No Trip To The South This Winter, Snow Bird?

How About Spending Your Winter Getting Fit and Fast on Skis Instead?

Covid19 & 2020

Yeah, It has truly been a crazy year. But, new snow has fallen in many places and it's a great time to start thinking about what to do this winter as snowbirds are NOT traveling south.... 

Make the best of it and make 2021 your fittest and healthiest year ever! 

How? Read below...

What if...

What if you'd finally focused on your health? What if you'd finally stripped the guilt of taking time for yourself? Became a healthier, happier, more energetic role model for your family and friends? What if you would have more energy to be present with people that matter to you the most? 

What if you'd focused on your goals in sports and achieved what you've always dreamt of? And learned more during the journey than you've learned in the past decade about your mindset, your body, and your strength? 

Would that be worth the investment of your time and resources? 

Let's find out how you could make this happen...

first steps in your journey

Regardless of where you are in life, there are three fundamental elements in any journey that will maximize your experience, time investment and effort:

Dedicate Time to What You Value

Consistency is the key. Take a realistic look at your weekly list of things you need to do. Then find dead spots (yes, the time you waste on social media), and decide you will move your body instead. You'll be surprised how much time you actually have. AND how much better you'll feel after! We all have 168 hrs in a week. You HAVE time for what you prioritize. 

Make exercising a priority! You'd be amazed at how fit you can get! 

I personally went from not being able to run for 20 mins to running marathons and Ironmans in only 3 years. 

Anything is Impossible!

    Structured Training Program with a Coach or Well Designed, Stand-alone Training Program 

Consistency is the key, structure is the keyhole. Get yourself a structured training program (yes, here's where I come in...). The best way to get fit is to follow a plan. A Plan functions as an accountability check for yourself as well. Hang it up on the fridge!

Having a science-based training program, or a professional coach supporting you, you will be held accountable and get things done, your fitness will progress instead of hitting a plateau, and you can actually reach your goals! 

Lean on Support

Don't Go About Changing Your Life Alone. Support of like-minded people and community is the power that will turn the key for you. 

Here at Be Sisu Fit, we have support systems available for you, even if you want to get a training program only- without coaching.  

Share your wins, struggles, and challenges with others and lean on other people's experience and support. This is about the community! Plus, the bonus is all those beautiful pictures everyone posts from their ski sessions.

I cannot believe the power of changes that one single decision to change my life by movement sparked in my whole life. Once I decided on taking on a huge challenge (Ironman), small things started to shift in my life, providing unimaginable opportunities and learning that changed the way I look at life now. I went from not able to run more than 20 mins to run a sub-4hr marathon after a 3.8k swim and 180k rainy and windy bike ride! Anything is possible when you believe in yourself.

by Marjaana Rakai

Once something moves from our brains to our bones, that's when we can use it to change our lives. 

The Million dollar question is, will we?

by Jen Scincero

skiing in the forest is the best form of exercise for your body and mind. 

The human experience is trifold: the physical body, our minds, and spirituality. The closest I've ever come to balance in life is when I am doing what I love the most in snow-covered trails, being in complete awe of the nature around myself and seeing something bigger than me in the works. I want to help you reach your trifecta with my knowledge and experience. 

who is marjaana and what does she stand for?

Your Coach Marjaana has over 30 years of experience in sports, as an athlete, coach, and sports science. You are in good hands. She believes in science-based exercise programming. Training doesn't have to be complicated. "Keeping It Simple, Student" was a note hanging on the door at the university she went to.  This is a guiding principle and she follows sound principles based on exercise physiology. She also understands a busy lifestyle, having three small children, and a busy professional spouse. She has been an ex-pat since 1998, and has lived in 6 countries on 4 continents, and counting. Flexibility and communication are the grounding principles in any coaching relationship. 

Marjaana was born and raised in Northern Finland, where she spent most of her free time running and skiing. She became one of the top junior female skiers in Finland, with several top 3 and top 10 placements in her junior years in both skiing and track&field. But life was not just smooth trails for her. She also experiences overtraining, plateaus, and injuries, that ultimately cost her dreams to be taken away. Being an adventurous soul, after a back injury, she left Finland and moved to Norway. She kept running and skiing for fun and health and coaching other people while studying Sports Science (MSc). 

