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“On the course, I try to enjoy the difficulties and not think about the finish line”

“On the course, I try to enjoy the difficulties and not think about the finish line”

Ultrarunner Juha Jumisko juggles family, work and running. He’s at his best in multi-day races, where your success isn’t determined solely by your fitness but also mental toughness and successful nutrition.

“This July, I set a new world record, 16,054 vertical metres in one day by foot. During the 24 hours, I only had a couple of bathroom breaks and took off my shoes once. Other than that, I was moving all the time. My record was surpassed already the next week in Italy, but I am very pleased with my performance. It went as well as it could.

I’m never the fittest runner on the starting line, but I can control myself well in long and multi-day races. I usually don’t think about the finish line but try to enjoy the difficult moments, too, as they are part of the sport. I don’t consider quitting to be an option, I just try to stay in the present. Towards the end of the race, I usually start catching up on others.

Long endurance events are not just about how fit you are. You can easily fail if you don’t drink and eat properly. In my world record event, I nailed my energy and liquid intake. I drank a lot of Nosht Endurance Drink Mix, which includes a lot of salt, and I believe that was a big factor in my success. In addition to the Nosht Energy Chews, I ate a few burritos, candy and liquorice.

Before a race, I make a detailed nutrition and hydration plan. You need to plan but also adjust the plan on the go based on how you’re feeling. For me, it sometimes feels like my stomach doesn’t absorb the food and drink. That’s when I start to neglect my plan, which in turn leads to running out of energy and liquid. And then everything goes south.

A classic example of this is NUTS Karhunkierros 160 km race a few years ago: I took a lot of energy in the beginning and felt that my stomach can’t take it. Then I stopped eating and drinking and bonked badly. I walked for three hours and vomited a couple of times. After not eating for a couple of hours, I started to feel better. I made the podium, but DNFing was very close. So in a way, the race was both a failure and a success.

It takes a while to recover from long races, like the 895-kilometre Transpyrenea race. Sometimes I’ve gone back to training soon, but it doesn’t do any good if your body cannot handle the training load. That’s when I take it easy and do something fun with my kids.

Combining running, family life and work is a challenge. I don’t want my training to affect my family. I try to run to and back from work, but the difficult part is to leave home for a longer time. To balance that, I try to stay home as much as possible. We do a lot of things together with the kids. I want to show them that leading an active lifestyle keeps you energised and healthy.

My next challenge is Nuuksio Backyard Ultra. I’m confident that the Backyard Ultra concept, where you run 6.7 kilometres each hour until you can’t do it anymore, is good for a runner like me. In the back of my mind, I’ve been nursing an idea to get into the Barkley Marathons. It would be fun to go and see if the race is really as difficult as everyone says it is. But I’m still interested in long mountain races, too.”

Juha Jumisko

You can follow Juha's adventures on Instagram at @juhajumisko.

Meet the Noshter:
Name: Juha Jumisko
Location: Vantaa, Finland
Type of adventure: Usually running in the mountains, fells, forests and roads.
Dream: A long hike through a nice mountain range has been on my mind lately. 
Motto: One step at a time.
Favourite Nosht product: Seabuckthorn & Orange Energy Chew tastes like heaven. At the moment, the Lemon Endurance Drink Mix is my most important go-to-product.





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