Peptan Blog

PAULA ELLIS’S SURVIVOR CHALLENGE 2024

PAULA ELLIS’S SURVIVOR CHALLENGE 2024

17 Jun 2024

A few months ago, we challenged Peptan ambassador Paula Ellis (@paulaellisfit) to take part in a race. If you don’t know her yet, Paula Ellis is a Clinical and Sports Psychologist, specializing in Nutrition and Sports Performance, and a healthy lifestyle influencer. Rather than a traditional long-distance race, we suggested one that could test the whole body instead of just cardiovascular endurance. This way, strength, agility, balance, and coordination would be tested too. We also wanted to add another different, but enriching, element: teamwork. Our choice? The challenging Survivor Race.

A few months ago, we challenged Peptan ambassador Paula Ellis (@paulaellisfit) to take part in a race. If you don’t know her yet, Paula Ellis is a Clinical and Sports Psychologist, specializing in Nutrition and Sports Performance, and a healthy lifestyle influencer. Rather than a traditional long-distance race, we suggested one that could test the whole body instead of just cardiovascular endurance. This way, strength, agility, balance, and coordination would be tested too. We also wanted to add another different, but enriching, element: teamwork. Our choice? The challenging Survivor Race.  

The goal was clear. What we didn’t know was that Paula Ellis would become our Survivor 2024 athlete. Below, Paula tells us more about her experience at the Madrid Survivor Challenge 2024. 

What does it mean to be a Survivor?

‘You become a Survivor when you finish the Survivor Race, which means running a 10 km race called “Hero” and overcoming 25 obstacles, including carrying weights, climbing ropes, swimming, crawling through mud, jumping over walls, climbing pyramids, javelin throwing, and more. When you complete the last obstacle and jump over the fire, you are granted the honor of wearing your Survivor medal. If you haven’t participated in a race like this, there is a shorter 6 km race called ‘Human’ with just 20 obstacles – a perfect version for a first experience.’ 

How did you prepare for the race at a sports performance level?

‘I trained for the Survivor Race by combining cardiovascular and strength workout. In terms of fitness, it is essential to ensure a good level of endurance to run 10 km. At the same time, strength is important to overcome certain obstacles, such as climbing a rope or carrying weights. 

‘On training days, I combined a 45-minute strength and functional training session (full body routines or directed classes) with a 45-minute cardiovascular training session (cycling, treadmill, or directed classes). Prioritizing rest days is essential to ensure proper muscle development and optimize sports performance, so I chose to rest one or two days a week. This was flexible, choosing when to rest by listening to my body and the sensations of muscle overload or fatigue.’ 

How did you adjust your nutrition before a race?

‘My daily nutrition is based on a healthy and varied diet. However, with the demanding training routine, I decided to distribute the macronutrients strategically. In main meals, I always try to balance protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. When we add variables such as exercise to our routine, it’s essential to have adequate carbohydrate intake before and after training to ensure high levels of energy and optimal recovery of our glycogen stores. 

‘Supplements can also help meet our daily nutritional needs. The intake of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), Peptan collagen peptides, omega 3-6-9, and essential amino acids made a significant difference. With Peptan collagen, I always choose the unflavored powdered solution to add to my morning coffee. If I happen to skip it in the morning, I make sure to add a scoop of collagen to a cup of healthy hot chocolate I prepare before going to bed. In this case, collagen has helped maintain the health of my bones and joints throughout the entire process, as well as helping to prevent sports injuries resulting from impact or joint overload.’ 

Finally, do psychological factors play a role in the preparation phase and during the race? 

‘Psychology is just as important as nutrition, training, and rest. No matter what your goal is, there are days when you feel motivated and give your best, while others require discipline and a clear focus on your goal to keep going and not give up. We must keep in mind that motivation is not linear: there are days when, no matter how hard we push ourselves, our performance does not reach the levels we want. In these moments, I would recommend using a technique called ‘self-talk’, based on positive self-instructions, supporting ourselves through internal dialogue. Phrases such as: “Today I have done my best within my possibilities, I can feel proud”, “Don’t worry, you can’t perform at 100% every day”, or “If you rest well today, you will perform much better tomorrow” can serve as powerful sources of encouragement. 

‘During the race, I focus on the process, not on the result. This means enjoying the experience, like the teamwork to overcome obstacles, without thinking about how many kilometers or trials we have left until we reach the finish line. 

‘Finally, I would like to share one of my favorite phrases: “Fight for your dreams, work hard every day, and don’t give up. With effort and perseverance, one day, your dreams will be your own reality.”’ 

Paula Ellis 

Healthy Lifestyle Trainer 

Clinical, Health and Sports Psychologist 

Master’s in Nutrition, Pharmacology, and Sports Supplements  

Master’s in Sports Management  

Get to know Paula 

Learn more about Peptan for Sports Nutrition 

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