World Relay Championships 2015

img_9733.jpeg

Hey guys! A very warm hello from the balmy Bahamas! We got in on Monday and have been finishing off our final preparations for the heat of the World Relay Championships which is tomorrow evening (Sunday morning Aussie time). It's been a whirlwind trip so far, and unfortunately the weather has been less than ideal here, raining and storming most days. But we are expecting sun and warm conditions tomorrow which is perfect for racing!

IMG_2338

To automatically qualify for Rio, we need to finish in the TOP 2 places in our heat, or be in the next 2 fastest times going through to the final. This will secure our berth in the Final on Sunday night AND RIOOO!!!!

So here are all the details for this race:

Heat 1, Lane 2. Main competition will be in Nigeria and France, potentially Cuba. Run at 8:31pm Bahamas time (10:31am AEST) Running order - Caitlin Sargent 1st leg, Jess Gulli 2nd leg, Anneliese Rubie 3rd leg, Morgan Mitchell 4th.

You'll be able to watch the LIVE STREAM from the IAAF Youtube Channel - the link is below:

https://www.youtube.com/user/IAAFMagazine

Cheer for us nice and loudly to make that final!!

A.xx

Sydney Track Classic Results

PB!!! Wohooo! 

1507880_10153673279357729_5754495481857792266_n

Very happy with my run last night at the Sydney Track Classic over 800m. It was a very strong field of girls who all held faster personal best times than me going into the race but I managed to finish 4th!

10312468_807434359336393_5738241824058686588_n

I'm learning that the 800m is on a totally different level of racing to the 400m - it is extremely tactical and quite hard to judge your pace. We started out racing in a pack all bunched together across the first lap, then the field strung out into single file as we ran into the second lap. With about 200m to go the pace really surged and I tried to stay up the front to put myself in a good position for the final 100m - unfortunately this kick took a bit of extra energy out of my legs and I didn't finish quite as strongly as I had hoped.

10458488_807434336003062_7835752724809979662_n

However I still bettered my old PB (2:05.48 secs) by almost a second and half to finish in a time of 2:03.93 secs. I am extremely happy with my progression from my last race, considering this was only my second real hit out over the two laps!

You can watch the race here: (Fast Forward to 2hrs 11mins on the video)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zxp3cwDDRM&w=560&h=315]

Now I am fully focussed on the Melbourne Track Classic this Saturday, and the National Championships next weekend where I will be running the 400m at both. Thanks for everybody's messages of support over the last few weeks; I am extremely humbled by your kind and very motivating words!

Until next time! A. xx

(Thank you to all of the amazing photographers who captured the meet last night...Chris Lew, David Wylie, David Tarbotton to name a few. These pictures are from a fellow Sydney University Athlete, Miles Cole-Clark.)

Two 400m races, four states, 7 days.

Hello! I've had a monster of a week travelling, training, racing and have finally settled back at home for a couple of weeks for my last block of pre-nationals training.

I started off travelling to Perth for the Perth Track Classic to race in my first 400m for the season. It was a great field with basically our whole Glasgow 4x400m team competing, minus two, and conditions were set to be perfect! Unfortunately, Perth had an anomaly of a day in weather, having the only day under 25 degrees in months and cold gusty head-winds on the track making it very less than ideal conditions to race!! I ended up coming third (exactly even with Lyndsay Pekin), in a  time of 54.20. I was quite disappointed with the time and result, but not completely disheartened because the weather and travel probably played a part in my slow time.

IMG_1190

On my way back to Sydney I stopped off in Melbourne to see my coach and train with squad for a few days. This was a great opportunity to get in a tough track session and plan the rest of my season. We did a 400m specific lactic session involving 300m 2mins 150m, 250m 90secs 150m, 200m 60secs 120m. Definitely opened the lungs!

I then stopped off in Sydney for a night before driving to the Nation's Capital, Canberra, for another 400m race! I had a much better run and fought with Lauren Wells to the line and ended up second in 53.53, almost a whole second faster than the week before. You can watch the race here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zcIVKbC8NA&w=560&h=315]

This weekend I have the NSW State Championships where I will be running the 400m and 200m, and am looking to defend my State 400m Title. Fingers crossed for a fast race! Then I have a couple of weeks off before the Sydney Track Classic and Melbourne Track Classic.

Until then, I will be enjoying the last couple of weeks of beautiful Sydney summer weather!

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

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!

Image

Image

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.

Image

 

Image

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

Sydney and Melbourne Wrap Up

Hello!

I've had a very busy last few weeks beginning with the 400m race at the Sydney Track Classic, a short trip to Melbourne for training and finishing with a 200m at the Melbourne Track Classic.

Sydney Track was a great meet - lots of entertainment and although torrential rain poured down minutes before the start of the event, the conditions weren't too bad! I knew the 400m was going to be a great event for the night with the news that Natasha Hastings (400m American Champ) was to be competing against us. Turns out, it was! 

I crossed the line 2nd behind Natasha in my second fastest time ever (52.70). Although this was slightly slower than what I was hoping for, I was really happy to finish second and ran a good race! You can watch the whole meet here (my race is at 2hrs 14mins and I'm in lane 3):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zkO9re50vk&w=560&h=315]

I had a chat to Natasha after the race and she asked if I wanted to jump in on a few of her training sessions to learn about her training and life as an athlete over in America. I decided that I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that and booked my flights down to Melbourne a few days later. I did one 400m specific session and one 200m preparation session with her and learnt a lot!! She is very strong and extremely fast, so I was definitely pushed more than I have been in a very long time. The other American athletes were also down in Melbourne and being surrounded by athletes of that class was very motivating. Training at the same time was LaShawn Merritt (400m Olympic & World Champion), Duane Solomon (800m Olympic 4th Place), and David Oliver (110m hurdles Olympic/World Champion) and they were very generous in giving me tips on my running technique, block starts and racing/training plans. All in all, a very worthwhile experience!!