While raising a family and moving around the globe (mostly in tropical climates with no chance of skiing), she felt an increasing inner drive to challenge herself. In 2010, while pushing a stroller at Ipanema Beach in Rio, she saw triathletes train open water swimming and running. She thought, that I MUST try. Two more kids and 5 years later, she got her chance in Olympic distance triathlon in her new hometown St. John's in Newfoundland. Balmy, windy weather was no match for her and she cruised to a win in her age group. The kindle was lit up to an inferno inside her.  She had found her passion in sports again and more importantly, she found a vehicle to become more energetic, happier, and present in her life for her kids and hubby. As a mother, it is easy to fall into the trap of always putting our own needs and dreams on the back burner and forget who we really are. She was feeling lost until she tried a tri. You can read her personal blog here.

While she couldn't consistently ski, she threw herself at any chance she came across. First, she skied 50K American Birkie when her middle baby was 10 months old, 30K Newfoundland Champs when the third one was 1 year old. Babies were not an excuse for her. Two more moves, several 5, 10K, and half marathons, and 2 marathons and 70.3 Ironmans later, she became an Ironman in 2019 in Norway. All while raising 3 kids around the world with a busy professional husband who travels a lot. She says: "IT IS POSSIBLE. How bad do you want it?" 

Life has its ebbs and flows and she has also experienced her fair share of injuries. Learning from each of them, she learned more of her own body than from any success. Self-compassion is one of the cornerstones in recovery from an injury. 

As a coach, her training philosophy is: 

"To become a better athlete, you must be willing to regulate your training intensity. Most people train in the gray zone, going too hard on every single workout because it feels good and it feels like you are doing a good workout. Many people think going slow is not doing enough. Well, I have news for you: Even top athletes go very very slow. In fact, it is their bread and butter. Most workouts are done in very easy intensity, and when it is time to go hard, they go really really hard! 

Becoming a better athlete is 80% mind 20% body. Your mind has incredible power over the outcome. But the thing is, they work together, mind and body. Be really really mindful of what you allow your mind to tell your body to do. When you are feeling incredible, you will want to change the easy run into a full-on interval session. Just because it feels so good. It's natural, but you must learn to train easy, even when your mind tells you to go hard. The hard sessions will be there, and then you must be ready to go hard! If you always go harder than intended during easy workouts, your hard workouts will suffer. You end up burning your candle on both ends. Overreaching (very few people actually gets over-trained) is a real issue and always training at too high intensities is a sure way to get into that overreaching state where your fitness gains just plateus. No Pain No Gain is BS. You don't have to crush it every single day to progress. In fact, crushing it every single day will get you to plateau faster than you say SuperCompensation.

Training smart is not about over-emphasizing the hard sessions. Training smart is about working with your mind & body optimally to your individual abilities and circumstances. Training smart is to lay down a strong basis where high-intensity workouts are only one ingredient of the recipe. Think of it as hearty chicken soup. The Low Intensity is the nourishing chicken broth and the High Intensity is the spice you add.  

My programming takes science-backed principles from elite athletes, and then I modify them to all levels from complete beginners to mid-range weekend warriors to top ambitious age-group athletes. This principle works no matter which sport you are participating in from running, triathlon, or nordic skiing! The same exercise science principles (super-compensation) apply to average Joe as they do for a world champion, you just need to scale it all down to match the individual's circumstances. The overarching philosophy is that training should be fun and enjoyable, sustainable but also challenging. 

The emerging field in female-specific exercise physiology research is a hot topic right now. 

As of now, there is no clear evidence that the female cycle actually impacts performance in a female athlete. The female performance is rather multifaceted and while research may not be able to show clear tendencies in either way (positive or negative impact of the female hormone cycle), due to individual variances, I believe the best approach is to track your own cycle and symptoms to know yourself and how you react in each phase. Follow reputable educators in this area, but be really careful not to take headlines as the truth. And remember, not everyone who turns 40 years old is automatically pre-menopausal!"

Marjaana Rakai

MSc Sports Science

NASM Personal Trainer

Sports Nutrition Diploma

 Ironman Athlete

Mom of three

Expat since 1998

Marjaana's first American Birkie 2013 while suffering from bilateral plantar fasciitis, living in Houston, not having skied in years (!) and youngest only 10 mo old. There are no excuses you cannot overcome!

