Butterflies and How To Make Them Fly in Formation.

11073577_1541250076121841_5448359350704717224_n.jpg

All athletes know it too well. The feeling of unease in your stomach, “butterflies”, your heart is racing…and it is all because of that race looming in the distance. Whether it’s in the weeks, days, hours, or minutes before a race, we have all at some stage felt the pre-race jitters. Some call it nerves. Some call it excitement. If it’s the same feeling, should it matter what we call it? Apparently, yes.

Sport psychology research has shown that athletes who label their “pre-event arousal” as anxiety or nervousness are giving these symptoms a negative connotation and are therefore, treating the race as a threat.

However, if you can somehow shift your mindset so you label this arousal as excitement, they claim that this gives these symptoms a positive connotation and categorises the impending race in your brain as a challenge, not a threat. This research has shown athletes who are facing a challenge tend to perform better, are more confident, and are more resilient than those with a ‘threat’ mindset.

I heard a motivational speaker talking the other day about ‘how to be successful’. He caught my attention because he started speaking about the Rio Olympics, and out of all of the questions journalists asked athletes, he said one was asked every single time: “Were you nervous?” To which they all replied with some variation of: “Not at all, just excited”.

images-1.jpeg

I actually remember being asked that same question and my response was the same as all the others: “Nope, just excited”. And it was honestly true… I was not nervous. I wasn’t scared. I was just focussed and incredibly excited to live out a childhood dream of mine.

However with races on a smaller scale, closer to home, I feel if you asked me the same question “Are you nervous?” there’s a higher chance I’d respond with “maybe a little bit..yeah”. I feel the same pre-event arousal at home as I did at the Olympics, and yet I automatically switch into the “threat” mindset. Nerves rather than excitement.

So how can we train our minds to interpret these pre-event nerves as excitement?

Obviously repeating the mantra “I am excited. Not nervous” over and over may be short-lived and would have limited success rates on its own so I’ve compiled a list of a few different approaches you can try before your next race.

Race Day Routine:

Whenever I am unsure of my race day or race plan, that’s when doubts and negative thoughts seem to creep into my head. However I’ve figured out over the years, the comps where I am most focussed and least “nervous” are the ones that I am fully prepared for (plans for race week, race day, and the race itself).

Having a pre-determined set of actions set in stone, whether it just be your warm up or a whole day-of-race schedule, gives your mind something to focus on so it doesn’t wander into any negative thoughts.

It doesn’t really matter what it is that you’re doing, it’s more the fact that this routine makes you feel good, prepares you for a race, and you’ve practiced it so much that you’re completely comfortable with it.

HOW TO: Try planning a “race day” schedule and practicing it before training a couple of times. It might simply be what you do an hour before you leave, or it could revolve around what you eat on race day/when to rest/when to leave etc..., but just practice it a few times and then give it a go on race day. See whether it helps ease some excess nervous energy!

img_3976.jpg

Don’t Fight It:

One of the most common things people say in response to a nervous athlete is “it just means you care about the race,” which is very true. If you didn’t care about the outcome, you wouldn’t have anxious feelings. However that doesn’t mean you should try to suppress the nerves or anxiety, because that would be subconsciously telling yourself to care less and possibly surmount to an effort of less than 100%. Instead, try telling yourself what you’re feeling is actually excitement, not fear. Re-interpret those feelings as positive ones and you should start to relax and enjoy the process a lot more.

HOW TO: Try finding a positive word or sentence that ignites that feeling of excitement like “opportunity” or “it’s go-time” or it could even just be “I am excited for this race!” and when you are finding it hard to change out of negative nervous thinking – repeat this in your head a few times.

img_-snqm0h.jpg

Fake It Until You Feel It:

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “fake it until you make it”, well there is actually some truth to it. There has recently been a tonne of research going into physical behaviours and how this affects your thoughts & feelings.

I read a great little experiment online, try this: give yourself an upset frown, lower your chin and slump your shoulders. Cross your arms for added effect. How do you feel? Now, adjust your posture. Sit up straight, pull back your shoulders, and lift your chin. Did you feel a shift in your mind and thoughts?

Lately, when I’ve been warming up for a race I’ve tried this little experiment out and it really does change my mindset.

