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The Running for Real Podcast

Dec 4, 2020

For Damian Hall, life is about striving for progress, not perfection. As a record-breaking ultra-marathoner, Damian is also a father, coach, journalist, and author. He’s set seven FKTs  (fastest known times), most recently setting the record in the UK’s Pennine Way. In this episode, Damian shares about his journey to becoming a Carbon-Negative Runner and why it’s important to him as a way to take care of our Earth. Tina and Damian also dive into how trail running differs from road running and the beauty of traversing through spectacular places.
One of the ways Damian loves to run and be in nature is through fell running, or hill running. With origins in England, it’s a sport where runners race up a gradient, often without clearly marked trails. It’s a combination of cross-country, trail, and mountain running. 
Soon enough, Damian found himself traveling all over the world for races. From the Saharan desert to arctic Sweden, and Mont Blanc. All the flights and transportation left him feeling hypocritical with the climate emergency and his love of the outdoors. So, he decided to offset all his races and become carbon negative with the help of an organization called Our Carbon. He says you don’t have to be perfect or go for something this big, but any small changes help minimize your footprint on the planet and keep climate on our agenda.
Damian and Tina also talk about how run races create a lot of waste, like T-shirts made of polyester which does not break down easily. In 2020, so many races got shirts printed then the races got canceled and the shirts went to waste. Organizations like Trees, not Tees are helping events and participants avoid this issue by planting trees instead of shirts people won't wear. 

4 Lessons

  • In trail running, you’re not going in a straight line. You’re weaving back and forth all the time and using different muscles instead of pounding on the same ones when you’re road running.
  • It’s okay to walk during a trail run or race. It helps preserve muscles for later. 
  • Your personality helps dictate your approach to training or how you plan an ultramarathon. For Damian, his traverse of the Pennine Way included banking energy and power napping, but it’s different for everyone. 
  • You don’t have to make huge life changes to reduce your waste footprint on the planet. Simply reducing your consumption helps and not buying things you don't need, like the latest watch or another pair of shoes. Instead, opt for secondhand items or better yet, experiences. 


  • “We’re all in this system heavily reliant on fossil fuels and it’s difficult to escape. While we can't be perfect, we can make small lifestyle changes.” —Damian Hall
  • “Build memories instead of buying items.” — Tina Muir

2020 Giving Guide 

Damian collaborated with Running for Real to help us put together a giving guide of ideas for sustainable products to gift this season as well as experiences other people can appreciate instead of tangible gifts. 
Maybe it’s gifting your kids wooden toys instead of plastic ones, gifting your friends secondhand books, or making a donation for an organization to plant a tree. We guarantee there's something for everyone in this giving guide.


Damian’s Website 
Damian’s Instagram 
Totally FKT film 
Damian’s Film My Run Interview 
Trees not Tees 
Our Carbon 

Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Metpro, Insidetracker, and True Laundry for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.


I am very pleased to have MetPro as a sponsor for the Running 4 Real podcast. As before they were a great sponsor but not everyone could afford their services, and now they have been working very hard on new technology that can be made for anyone. I’m excited to share MetPro’s newest addition––The MetPro Platform, an app that allows you to experience the same science and tailored strategy that their experts use. 

This isn’t a food logging tool or workout app, the MetPro Platform allows you to start ​tracking​,analyzing​, and ​learning​ what your metabolism responds to best. 

Sign up today​ and receive a ​14-day FREE trial!​ ​Click here​ to take advantage of this special offer!

Go here to get 14 days free on the app!


Insidetracker has been a sponsor and also a dear friend that has helped me SO much in my past when my body was just not right. I count on Insidetracker to help me decipher the science behind it all. As Running4Real listeners they want to give you all the deal of the year, to take control of your health and wellness.

You can get $200 OFF the ultimate plan which is their most comprehensive plan.

Go here and use Code: GIFTFROMRUNFORREAL for this amazing deal.


The black owned business hightlight for this week is True Laundry founded by Ali B Muhammad, Malik Saleem, and Abdur-Rahim Shaheed in 2012 where they believe that Quality Exceeds Value. A company is only as good as the promises it keeps. They promise the quality of our products will always exceed the value. True Products, is a startup manufacturing and Distribution Company that specializes in household cleaning supplies.  True Products has over 25 distributors and currently does business in over 18 states throughout the country. True Products has positioned itself as an international, premier provider of household cleaning products, utilizing a unique approach to providing affordable, quality products and excellent customer services for Consumers, retail outlets and government agencies. True products is an American based, Veteran-owned corporation headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Check them out here to help support their mission.


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Thank you to Damian, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.