What does it take to be a GB trail runner, mountain runner, skyrunner and all-round adventurer? Self-confessed porridge lover, Georgia Tindley, tells us more.
Last year Georgia proved herself to be one of the top mountain running athletes in the world, beating an international field to take home the title of Scotland's Glen Coe Skyline Champion. In case you’re not familiar with Glen Coe Skyline, it’s known to be one of the most prestigious skyraces in the world – a skyrace being a highly technical fusion of alpinism and mountain running. The 52km course with almost 5,000m of elevation gain goes over ridges, exposed traverses and steep drops. Just the thought of this is enough to give most people vertigo but it’s no problem for Georgia, who does it with a smile on her face.
We caught up with Georgia as she prepares for her next big challenges: The Lairig Ghru, a 43km hill race between some of the highest peaks in Britain and The Ultra Trail Snowdonia, a grueling 50km race in the rough mountains of Snowdonia, Wales. Both of which, she’s tipped to be the favourite to win.
Here, the Scottish pro athlete tells us more about her training, how she got to the level she is at now and the important role nutrition plays in her career.
"I love the freedom and simplicity of running, and the adrenaline rush that skyrunning provides!"
“I’ve always loved running. I ran cross country at high school but soon sought something more adventurous. I went for a run in the Pentland Hills and was immediately hooked. Since then I've been racing and running all over the world, seeking out high mountains and technical terrain. I love the freedom and simplicity of running, and the adrenaline rush that skyrunning provides!
I live and train in the Scottish Highlands. It’s the perfect place for me to live because the running is so fantastic. There are wild moors and bleak mountains right on my doorstep. Some people might be put off by the weather, but I think it adds to the atmosphere. And it makes us tougher.
In an average week I'll run 100km with 4,000m of elevation gain with a bit of cross training on the bike as well. I also try to get in 2-3 strength sessions a week. As well as an athlete, I’m also an English teacher, so when I’m not training or racing, I’m either at work or reading a book. I love nothing more than settling down after a long run with a book, a cup of tea and a bowl of porridge by the fire.
"Flavour is very important to me."
Nutrition is crucial to keeping me going. As a runner and an English teacher, I spend a lot of my life juggling many different commitments. I need to ensure my body is fuelled well to keep my energy levels high, prevent injury, and enable recovery. Getting the correct fuel before, during and after exercise is essential.
But it’s not all about functionality. Flavour is very important to me too. If my food doesn’t taste nice I won’t want to eat it and I’ll risk not fuelling up properly. Also, I love to eat! So, rewarding myself with something yummy often acts as good motivation when I’m struggling to get out.
"My most memorable porridge-powered moment was winning the Glen Coe Skyline in 2019."
Porridge is my favourite way to start the day and it’s fuelled so many of my adventures and achievements. My most memorable porridge-powered moment was winning the Glen Coe Skyline in 2019. It was an early start before the race and over an hour drive to the start line from my home. I rattled down country roads in the dark eating a bowl of porridge in my Land Rover. It felt very Scottish and set me up for a long day out in the mountains.
I can rely on porridge to fuel me through my day every day, but also vary it day to day with different toppings and flavours depending on how I'm feeling so it never gets boring. It's the ability to combine reliable nutrition with variety of flavours that keeps me coming back for more.
I just can’t get enough of the 3Bears fruity coconut porridge – it’s the dried figs that do it for me. I love stewing fruit to go on top and finishing it with a generous squidge of honey. Delicious.”
You can follow Georgia on Instagram as she prepares for her next races and see how she fuels her training and racing each morning with a Scottish-mountain-athlete-size bowl of porridge.
Every adventure begins with a bowl of porridge. Share your adventures with us using #PorridgeStories and tagging @3Bears_uk. Gobble up and go get em.