Eating Disorders in Endurance Athletes: An Ultra Runner’s Very Personal Story


A Mind Focused ultra runner discusses her very personal experience with living with an eating disorder, while providing significant background for coaches, race directors and athletes to try and help them gain an increased understanding and insight into this most serious illness. An eating disorder goes far far deeper than just issues related to lack of nutrition, weight and the physical health issues this causes. This is a must watch for everyone involved in the sport of ultra running, and equally relevant to all endurance sports.


Eating Disorders, Kate & Liz, Both Endurance Athletes Discuss their Eating Disorder Experiences


The Mind Focused Running Eating Disorders session we released a few a few weeks ago made quite an impact. One unexpected consequence was two long time friends contacted me after watching the video to say they had also suffered from ED over many decades, both also said they had only in the last few years been able to find some sort of management of the disorder. I have known both Elizabeth Bennett and Kate Sommerville for over ten years, during that time I was not aware of their ED issues.

Both Liz and Kate reached out to me separately because they wanted to share their unique stories. This session is a very valuable follow-up to the first presentation offering different perspectives that provide enhanced understanding. As well, Liz discusses managing an ultra runner who suffers from an eating disorder while they participate in an event from a crew’s perspective.

Both Kate and Liz provide some very important insights to steps they have taken to better manage and get control over ED.

Kate’s 10 Chapters and tools – complex problems, not one or 2, have 10 tools

1 You have to be ready. Its hard. It takes time: * Erin Green / Middleish podcast.

2 Don’t eat your emotions. Guilt, shame: * Dear Universe – Sarah Prout * Headspace and Meditation

3 No diet is the best: * ‘You earn food by being alive’ – Erin Green * Earning by exercise is flawed and damaging * Intuitive Eating – Evelyn Tribole, 10 principles

4 Exercise CAN be a magic bullet: * Training for weight loss makes you hate the training. * Stress vs stress relief. * Fill your soul / feel strong

5 I hate race photos: * Gratitude and acceptance *Wearing cool outfits always!

6 Thin privilege – don’t hate the skinny runner: * Trying to find podcasts more for me. * Trigger – coming back to Perth 4 people in 50s skinny * Allie Ostrander Runner ED advocate * Good for a girl – Lauren Fleshman * Brave Enough – Jessie Diggins

7 Couch Naps & eating all the things: * Fuel the workout * Trust body and food signals

8 Sleep is the best drug * Oura Ring

9 Excellent Careers and ultra-life can co-exist – it’s high performance! *Rest – Alex Soojung-Kim Pang *Purple Patch Podcast Episode 251 – lessons from leaders

10 EDs like silence: * Journals and Stickers and poetry * Creative and fun * Travel – organisation * Be organised * Drink the one glass / be the driver * ‘I am super fun sober’ – Erin

Cannot have courage without vulnerability- Brené Brown