HOW TO: If you hold your body in confident, strong positions, your mind is likely to follow with confident & strong thoughts. The same way that smiling can stimulate the brain to release dopamine (the happy chemical), holding your body in power poses can affect your testosterone levels which might just give you that winning edge.

img_0126.jpg

The same way we train our muscles. We need to train our minds. It’s unlikely to change overnight and it might not work every time but just remember, next time you think you’re feeling nervous; you could just be excited!

AR. xx

2018 & The Extra 1%

Welcome to my new and improved website!

So it would be a huge understatement if I said I've neglected my blog a little bit. I haven't actually written any posts since the week before the Olympics!

So much has happened since my last blog post, I'm not even going to begin to go into any detail. But basically:

I made the Olympic semi-final in the 400m and final in the 4x400m. 
I changed event for a year and competed in the 800m in 2017 (crazy I know).
Lachlan and I got engaged and we are well on the way to planning our wedding.
I went to the World Championships in London.
I have since started competing in the 400m again and am loving it more than ever.

I know it seems a bit strange to brush over these huge life events in one paragraph but I have big plans for this blog which include all of the above in some way.

I've decided to change up my website & blogging a little bit. My blogs will be focussing more on ways to improve yourself as an athlete physically and mentally.
Every day I get asked questions about what I eat, how I train, and how I stay focussed, so this has kicked me into gear to answer all of them.

The longer I have been in this sport and seen different levels of success, the more I am aware of how important the extra 1%ers are in achieving your goals.
So this blog is going to focus on the 1%ers like mental strength, diet, recovery, sleep, motivation and so much more!

Leave a comment here or on Instagram about what you want to know and I'll try to write a weekly blog answering your questions and topics!

AR. xx

Florida Team Camp

Hello all! I have arrived in Florida for our Australian Team Camp and am absolutely soaking up the heat! It's about 35 degrees and 90% humidity so I am glad I got here a few days early to acclimatise.

We are staying in this huge facility called the IMG Academy in a town called Bradenton, Florida. It's a sports academy that has facilities for every sport you can imagine from golf, tennis, bmx riding, rugby, athletics... everything! We are staying in 2 bedroom apartments about a 5min walk from the main academy. I arrived here 3 days early so I could have a bit longer to recover from the big flight from Aus, but the rest of the team arrive today and tomorrow. Very excited to get my uniform tomorrow and have our first team meeting.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 3.48.46 pm
Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 3.48.46 pm

Unfortunately we miss the opening ceremony as we will still be in Florida. But from here, I leave for Rio on the 7th August and will arrive in the village on the 8th. Just 5 days before D-Day!

For those of you wanting info on times/timezones. Here's a breakdown of all my events, dates, and times:

Saturday August 13th - 400m Heat Rio time: 11am Sydney time: midnight

Sunday August 14th - 400m Semi-Final Rio time: 8.35pm Sydney time: 9.35am (Monday 15th)

Monday 15th - 400m Final Rio time: 10.45pm Sydney time: 11.45am (Tuesday 16th)

Friday 19th - 4x400m Heat Rio time: 8.40pm Sydney time: 9.40am (Saturday 20th)

Saturday 20th - 4x400m Final Rio time: 10pm Sydney time: 11am (Sunday 21st)

Will post some pics of the uniform when we get the bags tomorrow.

A.xx

One Week Until Take Off

Hello all! So there's 7 days until I fly out to the Australian team camp in Florida! I've been in a very hard training block the last month but I am feeling very strong and fast and ready to go. I'm flying into Florida because the team are all meeting up in a place called the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida to acclimatise to the hot conditions and time zone (it is only a 1hr time difference to Rio). I will be there for 11 days before flying overnight into Rio on the 7th August. Then I have 5 days settling into the village before it's go time!!

Last weekend I went to the Gold Coast for some warm weather training and a few races. I ran a 400m against all the relay girls (2nd 52.40s) and a 200m (1st 23.8s), mix all this in with a few training sessions and time spent at the beach... I left a very happy girl! Amazing what a bit of sunshine and fast running can do.