That weekend I competed in the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge meet in the 200m again against Natasha Hastings and some of Australia's best sprinters. After a demanding week of training I wasn't feeling 100% in my body unfortunately but I knew that was going to happen after some tough sessions so I just tried to run as fast as I could under the circumstances. I ended up in 4th (3rd Australian) and had a lot of fun! The times weren't super fast because of fairly cold and windy conditions but it was a solid race.

Image

 

You can watch the whole meet and my race here: (my race is at 1hr 53mins and I am in lane 6)

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

Next up! the 2014 Australian Athletic Championships and Commonwealth Games selection Trials in Melbourne on April 3rd-6th. I am competing in the 400m and 200m. Can't wait!

I am extremely excited to be wearing the 2014 New Balance racing kit this season which is very bright and eye catching. Love the fresh colours and as always, the super comfy and FAST designs. Image

Also wanted to say thanks to Sydney University Sport and Fitness for their ongoing support and care! I wouldn't be able to compete at any of these meets without their help!

Love A.x

2014 Season begins!!

Hello!

First of all, a belated Happy New Year!

Down to business... Well the 2014 Athletics season has officially begun!

My campaign to qualify for the Commonwealth Games started off great with a PB in the 800m at the end of 2013. I ran at an inter club meet in Sydney against the clock and ran a 2:05.84, which was almost a second off my old personal best time! This was a great indicator of my fitness and strength, proving that all of the hard sessions during winter were paying off. After I ran this race there was speculation as to whether I would focus on qualifying for the 200m, 400m or 800m for the Commonwealth Games as I am relatively close to all three - I think it's safe to say I am sticking to the 400m this season!!

My first 400m race was two weeks ago at the Club Championships in Sydney, it was definitely a lung opener that's for sure! I ran a time of 53.32 which was great considering it was the first race of the season and I was out on my own. This time is less than a second away from the Comm Games qualifying time and there is plenty of things I need to fix up in my race plan which should take a big chunk out of the time too.

Last weekend, I ran my second 400m at the Hunter Track Classic in Newcastle. Hunter is such a great meet with lots of music, fancy cars and great competition, so I always enjoy racing there! I entered the track on top of a convertible Mercedes Benz!

Image

Image

I was happy with the way I actually set up my race, however unfortunately the time did not reflect the effort I was putting in just yet! I ended up just being overtaken in the last 20m by Caitlin Sargent. It was a great race for both of us to get out of the system I think and good to have someone so close to me to push those fast times out.

I am now focussing on the 200m for a couple of weeks to get my speed up and then will return to the 400m for the last few races of the season before potentially heading to the Bahamas for the World Relay Championships in May!

My next two races are:

- February 1st, Club Championships 200m

- February 8th and 9th, ACT State Championships 200m

Then after that I continue with the 400m at:

-March 15th, Sydney Track Classic 400m

-March 29th, Queensland Track Classic 400m

-April 3-6th, Australian Athletic Championships and Commonwealth Games Selection Trial (Melbourne) 400m & 200m

I am ready to jump into my next couple of weeks of training and am definitely very confident for my next races!

Image

Thanks for all of the support and well wishes!

A. xx

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!

_EW10280

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

Melbourne Track Classic PB + win!

melbournetrackclassic3n7rpyddp01l.jpg

Hello all! The title pretty much says it all, but just a quick post to let you know about my race at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge meet yesterday. I have had a great (almost) 2 week training block since my last race in Perth and have been feeling really strong. Unfortunately I came down with a cold on Wednesday so was desperately trying to fight it off before the race last night. But nevertheless, the Melbourne weather gods brought out the goods with a beautiful sunny day, barely any wind and almost 30 degrees! This definitely lifted my spirits and I went into the race feeling pretty confident.

I ran a really good race and came 1st with a new PB of 52.61! I am so happy to have gone even quicker again! Now I am just hungrier to get that World Champs B qualifying time of 52.35 next weekend at the National Championships. So if I do run the B standard, and win Nationals, then I will be automatically selected for the Australian Team. I have my fingers tightly crossed!

There is a link to my 400m race in Melbourne here: (it isn't great quality and just misses the start of the race but is the only version I could find so far)

http://www.watchathletics.com/video/world-challenge/1043/women-400m-melbourne-world-challenge-2013/

This week I will be resting and trying to recover from this cold, and have my Nationals Heat on Thursday afternoon. The final is on Saturday night at 6.20pm! I am very lucky that the Nationals are being held in Sydney this year, so no more travelling for me (yipee!) but that also means that you can come out and watch too! I will post more details closer to the date for everyone.

Have a nice week and thanks for the support! A. xx

PB in Perth!!!

528559_346067132120051_120340114692755_924683_787305046_n.jpg

Good news!! I'm home from Perth and did a big PB, which was under 53 for the first time. I won the 400m in 52.89! And more good news, my training partner Liz Jenkins came second, also in a big PB of 55.44.

The link to the race is here for all those wanting to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vF-Ft2lMSEo

I felt really good in the race, and the conditions were pretty good! Had a bit of a headwind around the second half of the race but besides that everything went really well. So now I am training hard towards getting that extra half of a second off my time to qualify for the World Championships.

Enjoy! A. xx