Interview with Anna Frost
- Durango USA / Dunedin NZ
Hi Anna, how’s your summer been?
It has been like riding a rollercoaster! I have had some good training, bad races, strange travel, low motivation, successful races, wonderful travel, super highs…its just life!
You’re a big lover of the mountains! Do you have a favorite mountain (or range) and why?
I really fell in love with the San Juan and Sawatch Ranges in Colorado. They are big, bold, they demand respect but give you freedom, there are so many ways into each mountain, connecting trails or finding your own path. They are huge, from the tops you can see to the edge of the world, the low oxygen/high altitude will make you work harder for it, the afternoon storms will get you out of bed in the morning and moving off at high speed. It is where I feel free, and a sense of achievement. My mind is calm and quiet here.
As someone who can be on the road for many months of the year, what are your top tips for ‘essentials’ to have with you?
I like to pack simply. And because I am often going from country to country I dont have a lot of room for extras.For example, in one trip I might be going from the high Bhutanese Himalayas to the beach of Costa Rica. So I really just have to have one of each main thing. And
For example, in one trip I might be going from the high Bhutanese Himalayas to the beach of Costa Rica. So I really just have to have one of each main thing. And nowadays you can always find what you don’t have.
I always take:
- a sleeping bag – you never know when you might have to sleep outside
- my running shoes, bra, and bag – there is always a place to run
- electrolyte drink – Ultima (dehydration is my weakness) and energy food – Honey Stinger (Chocolate almond coconut protein bars are my favourite) [They both look delicious, I’m going to order some for myself! – Alastair – EDIT 2/23/2018: I have now tasted them and am converted! 🙂]
- bikini and goggles – there is always somewhere to swim
I know you’ve been offering run tours for a few years now, and we were excited to browse your website for ‘Trail Run Adventures’ and see all the awesome running trips you’re offering. I have my eye on Oregon in April! Could you share more about it with our readers?
Trail Run Adventures is a real passion project. I have had the privilege to travel a lot and now it is so exciting for me to go back to some of my favourite places with people to share that adventure. To me it is important to always test ourselves at new activities while enjoying the ones we love too, so at Trail Run Adventures we try to offer new and exciting activities (i.e. canyoning, SUP boarding, surfing, whale watching, climbing, coffee tours, local food and wine tasting etc) to the running. It is a great week to have a running holiday, meet new people and go new places!
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[Sounds like an amazing trip, Anna!]
I really fell in love with the San Juan and Sawatch Ranges in Colorado. They are big, bold, they demand respect but give you freedom, there are so many ways into each mountain, connecting trails or finding your own path.
You often share on your social media the benefits of cross-training and taking a break from running (I, for one, may not go out for a run if I am not “feeling it” as I run for the love of running – perhaps not a luxury for an elite runner though!). What are your favourite cross-training activities / workouts?
I think even elite runners need a break and to mix up the training. My favourite right now is kick boxing, it really gets my core strong in a dynamic way and aerobically I never work that hard. I also love yoga, swimming, biking, hiking/fastpacking, SUP boarding…anything outside really.
Recovery is important! You have in the past explained that you take several weeks off running altogether after a big race such as Hardrock 100. Could you give us an insight into what recovery looks like for you (food, activity, etc)?
Yes, after 100miles I like to take 2 weeks off to really let my body and mind rest. During that time I usually do some swimming, yoga, biking just to keep my muscles moving and stretched out. I try to eat really well (lots of protein) especially in the few days after, and hydration is so important. I do treat myself to a few tequilas and lots of chocolate too!
Many female runners including myself have experienced issues with low energy levels or feeling abnormally fatigued during a run. It can be frustrating and disheartening. Do you have any advice that you can share on how to overcome this?
Take time to recover. And actually, take that time. One week isn’t really enough time for us to fully recover, take 2-3 weeks, to really let the body rest. Yoga can be great during this time as well as massage. Blood tests can be a good idea to check your iron etc is ok. We get very impatient and rush around in our lives. Slow everything down. Don’t try to fit too much in. Be patient.
I try to eat really well (lots of protein) especially in the few days after a race, and hydration is so important. I do treat myself to a few tequilas and lots of chocolate too!
In your view, what’s the biggest issue in women’s trail running, and what can we as trail runners do about it?
I think the 2 biggest issues have been weight/eating problems and inequality. But both are changing due to empowered women in the sport. There are so many wonderful role models of strong, happy, successful women lining up and dominating at all of the major events. They last more than a few races, we see them consistently perform at a high level because they have healthy eating habits. These same women are fighting for their equality and now we see women being paid the same as men in most races, the distances becoming the same for male and female. It’s great to see, but we will have to keep battling for this change.
Could you tell our readers more about the Sisu Girls project and how they can get involved?
SisuGirls is about empowering our young women to challenge themselves, reach for their potential, be determined to try and try again when times get tough. We have a book series, one of which is my story, called Fearless Frosty. SisuGirls is about showing empowered women, the worlds true role models, to lead the way for an empowered future. Everyone can be a role model, they just need to support and encourage the young people – girls and boys – in their communities.
The Book Series so far consists of 3 wonderful books that will empower the younger generation (ideal for reading to your kids). We bought Fearless Frosty for our nieces, and they loved it!
What’s your next big challenge? I’ve seen that Ultra Pirineu is on the cards?
I am in Greenland now for our next Trail Run Adventure (partnering with Thule Trails). It is a 7 day sailboat and trail running experience of a lifetime. Then to Ultra Pirineu for the 45km race. Then another Trail Run Adventure to Bhutan for a 18day journey through the Himalayas. Then maybe I’ll finish the year off with the Lantau 50km.
[Wow, such an action packed end to the year! It’s so inspirational how you manage to do all these amazing things!]
You’ve raced (and won!) in so many beautiful places around the world. Do you have any plans to direct your own events in the future?
I would like to direct a series of races for young girls and boys. A Sisu event with some exciting challenges such as vertical runs, mystery challenges, and participation with their families.
[That would be fantastic! Let us know when you manage to get it off the ground!]
Finally, what do you get up to when you’re not running or adventuring?
Drinking coffee and eating cake with friends is high on the list as well as making jewelry for my little online shop – frostysjewels.
Social media links:
Thank you, Anna for taking the time to answer our questions. You have so many amazing projects on the go, which are creating so much joy for a wide range of people. We particularly love the SisuGirls project which we believe is so important for the younger generation.
We’ll be watching all your future adventures and races on social media. Hopefully, we get to see you at one of them! Best of luck for the rest of 2017!