Ultra-endurance athletes talk about world’s most epic races
'The body is an amazing thing and it will do anything. The mind is the part that will stop you.' - Paul Trebilcock
Would you take part in a race that required biking for 20 hours, trekking for 60 hours and kayaking for 32 hours?
That’s what Simon Donato and Paul “Turbo” Trebilcock endured during the seven-day, 800 km, Costa Rica Adventure Race.
You might recognize the pair of ultra-endurance athletes as the stars of the Esquire Network’s docuseries Boundless, in which they compete in eight of the world’s most epic endurance races over a five-month period.
It’s one thing to say you’ll take on such a race – but how exactly do you train your body to go from multi-day marathons, to canyon bike races, to open ocean stand-up paddle boarding, to kayak races to grueling triathlons and everything totally obscure in between?
Donato and Trebilcock sat down with Sports Illustrated to share their workout regimen and nutrition plans.
Endurance races are about having the strength to power through when the body faces exhaustion and extreme climates. Multiple terrains also call for a variation in training and conditioning.
Donato spends a lot of time in the gym strengthening his muscles and focusing on his core and hips while maintaining a ‘clean eating’ plan with lots of fish and vegetables.
Trebilcock fits in training three times a day while working full time at McMaster. He told Sports Illustrated he starts his morning off with a 6 a.m. high-intensity bike ride. Trebilcock diversifies by incorporating rowing machine workouts, stand-up paddle boarding, swimming and rock climbing into his routine. Trebilcock also enjoys a gluten-free vegetarian diet.
“The body has to get used to being tired,” says Trebilcock.
Especially during a five-day 250 km foot race through the Sahara Desert at 60 degrees Celsius. Donato told Sports Illustrated the conditions were the hottest he had ever experienced in his life. “I’ve never felt that beaten before – you start negotiating with yourself, it’s tough,” he says.