Kirra Balmanno: Running & Prevention

Kirra Balmanno running
  • How did you get into running and what drives you?

Running ultras was a natural progression from the joy that came with running as a kid and a way to test my endurance that didn’t (doesn’t?) seem to have an upper limit.

I have always used running as a way to explore. Since high-school, I have appreciated the self-discipline that comes with training. The key drivers for me now are running’s minimalist ideals, harnessing running as a means to experience incredible places on the planet that aren’t easily accessible by other means, and also the growth, physically and mentally, that endurance running cultivates.

  • How does your training schedule look like?

My average weekly distance is somewhere between 80-150km per week, depending on what I’m training for. I also incorporate yoga, strength sessions, cycling and power naps.

  • How often do you run? 

Once or twice a day, usually six days a week.

  • What is your average distance, elevation meters and speed you usually run?

This varies depending on whatever race or project is coming up. I race anywhere from 80+km races to multi-day stage races to multi day, high altitude solo projects. If I have a race in sight, I’ll reduce milage and focus more on speed. Training for a multi-day, endurance project is more about becoming strong and going long. I am really grateful to have the ability to train in places where I can get up to at least 2-3000 meters of altitude which helps. The vert I do each week varies, usually between 3000 to 10000m (except during a pandemic when I’ve been living on the east coast of Australia and I don’t have the luxury of a mountain training ground).

  • Besides endurance, do you also do strength exercise and why it’s important to incorporate them in your training schedule?

Definitely! Running doesn’t do a lot for maintaining our muscle mass and bone density. Lifting weights is paramount, not just for athletes but everyone. I like to think of strength training as the elixir of youth. Plus, if you’re stronger, you’re harder to kill…and usually run faster with less injuries.

I always enjoy my time in the gym as it’s a good mental break from long hours alone on the trails. There’s a good feeling of achievement that comes with lifting heavy things and it requires a deep focus and awareness of your entire body to do it correctly. I love that!

Kirra Balmanno Prevention
  • What convinced you to try ACTEN?

The scientific research to back it up and hearing about other athletes successes with the product.

  • How does ACTEN help you be at your best?

I feel as though I am doing good for my body and preventing premature wear and tear. I also suffer from iron deficiency so taking ACTEN with an iron supplement in the morning to aid absorption is great!

On top of that, there are so many factors to take into consideration when it comes to injury prevention and energy levels that it is difficult to pinpoint anything specific. I use ACTEN in my toolkit along with ample amounts of sleep and recovery time, a balanced diet and minimisation of stress through meditation etc to ensure that I am giving my body what it requires to perform at the level I ask of it and to maintain a healthy body with longevity in mind.

  • What benefits have you noticed?

I sustained an injury to my knee during a race this year very similar to a previous injury that I had a few years ago. This time around, I took ACTEN and the recovery length was shorter and swelling in my knee resolved much sooner than previously.

Kirra Balmanno taking Acten
  • Do you enjoy the ACTEN routine? (every day before breakfast on an empty stomach)

Taking a gel each morning took a little getting used to but now it’s a daily habit of mine, along with my 2 glasses of water to start each day.

  • How practical is the gel formula during your daily life routine?

It’s pretty easy, especially since I travel a lot.

  • How do you like the flavour?

It’s not like an energy gel (which is great because I eat way too many of them!) The taste is very mild which is nice for the early morning routine.

What is best for the knee
Fucoidan and its effectiveness on Osteoarthritis



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