EXCLUSIVE: Turia Pitt gets real about ‘me-time’ as a busy mum

She's encouraging women to start running with her.
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As an athlete, author, mother, and motivational speaker, Turia Pitt is truly an inspirational woman.

WATCH BELOW: Turia Pitt and Michael Hoskin’s love story

A decade ago, Turia’s life changed forever when she suffered severe burns to more than 60 percent of her body, after she got caught in a grassfire during an ultramarathon in the Kimberley.

Surviving against overwhelming odds, Turia rebuilt her life, and now the mum-of-two wants to help other women and prove that it’s never too late to start over.

It’s one of the reasons why she launched her own online running program called RUN with Turia, where she hopes to inspire Aussie mums to get back on their feet.

In this exclusive chat, Turia tells New Idea how she manages to fit in some ‘me-time’ during the day, and why running is the perfect way to gain confidence in not just your body, but your mind too.

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Turia shares two sons with her partner Michael Hoskin. (Credit: Instagram)

In what ways do you try and prioritise yourself as a busy mum?

I think every mum would attest that prioritising yourself is a huge challenge! For me, running is a major part of how I care for myself and prioritise myself. I fit it around my day, wherever I can and just make sure that at least for 20 or 30 minutes, I can chuck on my running shoes and just go.

I’ve always used running as a way to process my thoughts and feelings – it gives me a way to clear my head and teaches me that I can do hard things.

In that respect, I definitely find that every time I manage to get out the door, even if I’m in mismatched socks and have a coffee stained shirt, I come back in a better mood.

I have more energy, I feel happier and more productive and in turn, I feel like that makes me a better mum, partner, friend and boss.

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Turia is encouraging Aussie mums to run with her. (Credit: Instagram)

Where did you find that discipline within yourself to stick to your goals and maintain a solid routine?

I bloody love goals. It’s one of the reasons I created the RUN with Turia program because having a goal makes what you’re trying to achieve, tangible. If something is tangible and concrete (I’m going to run 10km in 10 weeks time), you have a much higher chance of achieving that then with an abstract goal (I’m going to get running fit.)

In terms of how to be disciplined enough to reach that goal, and it might surprise some people to hear this, but I don’t believe in relying on motivation.

Motivation comes and goes, and if I relied on that alone, I’d get nowhere. For me I need a clear plan that I’m going to follow to reach my goal, and then ideally, also someone to be accountable to.

I’ve tried to tick all of those boxes with RUN with Turia – you get a professional running coach who has created a solid, easy to follow and flexible plan to get you to your goal.

I think there’s also something to be said for allowing yourself to do things imperfectly. I try to accept that not every day is going to look marvellous and just trust that if I do something consistently, I will get better over time.

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Turia credits running with boosting her mood and productivity. (Credit: Supplied)

How do you then decide when it’s okay to miss a run or skip a part of your routine when your body is telling you no?

Look, this is a hard one. Because sometimes our bodies are genuinely telling us that we need to rest – e.g. if we’re sick or injured, or have had a terrible night’s sleep. But all too often, its actually your brain saying, “I’m tired! I can’t be bothered! I want to sit in the sun and drink coffee!”

If you are genuinely under the weather, or nursing a niggle, I definitely think the best thing to do is rest, because you’ll bounce back faster. Pushing through illness or injury can definitely hurt you in both the short and long term.

Again, without sounding like a broken record, we’ve designed the RUN program to scale up in a structured way that allows your body to adjust. We also have a tonne of injury prevention in the program, which is so important – including activation exercises, warm-ups, strength sessions etc. All of this is essential in keeping injuries at bay when you’re new to running, or increasing your distance.

A little trick I use if I suspect that I’m just feeling ‘over it’ and not actually sick or injured, is that I tell myself that I only have to go for five minutes, and if I still feel s**t, I can go home. Nine times out of 10, after five minutes, I’m happy to keep going!

I will say though, that some days you just need to lie on the couch and watch Netflix. And that’s okay too.

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Running has always been apart of Turia’s life. (Credit: Supplied)

Why is it important to not only train your body, but your mind too?

We actually call RUN with Turia “a mindset program disguised as a running program” because the two really go hand in hand.

The thing is, running is hard! I get it! But that’s part of the magic of it. Because doing things that we find challenging helps us to see that we are capable of doing hard things! It teaches you what you’re truly made of, when you are willing to get stuck in and just have a go.

When you have those moments in a run, even a short run, where you think “I can’t do this! I’m tired, I want to walk, or go eat ice cream in bed” and somehow, you keep going. That feeling of knowing that you can challenge yourself and actually come through in the end starts to spill over into other aspects of your life.

I’ve really seen this in the RUN with Turia program feedback too. So many of our members have said that they started to wonder…. “I never thought I’d ever be a runner…and now I am one…. I wonder what else I could do?” And look, there are lots of other ways to teach yourself that you can do hard things, but running is one of the cheapest and simplest ways I’ve found – and you can do it anywhere!

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Like most mums, finding time for herself can be hard for Turia. (Credit: Instagram)

What are some of the mental blocks you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?

I think post baby, getting back into running was a big mental block for me. I was tired, my body didn’t feel as strong as I was used to it feeling, and I was tired and just feeling blaaagh like most new mums!

Again for me it was important to set myself a goal to get myself moving again! I signed up to an endurance event, and got myself a coach that I was accountable to who would help me train for and reach that goal.

Some days just putting on the washing feels like a mental block, but like all mums, you learn to just get on with it! And you learn that you’re capable of dealing with more shit, both literal and metaphorical than you ever thought possible!

Check out RUN with Turia here.

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