The 1% Podcast

Mark Beaumont

  • 01

    Mark Beaumont

    The man who cycled the world Lincoln Recruitment Specialists


My guest today is Mark Beaumont.

Mark Beaumont (@mrmarkbeaumont) is a British long-distance cyclist, broadcaster and author. He holds the record for cycling round the world, completing his 18,000-mile (29,000 km) route on 18 September 2017, having taken less than 79 days.

Beaumont’s documentaries, events and books about ultra-endurance and adventure have taken audiences to over 100 countries. Outside of sport and broadcasting, Mark is a business ambassador and speaker, as well as working with a number of charities and educational organisations.

In this conversation we deep dive into some of Mark’s many adventures, his captivating tales of where life can lead if you have enough determination; a story of mental and physical endurance, suffering for your passion, pushing mental boundaries as well as a fascinating insight into the world we live in. I hope you enjoy,




Show Summary


1:30 World records and major physical feats

  • Mark’s epic cycling trips
  • Mountain climbing expeditions
  • His row across the Atlantic

2:57 Childhood and background

  • The long-distance trips he went on at 12 and 15 years old
  • Looking back on what drove him to go on these expeditions: “Your ambitions are limitless at that age because you’ve got no preconceptions of what’s possible”
  • The impact of being home schooled and living in the country

6:15 Mark’s 2008 world record for his 18000-mile circumnavigation of the globe

  • How often we doubt ourselves and our talent
  • The rules of the Guinness Record
  • Mark’s chosen antipodal points
  • The joys and challenges of an unsupported cycling trip
  • The difference between cycling around the world and circumnavigating the globe
  • How world record numbers have changed drastically in the last 20 years
  • Stepping out of the fear of the unknown and trusting people
  • Some of his unexpected experiences in Iran and how the trip challenged preconceived notions of certain regions: “People are people”

14:57 Risk

  • How we develop “risk habits”
  • Why Mark doesn’t necessarily consider his behaviour “risky”
  • Why life experience and ability to perform under pressure matter more than knowledge
  • Building his 40-person team
  • The importance of emotional leadership and being there for his team: “How do we try and do something which has never been tried before?”

22:27 Emotional leadership

  • Why it’s important to pay attention to all the little things that aren’t quite optimized in a team and how they add up in the long term
  • Time management during a long-distance cycle
  • Why he made his team stop asking him “How are you?”

28:08 Suffering

  • The keys to success: planning and consistency
  • Why inspirational quotes don’t work: “It just isn’t real”
  • How to handle good and bad days: by having a plan
  • Why physical talent and competence aren’t enough

35:35 Timeline of a long-distance race

  • The high of the first few days
  • The hard physical adaptation in the first 7-10 days
  • Why it never gets easy
  • The roller coaster of the final third part of the race
  • The simplicity of expedition life

41:28 Technical considerations

  • One of the rules of the race: using the same bike for the whole ride
  • Mark’s part changes according to riding conditions
  • How ultra-endurance cycling and its gear have changed over the years
  • Why endurance cycling and road racing are no longer so far apart

44:24 Beyond road racing

  • The new interest in endurance cycling by the mainstream cycling press
  • Mark’s work with the GCA and the Global Cycling Network
  • Organizing the longest free-ride descent in Chile
  • How these types of rides bring in more interest thanks to their mountaineering and expedition elements

46:50 Nutrition and sleep

  • A big challenge: staying sharp on the bike despite sleep deprivation
  • Taking power naps to break up the day and reset
  • Why the digestive system is the first to go
  • Keeping food simple, natural and easy to digest
  • Why a high fat diet is the best for an ultra-endurance trip
  • The importance of training your gut

51:45 The pressure of expectation

  • Mark’s failed training ride
  • Avoiding the intimidating big-picture
  • Not wanting to let down an entire team
  • Letting our actions and accomplishments speak for us instead of boasting and creating a false identity
  • The importance of honing your craft

58:20 After the race

  • The after-race void
  • The mental health challenges that come after large accomplishments
  • The inherent selfishness that comes with working towards an important goal
  • What to do after it’s over: move towards others and surround yourself with friends and family

1:01:32 Mark’s advisory work

What he helps organizations with:

  • Refocusing and redirecting
  • Creating connections and building community

1:04:53 Rowing adventures

  • His expedition in the Canadian Arctic to the Magnetic North Pole
  • The dangers of the Arctic
  • What it felt like to not be the leader and how it changed the way he saw his own team

1:08:38 Climate change

  • Rowing to the North Pole: an expedition that was never possible before
  • Seeing first-hand the disappearance of glaciers in the Alps

1:10:23 Mark’s community and charity work

  • BuildX (previously OrkidStudio) based in Nairobi
  • Hunter Foundation
  • STV Children’s Appeal
  • Ex-rector for the University of Dundee
  • Honorary President for Scottish Students Sport