Susie Chan

Ali on the Run Show Episode 608: Susie Chan, Ultra Runner & Peloton Instructor

“Never forget where you started. Nobody is born running a mile. We all have to work for it. So never forget those first few steps. Keep up the faith. And then one day, you’ll go out and you’ll feel like you’re flying.”

In her mid-thirties, Susie Chan was a cigarette-smoking single mom working as an exhibitions coordinator for art galleries and museums. The word “running” was definitely not a part of her vocabulary. But then, when her brother convinced her to run a half marathon with him, everything changed. Susie ran her first half marathon at 35, and she was hooked. Now, at 47, Susie is one of the best-known runners (and ultra runners!) in the UK. She has run some of the most grueling races in the world, including the 230K Jungle Ultra through the Amazon Rainforest, and the six-day Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert. She’s an Abbott World Marathon Majors six-star finisher, and in 2016, she broke the world record for most miles run on a treadmill in a 12-hour period (68.54 miles!). Today, Susie is most widely known for being a Peloton Tread instructor. In this conversation, we talk about all those highs — and the lows, including Susie’s cancer diagnosis in 2017, and her ongoing experience with perimenopause. Next up for Susie: Badwater Salton Sea in April.


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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Susie happy today, and what she’s training for right now (4:05)
  • Susie’s take on the running community (8:35)
  • How Susie became a runner (10:15)
  • How Susie deals with the dark times during races (21:50)
  • What Susie’s training is like, and how she balances her own training and her Peloton classes (27:00)
  • All about that treadmill world record (29:00)
  • What Susie is proudest of (37:00)
  • Susie’s thyroid cancer diagnosis (39:00)
  • How Susie got the Peloton job (48:00)
  • How Susie prepared to interview Dina Asher-Smith, Eilish McColgan, Sally McRae, and more at the National Running Show (52:00)
  • Susie’s experience with perimenopause (57:00)
  • On motivation (1:00:25)
  • Susie’s best mid-ultra hallucination stories, and her advice for the “ultra-curious” (1:03:50)

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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