Marjaana's church 

When parents take kids with them doing things that bring joy, the kids learn a healthy lifestyle and to pursue what really excites them, no matter how inconvenient the circumstances. 

Happy Customers

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 MacKenzie, Whistler Canada

Just finished a 1/2 marathon in sub-zero temps with full-on snowing and managed a PB!! 16min faster than last year on the same course. Could not have done it without the coach. Thanks, MJ!!!! If you are looking to push yourself to the next level I highly recommend Sisufit.

Lisa Rakai, High River Canada

Let's Talk Pricing

You have three options. Get either a generic plan and follow that with individual tweaks,  OR contact me to design your own 12-24* week training plan OR you can opt-in for 1-on-1 coaching and get all the bells and whistles! 

*minimum of 12 weeks as I believe that is a minimum time in which you can establish good training habits, and it is a long enough cycle to gain sustainable fitness gains. Sure, shorter 4-8 week plans can increase your fitness, especially if you a novice or after a break, but you can also plateau fast if not new kind of stimulus is applied. 



Generic/individual plans include: 

Training program delivered through either Trainingpeaks or TrainingTilt app 

Access to:

Facebook Group for support and inspiration 

Strength Training Program

Ski Drills, Technique tips

Mindset, recovery, nutrition, and race tips

*you have a choice of training program platform here between TrainingPeaks and TrainingTilt. If you are already using TP, you can keep using it, or if you've never had a training program platform, I suggest you go with trainingtilt. It's up to you.

Here's what to do: Click Start here, fill out a quick form, then pick either TrainingPeaks or Training Tilt button below. Or contact me at for individual programming.

1-on-1 online coaching 


1-on-1 online coaching includes:

Individual, flexible Training program delivered through either Trainingpeaks or TrainingTilt app

Unlimited access to your coach 

Biweekly Athlete Initiated Zoom Calls 

Individual strength training programs

Ski Drills, Technique tips

Mindset, recovery, nutrition, and race tips, and much more

In addition Access to:

Facebook Group for support and inspiration

* minimum of 3 months commitment is required but you can cancel coaching at any time after the initial 3 months. Remember sustainable changes take time and fitness should not be considered as "30-day challenge" and then to be forgotten about. 

Simply click the below button and let's get cracking! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I signup?

For a training program (without 1-on-1 coaching), Click Start Here above on the left side, then click on either trainingpeaks or trainingtilt and pick your desired training program. 

You can signup anytime from our website, just follow the menu item and choose your plan.

Are there any fixed-term contracts?

Our one-on-one coaching plans require at least 3 months of commitment. You can cancel at any time after 3 months. There is no fixed term when you purchase a generic or individual training program. You are welcome to stay in our social media community forever!

Is this for all levels of fitness? 

YES, absolutely! I coach both new and experienced age-group athletes in running, and skiing, busy executives with families and a lot of balls in the air at the same time, aging women who mostly walk or hike, and high-level athletes. 

What if I cannot find a program that suits me? 

No worries, I can custom design your program for you based on your preference of exercise (walk/hike, run, bike, swim, ski), the time you have available per week, how many weeks of the program you want and what level of fitness you have. 

Just send me an email:

What if I am not happy with my program? 

No worries, I will return your money 100%. All I ask is that you tell me why it did not work for you so that I can do things better next time. 

How often do I get to talk to you? 

I believe that communication is the key to a successful coaching relationship. As a 1-on-1 coached athlete, you get my personal number to text/WhatsApp me any time and I reply as soon as I can. You also get to book a zoom call with me biweekly and we chat about 45-60mins. 

If you are using one of my programs, you can still ask questions through our Facebook group: Be Sisu Fit Athletes. 

Is this only for skiers and runners? 

No! I am also a personal trainer and can design your very own fitness program at any level of your fitness journey!

Do you have an age limit? 

Absolutely not! I coach anyone from youth to upto 70+! In fact, I love coaching people in their prime (read 60+) because, with small tweaks, they can also reach a new level of fitness! So if you are close to retirement and would like to embark on a fitness journey, please don't hesitate to contact me! 

are you ready to finally put your health, goals, and dreams first?

Today is the best time to start. Click the button below to take the leap.

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