Sydney Track Classic

Hello! Sydney Track Classic

Sorry for the late notice BUT tomorrow marks the date of the Sydney Track Classic. One of our country's top athletics meets. This year it is one of the two finals of the Australian Athletics Tour. All the other tour meets this year have culminated in this weekend in Sydney, and next weekend in Melbourne where we will have our final chances to gain a qualifier for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

I am racing in the 800m tomorrow night (14th March) at 8:12pm against some top runners! Not only Australia's fastest 800m runners, but also one of USA's finest Molly Beckwith, and two Kiwi's from across the Pacific, Angie Petty and Nikki Hamblin, who have both competed at the Olympics and World Champs. Would be an understatement to say I'm a little nervous, but I'm also very excited to have a go at the two-lap event once again!

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There are two options to watch my race....

1: Come out to Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush! The actions kicks off at 7:20pm with Sally Pearson racing in the 200m, then continues with an action packed schedule of racing (including me at 8:12pm) and finishes off at 8:30pm with Sally Pearson once again racing over the 100m this time. Tickets are available at the gate on the night!

2. Watch the live stream from the comfort of your living room! http://mossyandrobbo.com/livestream/ Mossy & Robbo will be continuing with their incredible coverage of the Athletics Tour on Saturday night by suppling a LIVE stream of the whole meet. Yours for the viewing by clicking the link above!

Then next week I will continue on to Melbourne to run the 400m at the Melbourne Track Classic, busy busy! But very exciting times ahead.

Hope to see you out there...Or cheer extra loud for me through your computer screens!

A. xx

Hunter Track Classic

Hi guys! I've had a great week of training even in the pouring Sydney rain, (runners take note: a hat is your best friend when running in the rain!) and I am ready for my first race in the Athletics Australia Tour Meets! Here is some info on my race this weekend at the Hunter Track Classic (you can find all the details for the whole meet by clicking the link to your left or the image below!)

Hunter Track Classic

I am in the Women's Raine & Horne 800m A Race which is at 8:24pm.

If you can't make it up to Newcastle there is a live stream of the entire meet by Mossy & Robbo, Athletics' favourite commentators, on their website which will begin at 6pm: http://www.mossyandrobbo.com/livestream/

This track classic is one of my favourites, there is music pumping and they really involve the crowd. It's definitely one of the most exciting meets we have in Australia! I'm running against an awesome lineup of girls and it's going to be a great race to be a part of. There is 4 Commonwealth Games representatives (myself 400m, Brittany McGowen and Katherine Katsanevakis 800m, and Melissa Duncan 1500m) and a bunch of up and coming juniors (Georgia Wassall 800m World Junior Bronze Medallist).  I have absolutely zero experience racing in the 800m so I will be learning with every step I take and trying to mix it with the top girls.

Until then, I will be doing my sun-dance to encourage the clouds to go away and completing the finishing touches to my pre-season training! Hope to see you out at the Hunter Sports Centre on Saturday night or through your computer screen on the live stream!

A. xx

Cross-training For Runners

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Does the thought of going weeks without running make you shudder? Not just because, let's face it, life without running isn't the same...But also because all that hard earned fitness from regular running seems to disappear half as quickly as it takes to gain. It's at this point that runners often begin to think of alternate means to training, or as we call it; Cross Training. I'm going to run you through a few of my tried and tested ways to cross train to maintain base fitness levels and aerobic capacity whilst forced out of running. Now obviously, nothing compares to running and I'm not going to lie; none of these options will give you the same benefit as regular running training. BUT, if done correctly they certainly take the sting out of your come back sessions and are definitely a great way of maintaining fitness or even as a supplement to your regular training.

Swimming and Pool Running

This is my personal favourite when it comes to cross-training. It has the lowest impact, you can simulate almost any running session whilst pool running and there's thousands of variations of sessions to do combining swimming and pool running.

One of the main benefits of swimming is increase in oxygen capacity. Learning how to control your breathing while swimming allows increases in oxygen capacity and strengthens your lungs. When it's time to hit the running sessions again, I found my lung capacity was much greater and I could slow my breathing down, allowing deeper breathes and more oxygen into muscles.

Another advantage of swimming is the choice in swimming stroke. Freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke etc.. all use slightly different muscles and allows you to target different muscle groups simply by changing stroke. Swimming without using your legs is also an option if you need to rest up completely. This is tough but still holds aerobic and anaerobic gains whilst training your upper body muscles.

Pool running (deep or shallow water) is awesome for runners looking to maintain fitness. I run in deep water and use a floatation belt and tie it with a rope to the side of the pool so I can best replicate the angles of a natural running stride. As with cycling, the most important part about structuring a pool running session is the recoveries. Keep them short!! Other than that you can basically replicate any running session. For example; if you had a session of 10x200m (in 30secs) with 1min recovery, you could do a pool session like 10 x 30sec on, 15sec off, 30sec on. If done with the correct intensity, this could get you quite lactic!

