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Get to know Blake & how nutrition has helped his running

Hi Blake, thank you for allowing us to talk to you today. Can you tell us about your sporting background, it seems you came out of nowhere into the trail running scene?

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Well I did basically every sport you can think of throughout my childhood, but was most recently a cyclist for 4yrs before moving to running. The whole cycling scene just became really monotonous to me and I found that I had lost the competitive drive that I once had for it.

What attracted you into trail running?
One of my good friends had run the Bogong to Hotham and he exclaimed to me that it was the hardest thing he had ever done. And this is a guy that’s done a lot of tough events! So I figured that since I love endurance sports and the outdoors, why not give it a shot. It basically just snowballed from there!

Can you share with us some of your trail running races and your finishes/times? And your most memorable moment in trail running/racing? (highlight for you)

Great Ocean Walk 100km 1st – 9:08
Buffalo Stampede Skymarathon 1st – 3:59
Transvulcania Ultramarathon (75km) 3rd – 7:25

My most memorable moment is coming down the finish chute at Transvulcania, that race is like nothing else I have ever experienced around the world. It had such a huge vibe and the entire Island gets really excited every year, which makes it pretty special to be a part of.

What is a trail race you are dying to do?

I really want to run The North Face Endurance Challenge 50mile in San Francisco. It’s extremely competitive which gives you the best chance to test your ability against the top guys. I also really want to go to the US!

What are your goals for this year in trail running?

I’ve basically had to reassess all of my goals this year due to the ups and downs I have had with injuries and illness. I decided I would just make sure I get myself into 100% health and get some consistent training in before I step back onto a start line. I don’t like the idea of racing when I’m not giving myself the best chance to win, and I want to be in this sport for a long time yet.

So how did you run into Steph and Nutrition Strategies? What made you want to work with us?

I met Steph at the Bogong to Hotham ultra in 2014 and we really got along well. She was super friendly, knowledgeable and supportive, so when it came time to be working with a nutritionist it made perfect sense. I’d also talked to some friends that have had help from Steph – and they were adamant that her guidance is some of the best available to any runner. It made it an easy decision!

How have you found working with us?
Working with Nutrition Strategies has been an absolute game changer for me! As mentioned earlier, I have struggled with ups and downs due to injuries and illness but the structure and guidance that has been provided has turned things around entirely. Previously being anaemic and suffering from a poor immune system it was a real de-motivator for me when training and racing and my energy was never as consistent as it should have been. Since having a better plan and knowledge, I am recovering faster, running faster and feeling healthier than I have in the past 24 months. The feelings that you get used to in training can sometimes be damaging, as it’s easy to brush off tiredness as a symptom of “hard training”. I’ve come to learn though that there ae so many elements that we need to be mindful of to make sure we are giving ourselves the 100% best chance of peak performance.

Tell us something people may not know about you?

I love reptiles! I have several pet snakes and have had a really keen interest in all animals since I was a little kid! I’m probably one of very few runners that hopes to come across snakes when out on the trails!

Stephanie Gaskell is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, an Accredited Sports Dietitian, and a competitive Ultra Trail Marathon Runner. She is available for Phone and Skype Consultations, and has published the FODMAP™ & Gluten Status Sports Supplement Guide.

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