Completing a marathon is an impressive feat; completing an ultramarathon even more so for the extra distance, mental and physical, that it entails. So what do we say about someone like professional North Face team athlete Vlad Ixel who has run over a hundred races around the world from 5KM sprints to 250KM desert treks, including Iron Man competitions, duathlons and triathlons? Winning more than 20 ultramarathons—including Hong Kong’s own intimidating Nine Dragons Ultra—and racking up 23 course records to date, Vlad’s extensive athletic resume leaves ‘impressive’ at the door. As one of Compare Retreats’ wellness experts, we chatted to Vlad about the daily wellness rituals that help him keep on track with his training.
“I start each day with a glass of water, followed by 20 minutes of yoga. I write down my goals daily, which takes about five minutes and makes me more productive. I drink a green smoothie, and then head to the gym or swimming pool.”
“My daily workout is 20 minutes of yoga, a swimming session, an indoor bike session and a run, plus each week I fit in 3-4 gym sessions. So seven swims a week, seven indoor bike rides and seven runs a week—most weeks, I hit about 30 hours of physical training.”
“For me, balance all starts with a good diet and a good amount of sleep. I would recommend a minimum of eight hours of sleep a day, and raw food until dinner. I eat a 100% vegan diet, and since going vegan in 2012 I’ve been able to recover faster, sleep better and have way more energy for daily life and running.”
“Often in ultra races, you see runners finishing the race in over 24-hours of non-stop running—they do this with a full-time job and a family, but they still find the time to train for those crazy long races. Those runners at the back of the pack in ultra races inspire me as they don’t do it for the result or for the trophy, they do it for the challenge just to see if they can finish in the cut off time.”
“I have dinner around 8pm, watch a movie or documentary to wind-down, have a short stretch before bed, and have a turmeric drink—I have one every day as an anti-inflammatory.”