I've also been busy with a few media commitments since coming home from Europe which is very exciting... I've had a few newspaper articles (see below), and a feature on Channel 9's Wide World of Sports show. I've filmed a segment with FoxSports that will be played in the lead up to the games too. I'm also part of an Optus campaign that has been very popular on social media and is currently showing in the pre-movie advertisements at the cinemas I've been told!

Optus Ad: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2JfidVMDyA&w=560&h=315]

Articles on my Road to Rio: Runners Tribe: http://www.runnerstribe.com/road-to-rio-interview-with-rising-super-star-anneliese-rubie/

ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-27/rio-olympics3a-cathy-freeman27s-coach-on-hand-to-guide-austra/7451746

Daily Telegraph: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/northern-beaches/sport/track-runner-looking-to-make-her-mark-in-brazil/news-story/742ded57f979db7094d5a2f4683db5cb

Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3619039/Meet-Aussie-girls-chasing-gold-track-Rio-Olympics.html

Radio Interviews: RSN: http://rsn.net.au/road-to-rio-anneliese-rubie-athletics/

ABC Grandstand: https://soundcloud.com/abc_grandstand/interview-anneliese-rubie

TV Interviews: Wide World of Sports: https://www.9now.com.au/wide-world-of-sports/2016/clip-ciqq3ahgx003q0hp5u1zfgiii/87625a3d-02bc-4c20-bea9-96353a0e2927

Crowd-Funding Opportunities: The Australian Sports Foundation has set up a crowd-funding fundraising page to help friends, family, supporters & businesses make a tax-deductible donation to help me fund my trip to Rio. See my page here: https://asf.org.au/athlete/anneliese-rubie/

So between training full-time, a bit of travel and these media opportunities I've been flat chat! I'm looking forward to getting into our team camp so I can focus on training and recovery in the final hours.

And finally, I had a fun weekend with my family as they all gathered to support me before I left for Rio. I had a surprise cheer squad at a big training session, and we had a big Brazilian brunch at home to say goodbye too!

 

I want thank everybody who is part of Team Rubie, near or far, and for all the support I've had from you (especially in the last few weeks) as I prepare for the Olympics!! Couldn't do it without you and I can't wait to represent you in Rio!

A. xx

Europe Training Camp

Hello all! 50 days to go! It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks since the selection trials and I am currently writing this blog from Cologne, Germany. I've been in a hard block of training for 6 weeks now with lots of track sessions, gym and hill sessions which I feel have made me a lot stronger. So my coach and I decided to come over to Europe for a summer training/racing camp to see where I am at and to break up the long training block in the increasingly cold winter weather.

I have been here for one week now and am settled into a nice little house in a very trendy cafe town called Ehrenfeld. We are really close to the track/gym/physios/train stations so getting around is quite quick and simple! I came to Cologne in 2014 before the Commonwealth Games too and really enjoyed the professional environment the Aussies have set up here. I am doing a few races while in Europe too, my first is this weekend in Bydgoszcz, Poland. I am racing a 400m in the 'European Athletics Festival Cup' on Sunday arvo (early Monday morning AEST). Then I am hoping to run a 400m or 200m in either Nancy, France or Luzerne, Switzerland respectively (depending on which race I can get into), and finally a 400m in the IAAF World Challenge in Madrid, Spain.

I'm back home for a month after this Europe training camp to finalise my preparations before moving into the team camp in Florida at the end of July.

It's all very exciting and happening quite quickly but I want to say thank you SO much to every single person who has congratulated me and supported me over the last few months. It's so humbling and really makes this whole experience even more special by having your support. It means a great deal to me and my family to know that 'Team Rubie' spreads far and wide around the world!

 

Will keep you updated on my races and how training is progressing in the coming weeks. A.x

Rio Olympics!

Hey guys, Very excited to announce I've been selected in the Australian Track & Field team for the 2016 Rio Olympics!

I've had a big few weeks following my selection so I'll try to re-cap quickly.

Olympic Trials

The week after Easter, Sydney hosted the Australian National Athletic Championships & Olympic Trials which ended up being a huge weekend! I ran the 400m heats on Thursday night, and the 400m final on Saturday (which was also Lachlan's Birthday!) As I had run under the qualifying standard of 52.20 three times already, all I needed to do at the trials was win (to gain automatic selection), or come in the top three (to gain discretionary selection).

