How Ultra Endurance Athlete Damian Hall Runs 250+ Miles (and you can, too!)

Curiosity about your running ability is one of the biggest drivers of success. Ask yourself: how fast can I run that distance? Can I beat my record? How long can I go? Can I run even further?

Damian Hall

Photo by @trappephoto shooting @lasportivana

Being curious about your abilities is the initial step of breaking through your own limits. Here’s an example of that inner dialogue:

Can I run a sub-4 marathon? I’m not sure, but I can run a 2 hour half. That works out to a 4:11 marathon, so I would need to shave off 11 minutes. That means my pace has to be about 25 seconds faster per mile than I may be able to run now. But I also need to work on my endurance. To get there, my training should include…

You see the pattern. Asking questions of what’s possible leads to action, which yields progress.

This is how today’s guest got from running his first half marathon to setting ultra records. We talk about the journey, the drive, and the mistakes made along the way.

Damian Hall Shares About His Long Runs

Damian Hall is one of the best ultra endurance athletes in the UK. He has represented Great Britain at the trail world championships, holds 7 records or Fastest Known Times (FKTs) and he has competed in the Sahara Desert and the Arctic. All this in less than a decade-long running career.

Damian recently wrote a book called In It for the Long Run, which depicts his 2020 Pennine Way record attempt and details of his midlife crisis.

In today’s conversation, Damian shares about his most recent Wainwright Coast to Coast FKT and the hallucinations caused by hyponatremia (decreased sodium concentrations due to over hydration). Damian highlights the importance of drinking to thirst, rather than hitting drink targets, as is often suggested.

We also talk about the lessons learned that apply to life, in general. Hear Damian talk about his love for the sport and what he gets out of it in the clip below:

In this episode we also talk about:

  • How to prepare for days of running
  • What drives someone to run for hundreds of miles
  • How to know when you’re ready… for anything in life

To hear the entire episode, click the link below.

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio, or Google Play.

Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you Elemental Labs!

A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors.

Elemental Labs’ products have some of the highest sodium concentrations that you can find. Anybody who runs a lot knows that sodium, as well as other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, are essential to our performance and how we feel throughout the day.

The citrus flavor has quickly become my favorite. I’m drinking one a day now to help me get enough fluids in our dry Colorado air. It’s tasty and delicious and I find that I’m not peeing every 45 minutes throughout the day, which might be an indication I wasn’t eating enough sodium.

There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense.

They just released their first new flavor of 2021, their most requested flavor, watermelon salt. So check out Elemental Labs to try their new flavor and get your hydration optimized. 

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