Some other examples of pool sessions that I've done in the past are:

Session 1:  Swim 100-300m 6 x 45 sec run/ 20 sec rest (kick board 25m recovery) 6 x 30 sec run/15 sec rest (kick board 25m recovery) 6 x 15 sec run/15 sec rest (kick board 25m recovery) 10 x 10 sec run/10 sec rest (kick board 25m recovery) Repeat. Swim 100-300m

Session 2:  Swim 100-300m 5 x 1min run/20 sec rest 10 x 45sec run/20 sec rest 10 x 30sec run/10 sec rest 5 x 1min run/20 sec rest 5 x 45sec run/20 sec rest 5 x 1min run/20 sec rest Swim 100-300m

One problem a lot of runners have with swimming is boredom. I have had this myself, I find staring at the line at the bottom of the pool in silence and slogging away by myself quite boring! Never fear, I have found a solution. A company called Underwater Audio have taken normal iPod Shuffles and waterproofed them from the inside, out. This has been a game changer for me and I now use swimming and pool running as a supplement to my training and recovery, not just as a form of cross-training when I'm injured!

Check them out by clicking on the image below:

Underwater Audio

Cycling

Riding a stationary bike is a great way to maintain lean muscle mass and aerobic fitness. Most injuries allow you to cycle immediately or at least after 1-2 weeks of complete resting. The main focus when using cycling as a means to cross train is the overall time you are exercising. It's easy to start feeling the 'quad lock-up' associated with cycling early on and think you've done enough after 10 or 15 minutes. Fortunately with cycling, your muscles recovery quickly due to the very low impact, and you can soldier on cycling. It's important to remember when you are doing cycling sessions to build aerobic fitness that recoveries between reps need to be kept short in order to keep your heart rate up! The only negative with cycling is that it is very targeted on your quadricep muscles. I've definitely noticed an increase in size and strength in my quads after a block of cycling cross training, and felt maybe the other muscle groups didn't get quite the same gains. Having said this, it's great to use and will definitely get you working hard!! Here are some example bike sessions I've done in the past:

Session 1: 10min easy cycle warm up 10 x Fast 30secs, Easy 30secs Easy 3mins 10 x Fast 20secs, Easy 20secs Easy 3mins 10 x Fast 15secs, Easy 15secs Easy 2mins 5 x Fast 15secs, Easy 15secs Easy 2mins 5 x Fast 30secs, Easy 30secs 10min easy cycle warm down

Session 2: 10min easy cycle warm up 3 x Fast 2mins, Easy 2mins Easy cycle 5mins 4 x Fast 1min, Easy 30sec Easy cycle 3mins 4 x Fast 45 secs, Easy 45secs Easy cycle 3mins 4 x Fast 30secs, Easy 30secs Easy cycle 3mins, 6 x fast 20secs, Easy 40secs 10min easy cycle warm down

Do you have other forms of cross-training you like? Tell me about it below! Would love to hear from you..

A. xx

Nike and 2015

Hello!

To start the year off on a positive note I have some exciting news; I have joined forces with Nike and will be running for them throughout the 2015 season and beyond. I am thrilled to have the chance to run in and represent Nike, admittedly it's been a dream of mine for quite some time! The brands roots and history are in track & field, so their product is second to none when it comes to running.

NIKE

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I unfortunately suffered a bit of a set back at the end of last year with a minor injury in my foot. This led to a few changes in my training program where I've been trying to stay off the tartan track, and out of my spikes, and keep to grass running. I've also had a bit of a longer approach to my sessions which I am thoroughly enjoying for a change!

On another note, I had my first unofficial race at the NSW Club Championships over the 800m. It was a miserably wet and cold day, so I wasn't expecting too much however I ended up winning with a time of 2:07.05. I was really happy with that time considering the conditions and am very positive about the season ahead.


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Now I am on track and preparing for my first race of the Australian Athletics Tour which will be on the 31st of January in Newcastle. I'll be racing the Hunter Track Classic in another 800m! I'm really excited to race there again, it is always a fun night with music and all kinds of entertainment, for example, last year I arrived onto the track before my race sitting on the back of a convertible! Here is a link to the meet website where you can find who I'll be racing against, and some of the other athletes competing in different events:

http://www.huntertrackclassic.com.au/news/2015-event-list/

I have also just returned from a short training stint in Melbourne with my new coach Peter Fortune. I did some tough sessions that definitely worked the legs! It was great to train with him and with the squad there...He has some interesting stories about past athletes he has coached (one of particular note, Cathy Freeman) that is really motivational to hear before you begin a hard lactic session!