Unfortunately I came down with the flu Wednesday night so was bed ridden most of the weekend when I wasn't running! This wasn't ideal as my final preparations had been going really well and felt like I was extremely fit and ready to go.

Regardless of this, I ran the final as hard as I could and finished third behind Morgan Mitchell and Jess Thornton. I was pretty contented with this result, although it wasn't the time or result I was hoping for, I knew it could have been a lot worse! Placing in the top three also meant that I was still able to be selected that weekend. So we all waited with our fingers crossed...

12599401_284003365263967_899405010_n

during the Queensland Track Classic on March 19, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.

during the Queensland Track Classic on March 19, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.

Athletics Australia Selection Gala Night

On the Sunday Night at the conclusion of the Olympic Trials, Athletics Australia hosted a Gala Night to announce the selected members of the Olympic Team. Mum, Dad, Lachlan and I sat on a table with my best friend Ella Nelson and her parents. Ella ran three qualifying standards and won the Trials very impressively so was automatically selected which was extremely exciting! The night was very well organised and really built an Olympic atmosphere, they played videos of all past Olympic Games and had numerous stories of Olympic 'great' moments. After dinner, all the retired Olympians in the room stood up and formed a guard of honour (which Lachlan was part of!!) to celebrate with the selected athletes as they walked on stage to collect their Qantas 'boarding pass' to Rio.

I was on the edge of my seat with Mum and Dad waiting and hoping my name would be called out...I'm pretty sure we were all shaking with nerves! Finally, Bruce McAveny announced as part of the Sprint Group, in the 400m 'Anneliese Rubie' !!! YAY! I started balling my eyes out and couldn't stop crying (unfortunately for all the photos), and gave Lach a hug as I walked through the guard of honour and was given my boarding pass. Was one of the best moments of my life so far.

518880530

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.50.12 pm

Back into training

Since then, I have had a few days off training to recover from the flu and let my body rest. I then made a quick trip to Melbourne to start training with my coach and planning for the next 4 months. I'm in for a tough couple of months training now which will set me up perfectly to start racing in June in Europe. Then the team meets up in Miami, Florida in July for our final preparation camp, then finally moving into Rio in August! It's all very exciting, and I still have to pinch myself every now and then.

Classroom of Hope Fundraising

Lastly, I am fundraising for a charity called Classroom of Hope through their Bag Walkers campaign. They have dispersed 50 bags (that look like school bags) around the world to ambassadors to raise funds for children in Rwanda. Kids in a small village called Gitumba have to walk 5 hours everyday just to get to a school, the walk is unsafe and too long! Classroom of Hope are fundraising to build a school in their village, and so I have pledged to walk 10km with my bag....as the saying goes "walk a mile in their shoes". Every child deserves the right to safe and accessible education, so if anyone has some spare change, I'd appreciate it if you could head over to my fundraising page and donate. Every small amount helps and I'm trying to reach a goal of $1,000.

https://bagwalkers2016.everydayhero.com/au/anneliese

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 8.00.45 pm

Thanks very much for reading, look forward to updating you along my road to Rio!

A. xx

Hunter Track Classic 2016

Hey guys! Over the weekend I competed at the Hunter Track Classic in Newcastle so thought I'd update you on my results and progress for the last month.

Through December/January I was based in Melbourne training with my coach in a pretty tough training phase. The focus of these training camps has been on endurance and strength, so I decided to have a race over the two lap event to see how well my training has been working!

My first 800m for 2016 was at the NSW Club Championships where I ran a time-trial basically on my own. It was a hot and windy day but nevertheless I managed to run a huge personal best of 2:02.52 which I was thrilled with! My time was only 1 second away from the Olympic Qualifier (2:01.50), pointing out positive signs for my fitness.

 

You can watch that race here:

[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/121010837927608/videos/1201479966547351/" /]

I decided to run one more 800m, at the Hunter Track Classic in Newcastle, one of my favourite meets of the year. The field was very strong with National 800m medallist Selma Kajan (pb of 2:01.7), but we had the benefit of a pace-maker who was ideally going to run 57-58 seconds for the first lap. I'm quite happy with how the race panned out, it was a little slow through the first 600m but I battled on hard in the home straight and ended up winning in basically the same time as my previous race, 2:02.53!

