About Be Sisu Fit

Sisu is Finnish and means Extraordinary determination, courage, and resoluteness in the face of extreme adversity. An action mindset which enables individuals to reach beyond their present limitations, take action against all odds and transform barriers into frontiers. An integral element of Finnish culture and also a universal capacity that we all share". Sisu Lab

"Sisu begins where perseverance and grit end. It is the ‘second wind’ of mental toughness after the individual has reached the limits of their observed mental or physical capacities'. Emilia Lahti

With Be Sisu Fit, you will learn how to transform your mental strength into extraordinary physical strength and exceed what you thought was possible in your life.


Our mission is to provide outstanding, evidence-based endurance sports coaching, with a  generous splash of Finnish Sisu for Cross-country Skiing, Running, Triathlon, and Strength & Conditioning coaching for weekend warriors, busy moms, and athletes of all ages.

Part of having the inner Sisu is the ability to stay curious about what you can achieve if you'd follow your passion. Acknowledging your fears, breaking down your self-limiting beliefs, and "going for it" anyway, despite your fears is essential in achieving your dreams. That's what people who have Sisu are made of. Scared shitless, and still going for it!

Are you curious to find out how you can get more "me" time in your life, even if you are a busy professional with a high workload and family/social life? Get in touch with me to see how I can help you.


Your Coach: 

Marjaana Rakai
An Ironman Age-Group Athlete, Endurance Sports Coach, Strength Coach, Mom of three, Expat wife to an amazing husband, and a Tired Mom Runs-blogger (www.tiredmomruns.com, same for insta and FB), trying to make a positive change in the world.

Marjaana has had the pleasure to work with a diversity of clients in a variety of sports from running, skiing to adapted skiers of all ages, in-person and online. She has lead group training in skiing and running. By using a system she has developed, SISU, Marjaana has transformed walkers into runners, elevated her athletes' performances beyond what their thought was possible when they first started working with her. Sisu framework is a combination of mental strategies and practical tools to overcome your fears and limitations allowing you to tap into your true potential. 

Marjaana has a unique professional toolset from MSc in Sports Science, NASM PT, and Sports Nutrition Diploma and as an athlete at a high level, but also the mental strength from having learned how to adjust training after three births and many injuries sidelining her from her passion, nordic skiing and running. Her personal journey has transformed her from a burned-out, depressed mom to an Ironman athlete training smart to qualify for Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI. 



Endurance sports training plans and individualized 1-on-1 coaching based on sports science and personal experiences all fit into your life.

Our training philosophy follows polarized training principles along with sport- and race-specific periodization program to maximize your potential. We are also programming for female athletes in mind based on recent research.


Strength and conditioning programs are an integral part of Be Sisu Fit endurance programs to improve your performance and prevent injuries.

We also provide comprehensive strength programs for endurance athletes who already have a coach but are missing a strengthening component in their training.

Community & Social Learning 

Learn how to stay motivated, bust your excuses, overcome challenges, and take powerful action towards your goals. Our community provides inspiration, learning opportunities, and more joy, focus, and flow into your sporting life.


Before I worked with Marjaana I was at a standstill with my training. I had gotten back into running and even completed a half marathon, but just couldn't seem to be able to run the entire 21.1km; even on race day.

When I connected with Marjaana she inspired me to see that I could do more. She is positive and encouraging and works with you to bring you towards your goals. Next thing I knew I ran 21km without any walking and it seemed so easy. I took 9min off my half marathon time and I feel like this is just the beginning.

Marjaana has helped me get excited about my running potential and I can't wait to see the next training plan. Would I recommend her? Absolutely!

Lisa, Canada

For many years, I wanted to explore what I could accomplish with a structured training plan, but I was stuck with random exercises squeezed in a busy family/work schedule. This habit didn’t take me anywhere and it was simply not enough for me anymore. Working with a coach was something that I never tried before, but I decided to sign up with Marjaana and give it a try.I can honestly say that I’m in better shape than I have ever been and that feeling is awesome. Marjaana is a good listener, she is positive and her knowledge in physiology and sports science is way beyond my expectations. Due to her own long-term experience in sports, she is also able to share her own experience.It has truly been a positive journey working with Marjaana. Thank you for helping me reach my goals.

Kennet, Italy

Being a working twin mom has always made it tough to prioritize working out. This was until I hired Marjaana as my coach. She analyzed my situation and my goals. Weekly she provides programs - just for me - and she follows up each work-out. This has lead to a shift in my life. Now - I have time for family, work, and training. And I'm reaching my goals and I have more energy!

Cecilia, Norway

At 69, following the ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ philosophy, I wanted to get faster!

I was getting frustrated with my training for longer distance skate ski races, 30+k. I was putting in the hours, all with speed, but not getting the results. I was slowing down as I aged.

So I started looking for a coach, one who has ‘been there, done that, got the award’, with an education in sports training, looking for somewhat local to me.

I found Marjanna – ‘go slow, you will get faster I promise’ Rakai.

What a revelation! An organized program, lots of slow, 😉 and accountability. Someone who had done the work knew what was needed and could create a workable plan. Even adapting to an injury of mine.

In the 2020 30k Payak race I beat my previous best time, set in 2013 by 2 minutes and 2019’s by 17 minutes!!!

 As to ‘local’ I get teased when asked where my coach lives, Dubai doesn’t have a lot of snow, but the results speak for themselves. Remote coaching works!

Thank you Marjaana!

Craig, Whistler, Canada

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