Running has always been an important part of my life. I started running in school and competed in the middle-distance track. True love for running only came later when I discovered trail running. Being an outdoor person, I was always deeply in love with mountains. Even the thought of being in nature, surrounded by mountains, would get me excited. It’s my happy place. Running in the mountains makes me feel free and alive. The more time I spent in the mountains, the more I wanted to be there. The more I ran, the more running rewarded me. 

The urge to push me further and the desire to explore my mental and physical limits brought me to the ultra-running world. 

Soon I realized that ultra running is much more than a running race. It’s a life experience, a journey that can teach you many valuable life lessons. 

  1. Your competition is not other people - it’s you.
    Ultrarunning is not competing with other people. Your competition is yourself. Sometimes you are competing against a self-imposed target, sometimes against your previous performance, and sometimes even against the voice in your head telling you to quit. 

    In life, just like in ultra running, the most successful people are not the people who are measuring themselves against others. They are the people who measure themselves against their high standards. They are driven to work hard to become the best version of themselves.
  2. Only you can truly help yourself.
    No one can run on your behalf. If you want to run a 100k, only one person can make it happen. It’s you. You are responsible whether or not you show up. You can get guidance and support from your coach, friends, and family. But the desire, drive, and work have come from you.

    Like in running, anything you want to achieve in life truly has to be initiated from within.
  3. Setbacks are part of the journey.
    You quickly learn that things don’t always go the way you planned in ultra-running. Highs and lows are part of the journey. The way to get through this is: “Never let the highs get too high, and the lows get too low.” Setbacks happen but are temporary. 

    The same story plays out in life. We all have gone through some challenging life situations. Ultimately, they pass. With the right mindset, we find a way to deal with the unpleasant events and hopefully realize they are something to learn from and even an opportunity to grow.
  4. Discomfort is delayed gratification.
    Ultrarunning is about getting comfortable being uncomfortable. You learn how to push your body past your comfort zone and embrace discomfort. You know that the reward will come. You need to be patient enough. The best view comes after the most challenging climb. The best things in life often appear as rewards for passing through trials and periods of discomfort.
  5. Discipline and structure lead to success.
    Commitment to your training routine and discipline prepares you for an ultra marathon. In life, the same values lead to success. If you want to achieve your goals and smash life, you have to put in the effort and stay committed.

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Instagram: ivko_fitness