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That's all my news for now...I will keep the updates coming as the season unfolds. Stay tuned!

A. xx

Comm Games qualifier, PB and a Silver medal!

Hi Guys

WOW what a weekend....!

The Australian Championships & Commonwealth Games selection trials were on last weekend in Melbourne and I ran the 400m and 200m. Going into the Championships I was pretty confident I had a chance to take out the gold medal in the 400m, but due to inconsistent weather conditions down at Melbourne I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get the Commonwealth Games qualifier too. What resulted was not what I was expecting but I am very happy nonetheless.

On the thursday night I ran the 400m heat and was able to run pretty conservatively and save up my energy for the final on the Saturday night. I ran a 54.31 and was drawn lane 6 for the final. Over the weekend we were pretty lucky it wasn't forecasted to rain but unfortunately that's where our luck finished! Cold wind swirled around the track all afternoon the day of the race and was not ideal conditions for fast times.

I felt really good going into the race, no real injury niggles and my training had been going really well. Caitlin Sargent, my main competitor from QLD was 2 lanes inside me, and a young girl from Melbourne, Morgan Mitchell, was on the lane inside me so I knew I would have to focus on my own race and not get distracted by what they were or weren't doing!
I did just that and ended up with a silver medal in a new PB of 52.35 seconds! Unfortunately I didn't judge the timing of the end of my race exactly right so I finished with a bit left in the tank, and I was only 0.13 seconds behind the winner Morgan. But I was extremely ecstatic with the result because my time was the exact Commonwealth Games 'B' qualifier!

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The fact that I didn't win meant I couldn't be automatically selected in the team, but I will have to wait until June 1st for the final selection announcement.
I am pretty confident of an individual selection, and am certain that our relay team (which I will be a part of) has a good chance to make the final and maybe even medal in Glasgow!

The next day I had 2 rounds of the 200m to get through, and even though I was on a bit of cloud nine having run the qualifying standard, I had to re-focus and get back into racing mode.
I ran through the heats relatively easily and secured a place in the final. I ended up running a really good 200m and finishing strongly enough to take out the bronze medal in 23.88 seconds! The time wasn't quick because we had a strong headwind but I was extremely happy to finish the weekend with two medals.

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If you want to watch my races, here is the links

400m: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO759kAtRDc&feature=youtu.be

200m: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0cDGhyptpw&feature=youtu.be

Now I am going back into hard training for three months before heading overseas in June. With lots of things to work on and improve in my race I am very confident I will be able to run some fast times if selected to go to Glasgow and am very excited to get to work!

Thanks everyone for your messages of support over the last couple of months! It really has helped me push to be a better athlete and to compete for Australia this year at the Games.

Love A.x

Help me to get to the Commonwealth Games!

Click here to: Help me to get to the Commonwealth Games!

As the Commonwealth Games selection trials creep closer and closer, I am asking for your help! Star Stadium is a new crowd funding site that is helping athletes achieve their goals. My goal is to qualify and gain selection in the Australian team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Juggling being a full time athlete and a full time student leaves little time for part time work. To qualify for the team I am needing to travel domestically and internationally to compete against the best, and as you can imagine - the expenses add up very quickly!!

Please jon my team and help me compete for Australia!

Anneliese x

To stretch or not to stretch?

Hi guys! So the last couple of weeks I've had quite a few people ask whether they should be stretching before or after workouts, or not at all! There is so much talk of what not to do pre-run these days and confusion about what is best for a running warm up. So I thought I'd just write a quick blog on what I personally do, and give you a few threads of thought so you can make your own minds up!

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A typical running warm up for me looks a little something like this...

Get Blood Pumping and Elevate Core Temp. I do this by jogging for 5-10 minutes, (can also ride a stationary bike/cross-trainer etc if you're in a gym)

Getting Out Stiffness. Not a very technical term I know - but I do this by going through a few dynamic stretches...particularly in my key stiff sites which are hips/hamstrings/back! I don't usually hold stretches very long, and like to keep the muscles moving while stretching.

Getting Technique Right! This is a few technical drills that help me hold my technique right during my training session. Things like high knee walks, glute activations, and some quick/snappy drills keep my muscles warm and help train my technique. Open the Lungs. The last couple of things are to open my lungs and really get my legs moving. I do 2-3 run throughs of 80-100m at about 80-90%, then I complete one lap of the track of 50m fast, 50m jog etc.

This is my training and race warm up, I find it prepares me mentally and physically for tough sessions well. By the time I've completed the whole process there is no stiffness or soreness in my legs and I am ready to go!

Last important thing to note is to do what you feel works for you!! Everybody is different and every body is different - so just because something works for me doesn't mean that it is going to work for you too!

Happy training!

A. xx