craft ultra running

Why you don’t need a perfect track record to be a first-class runner

Aroa Sio is an impressive ultra-runner, placing at iconic races and championships around the world, and particularly in her home country of Spain. Possibly even more impressive is the fact that before she achieved her racing success in adulthood, she was living a mostly sedentary lifestyle.

For twenty years, Aroa couldn’t kick her smoking habit. When she finally went for her first run in two decades, she was shocked at the harm that smoking had done to her body. “I felt short of breath. My chest hurt,” Sio says. “I realized that I had a problem. That same week I went to my doctor to ask for help to quit smoking.”

At 36 years old, she knew she was headed down a road of failing health unless she changed her lifestyle — so that’s what she did. And when Sio started running regularly, she got hooked. “I felt stronger with myself,” she says. “I started to feel more confident, more powerful, more free. The feeling captivated me.”

Finding purpose in feeling good

Fast-forward to Sio’s debut race on the Montes de Vigo Trail in northwestern Spain in 2015, a race she fought hard for and won. A big part of that fight was nurturing a healthy mindset, which she describes as feeling at peace with herself.

“To have stability, it is essential that you are passionate about what you do and that the people with whom you share it support you,” Sio said. She credits sports activities, eating well, rest and support from her friends and family as having the biggest effect on her mindset. Personal improvement is also something that keeps Sio moving.

Sio defines success in running as being able to live off the sport she loves. “Nothing comes for free,” she said. “You have to work, stay consistent and be committed.” That work is especially important on days when she doesn’t feel like training. “It is in those moments when you have to visualize your goal and fight for it.”

Fortunately, she doesn’t have to fight for it alone.

Eleven runners, one passion

Sio is a member of the Craft Elite Run Team, an outfit that competes in various long-distance events worldwide. Her husband, Abel Recknold, is the team captain. “Being part of the Craft team is a dream come true,” Sio says. “Thanks to them I can dedicate myself exclusively to what I am passionate about. My teammates are incredible runners.”

The Craft Elite Run Team is composed of eleven long distance runners. They boast different backgrounds and personal histories with their shared sport, but they do share one trait in common: commitment. They are committed to running for the team and they are committed to running for themselves.

It is fitting that the common mindset of this team of dedicated runners, rich in stamina and pure love of their sport, is a determination to just keep running. It’s easy to complicate the hardships your mind and body face training, but many runners, like Aroa, consider perseverance on much simpler terms: put one foot in front of the other and repeat.

Beyond a stacked professional run team and innovative, performance-based sportswear designs, Craft Sportswear is releasing a new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Running.”

 Written and designed as a statement on the mindset of a runner — amateur and professional alike — the book centres around one simple but powerful message. The Craft Sportswear team of athletes, designers and running experts have distilled the runner’s mindset into one simple phrase: “left foot right foot.”

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