lisa Tamati Goes All-in, Stays Mentally Tough, and Confronts Pre-Race Anxiety

Mental toughness is a prized mental fitness skill among endurance runners. And Lisa Tamati, one of New Zealand’s best endurance athletes, shows that it helps in all areas of life.

Lisa Tamati

As athletes, we intentionally put ourselves in mentally difficult situations, whether through racing or training. And as you’ve no doubt learned, physical strength is rarely the sole indicator of performance.

Having to show up consistently, demonstrate resiliency, and take control of our minds are all key ingredients to success.

And I’m thrilled to welcome our newest podcast guest to provide more context around her experiences with these mental skills.

Lisa Tamati is one of New Zealand’s best ultra runners. She is a Professional Ultra Endurance athlete with 25 years experience running the toughest endurance events in the world. 

She’s actually finished over 140 ultra-marathons, has a few National Titles, a number of podium places in international races, and many expeditions under her belt (my favorite is when she illegally trekked across the Libyan Desert – something I can’t say that I’m clamoring to do…).

When faced with a family health crisis, Lisa quit ultra running to help her mother recover from an aneurism. She shares the story in our conversation so I won’t spoil it, but I wish we had video of us speaking because my jaw was on the floor. Years later, running continues to be a large part of Lisa’s life as she became a coach, public speaker, author, and podcaster.

Strategies for any Challenges Live Brings

In our conversation today, you’ll hear that Lisa has deal with many challenges in her life. Everything from body image issues and tough races to a childhood sense of insecurity and nearly losing her mom.

Through all of this, she has developed many coping strategies that she shares with us. Lisa will be the first to admit that she is still a work-in-progress, but aren’t we all? I admire her honesty and genuine interest in helping to elevate others.

One of my favorite strategies that Lisa talks about is her “going all in”. She recognizes the vast human potential and knows that if we are 100% committed, we will find a way and overcome barriers. I couldn’t agree more.

In this conversation, we also talk about:

  • The importance of resilience – and how to cultivate it
  • Assessing your “why” (critical for reaching stretch goals)
  • Effective anxiety-coping mechanisms
  • How Lisa practices mental toughness

I’m thrilled to share this episode with you and I hope you’ll be as inspired as I was. Here’s a short preview for you:

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunesSpotifyStitcher, iHeartRadio, or Google Play.

Listen to the entire episode:

Show Links & Resources:

Thank You PATH Projects!

Path Projects

PATH Projects continues to be a great supporter of this podcast! I’m grateful for their partnership and want to share more about their products that I’ve been loving because they so durable and comfortable.

PATH Projects is an online-only retailer of high-quality running gear and apparel. That means there is no retail markup, making their products quite affordable.

They’ve launched a bunch of new products over the last few weeks, including the Sykes 5” (you can see them in action here) shorts and the Wildcat 3” shorts. I was hesitant to get two of their t-shirts because I already have a lot of t-shirts and how different could they be? Well, I’m glad I was wrong because they’re now my two favorite shirts! They are so soft with a nice stretch to them – perfect for summer!

PATH uses new technical fabrics and innovations to create award-winning apparel for endurance athletes. In fact, their Brim shorts and Tahoe base liner won Runner’s World’s 2018 Gear of the Year award. And the Pyrinees hoodie was named one of the best six sweatshirts for running in the cold by Gear Patrol.

You know you’ll be wearing the best when you select PATH Projects!

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