Watch here (Fast Forward to 41min 35 seconds) [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx0Y4nGhwpE&w=560&h=315]

I'm now back into training, but finally fixing my focus back onto my favourite event, the 400m as I start building up towards Rio! I am travelling to Canberra this weekend to race my first 400m, then moving to Adelaide for the Adelaide Track Classic on the 20th of February. I will update everyone with more details as it gets closer to the date.

Here are some pics from the past few weeks of training/racing!

 

A. xx

 

2015 Wrap Up

Hi guys! Sorry for the radio silence since World Champs - I've been extremely busy finishing off uni for the year and getting my Olympic preparations started!

The last 2 months I've been back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne. My coach, Peter Fortune, is based in Melbourne so I try and get down here as much as possible to train with the group. I absolutely love it down here, the facilities are great and I've been able to get a really solid block of training in since finishing uni.

The last 12 months have been amazing and I've learnt a lot!! So I thought it would be fun to wrap up what's happened this year...

December 2014: The beginning of the season started with a bit of a hurdle, as I was in a boot & crutches for a month with a suspected stress fracture in my foot. I had just changed to my new coach and was very eager to begin my training (maybe too eager!!) Fortunately it ended up not being a stress fracture so I was able to build back into training to start racing at the end of Jan.

January 2015: With the new coach came some new training sessions! I became fitter than I'd ever been before and built a new strength base. This newfound fitness lead me to racing a few 800m's running a PB of 2:03.93.

10458488_807434336003062_7835752724809979662_n

February 2015: Spent a lot of time in Melbourne as I gradually added in some 400m specific training. Raced over the distance a few times but I was focussing mainly on my training at this point.

IMG_0736

March-April 2015: I travelled to Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, and Brisbane racing over 400m and this resulted in me winning my first ever National Title over the 400m in 52.77! I was very excited and happy with my progress so far. Also, University Semester 1 started!

May 2015: I travelled to Philedelphia in the US for a relay race called the Penn Relays. Was an awesome experience but mainly we used this as a warm up for the World Relay Championships which were held in the Bahamas! The Aus 4x400m team competed at the World Relays and we performed extremely well, managing to qualify the team for the Rio Olympics - yay!

June-July 2015: I spent these months training really hard at home in Sydney while finishing my studies for the semester. I knew I'd be part of the relay team that was travelling to Beijing in August for the World Championships so I put in A LOT of hard work and tough sessions in the winter weather so I could compete well over there. I raced against the other relay team members in the Sunshine Coast, QLD and surprised myself with a PB of 52.25 in the 400m.

11083781_817115518368277_755124505949759062_o

August 2015: Surprise Surprise! My new PB qualified me for the individual 400m at the World Championships. As I landed in Japan, I got an email informing me I would be competing in 2 weeks time against the best in the world. One more preparation race, and one more PB of 52.20 meant I was in tip top shape.

IMG_3976

World Championships, Beijing: This is the highlight of my career so far. I ran a huge PB in the heat of 51.69, to qualify for the semi-finals AND a qualifier for the Olympics!! I competed against some amazing athletes (Allyson Felix World Champ) and felt like I held my own. Even though I hadn't expected to run, I didn't feel under prepared and I made sure I took advantage of the great competition, placing 22nd overall and running my second fastest time of 52.04. I then ran with the relay team and we ran the fastest time in 13years by an Aussie team of 3:28.6! Wohoo!

September-December 2015: Back to life, back to reality! Coming back home and getting back into Uni work was hard but I'm glad I was able to complete my studies for the year well. I've been to Melbourne (as mentioned above) and been able to train really well here in preparation for next year! Also, some exciting news... I'm very happy to announce I've signed with Puma. I absolutely love the brand, the gear, and what they are all about. I know they will be with me every step of the way towards Rio, and beyond.

What's Next? I will start racing again in January for the Aussie domestic season, I'm planning to run a few 800m's initially just to see where I'm at and then move into the 400m's again. The Olympic trials are in April, and then I will most likely be in Melbourne or overseas preparing for Rio which starts in August!

Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope you have a spectacular 2016! Thanks for being part of my journey!

A. xx