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.

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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

Getting ready for Europe!

There is only 1 week until I fly out to Europe to begin my season in preparation for the Commonwealth Games! I will be basing in Cologne, Germany for 3 weeks while I do a couple of races and then move into Team Camp for a week before heading into the Athletes Village in Glasgow. I am so excited to get over there to finalise my training and start racing! I thought I'd let you in on a few sessions I've been doing and a few my favourite New Balance things that I will be taking in my suitcase with me.

I've been focussing a lot on my strength & conditioning sessions in the last couple of weeks, building strength and muscle to ensure that I stay strong while I'm overseas and more importantly, am able to perform at my peak at the Commonwealth Games. In the gym my S&C coach is very particular on my technique and being snappy/explosive with every exercise. Along with Cleans/Squats/Deadlifts I also do a lot of foot contact drills, explosive jumps and medicine ball throws.

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On the track I have been focussing on race specific sessions that are super tough!! One of my favourites is split 400ms:

2-3 x 200m, 60sec, 200m
(aim to at the pace of your 1st 200m of a 400m race each rep)

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To take with me in my suitcase over to Europe I'll let you in on a few of my favourite NB things that help get me through my gruelling training regime. My absolute favourite pieces at the moment are from the New Balance by Heidi Klum range.

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I absolutely love the new colours and patterns in this range, and more importantly how comfortable and wearable it is. The Hottie Bra (see above right) is definitely one of the things I wear the most in my wardrobe. It is super supportive for running and has lightweight & breathable material, which helps in some of the longer sessions!! I also have the matching Run Shorts which have a loose fitted outer layer and a fitted under short. Really great for gym sessions too!

 

 

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My new favourite New Balance shoes which will definitely be on the plane with me to Europe are the Fresh Foam 980s. I use these at the gym and for my track session warm up/longer reps. They are so comfortable and different to any other shoe I've worn. Without being constrictive they are still supportive and lightweight. Definitely give these a go!

If you want to have a look at any of these things head to www.newbalance.com.au 

Thanks to New Balance Australia for your continued support and belief in me. I will be representing #TeamNB overseas very proudly.

 

Enjoy! A. xx

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.

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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

Stylerunner Blog-azine & State Relays

Hey guys!

I was recently Q & A'd by an amazing online sportswear retailer called Stylerunner about my training and journey towards next years Commonwealth Games - it also details how you can show your support to help me get there! 

Have a read and let me know what you think! 
http://www.stylerunner.com/blog/running-dream.html

Only 2 more days left on my StarStadium goal too.
Please help me reach the final target - I'm so close!!

https://www.starstadium.com/view/10/2014-commonwealth-games

In other news, over the weekend my Sydney Uni team mates and I competed in the NSW State Relays - and we brought the rain (literally!) Image

Almost completing a clean sweep of every open's race, it was a very successful weekend.
I competed in the 4x200m, Sprint Medlay, and the 4x400m events, we won all three and broke a few State and National records on the way too.

I was very pleased with my performances and we got a few rough times for my leg in each relay...it is safe to say I am on track to attain that qualifying standard in a few months!
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In the gym this morning I also recorded a few PB's in my lifts (Hang clean = 62.5kg). Definitely getting stronger and faster for next season!Image

Thanks for your continual support!

A. xx