Prepd- Man walking

Clint Eastwood Last One Standing – Interview with Chris Murphy

WHAT IS THE CLINT EASTWOOD LAST ONE STANDING (LOSER) EVENT?

The race format is a 6.7km lap that started every hour on the hour. You have to finish your lap within the hour and be in the starting corral when the whistle blows to start the next lap or you are out.

WHERE AND WHEN IS THE RACE?

The race was held in Oxley Creek Common, Brisbane South, on August 14th starting at 1.00am

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

Starts

  • Each lap starts precisely 1 hour after the last.
  • A warning will be issued 3, 2 and 1 minute prior to the start of each lap.
  • All participants must start at the bell/horn from the corral (no exceptions).

Laps​

  • Except for restrooms, participants may not leave the course until each lap is completed​.
  • No non-participants (crew) on the course, including eliminated runners.
  • No personal aid during the lap, other than from the aid station at the turn around checkpoint.
  • Each lap must be completed within the hour, including the final lap.
  • No artificial aids, including trekking poles.
  • Participants may utilise the assistance of event crew or other participants crews if available between laps.

Once we have a single participant ‘standing’, he or she must complete a lap alone within the hour to win.

If no single runner can complete a final lap, there will be no winner and thus, all participants will be recorded as a DNF with the amount of full laps completed against their name – if this is the case, the ‘Last One Standing’ will be recognised as such but will be a DNF.

(credits: aaaracing.com.au/clint-eastwood)

HOW DID THE RACE GO FOR YOU?

There were 108 starters that took off on the first lap at 1am Friday morning.

This event becomes more mental than physical the further you go.

I started the event on about 2hrs sleep which wasn’t ideal and had to significantly adapt my sleeping plans – I originally planned to stay awake for at least the first 24hrs. On lap 3 I started to try and get 5-10mins shut eye per lap.

From a PREPD point of view, I followed the advice I got from Tony. Double dose of the Prime the night before, and during the event having a Recover every 5 hours. Throughout the event, I alternated between Tailwind and plain water, and this setup seems to have worked perfectly for me. Once again not one cramp throughout the entire event!

Cold nights, hot days and even a few laps with rain towards the end. Round and round we went until around lap 22 the numbers began to really thin out. Then over the next couple of laps the group quickly dropped to 9, then 8, then 5, then 4, then only 3 of us left.

I was struggling badly from a mental point of view and was hoping for any justifiable reason to stop – but my lap times were still consistent despite taking about 500m each lap to get the legs moving again. I knew my wife would stick to my plan of not letting me stop unless I had a bone sticking out.

As I completed lap 30, I was done mentally and felt like a broken man, despite the body still moving forward. I started lap 31 with the expectation that I would take it slowly, but potentially not make it back in time. But once again I was moving well enough. Until about 1.6km into the lap a toenail brought everything to an abrupt halt. I sat down and took my shoe off to find that I had blisters around and under the toenail which had caused it to start moving around way more than it should and now I couldn’t put weight on that foot in a shoe. Finally having a reason to stop, I walked my way back to the start line barefoot with my shoes in hand. It was finally over.

In the end I had been running for 30 hours, completed 30 laps for a total of 201km. Leaving the two guys to continue without me.

WHO WON IN THE END?

In the end, Ryan Crawford was pushed by Cam Munro to complete 37 laps (248km) for the win in an amazing effort by both these guys.

WILL YOU DO IT AGAIN?

Yes, in fact a cool update following my good result at the Clint Eastwood LOSER. I’ve been included in the Australian team to take part in Big Dogs Backyard Ultra World Championship on October 17th.

Due to COVID they can’t have people travel to America for it so instead are having about 20 countries hold their own team events simultaneously and all events will be video linked… and last one standing overall will be crowned the world champ.  The Australian event will be held in Brisbane again with a 15-person team.  I’ll be using PREPD again and am hoping to go significantly further this time around.

WHAT WILL/WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?

Having learned a lot from this one, there are a few tweaks to the plan. First one being to get a better night’s sleep before the start. Then obviously taking better care of my feet during the event with more regular shoe and sock changes. A simplified nutrition plan to make things easier between loops and a few strategies to help deal with the midday heat.

My strategy of how I used PREPD before, during and after the event will remain the same. It was simple, and it worked really well. All this will hopefully set me up to go a lot further during Big Dogs Backyard Ultra. But I won’t put a prediction out there other than I’ll just plan to always run one more lap.

*All photos are from – AAA Racing & coaching Facebook page that were taken by Joe Fletcher @joefletcherfilms.

Prepd- Two men posing in front of a brick wall

27 Benefits of Running – Michael Case

RUNNING IS ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS WE HAVE. IT IS TRULY UNIVERSAL, (ALMOST) EVERYONE CAN DO IT AND IT’S EASILY DONE IN ISOLATION.

The world is a little crazy right now. It’s hard to know what to do, but one thing I know for sure, is that exercise will always be the best option for for physical and mental health. Dozens and dozens of people have spoken to me about running lately…. with sport, gyms and any gathering on hold, running is one of our last resorts!

I am lucky enough to have been a part of hundreds and hundreds of running journeys (with clients) over the years; as much as I love programming athletes and recreational runners to improve and enjoy their running more, my greatest joy comes from inspiring others to take up running in whatever form suits their body, circumstances and goals.

Now more than ever, we need to inspire others to find a way to lace up, step outside (safely) and feel the joy of running. I will post one running photo a day with a different benefit of what running will do for you. It’s a project I feel strongly about and one that I hope people share to help others through this strange time. If it inspires, educates, resonates or helps anyone in anyway, it will be entirely worth it.

A huge thank you must go to Reece Sidney (who kept his distance well), for collaborating on this project for all the 📷!

I am also lucky to have worked with some amazing brands (and small businesses) who need all the support they can get in times like these, they will be tagged in all the posts too. Certainly not for my financial gain, purely because they do an amazing job and only exist to help other people at every opportunity.

Keep running 🏃 and I hope you enjoy my 27 benefits of running 🙌  – Michael Case

01 | ISOLATION

It seems silly to start anywhere else! There are so many benefits of running, but ISOLATION is the most important topic right now. We all need to keep isolated where possible and running is one of the best forms of exercise to maintain social distancing. Running with mates or in events is always best, but the beauty of a lone run is it helps reduce stress, gives you an opportunity to listen to your favourite music (or that podcast you’ve been meaning to digest), just be with your own thoughts or it might simply be your only time out of the house right now.

Keep your distance from others but also get some distance in your legs. Your body and brain will thank you for it.

PS:- the best advice I have been given by an expert regarding running with our restrictions in 🇦🇺 is treat your distance to another person in the street like they are a smoker exhaling. If you are close enough to inhale or smell their smoke (up to 8m) then you’re too close.

02 | FREE

Running always has and always will be FREE. So many people have lost jobs, businesses and investments in the blink of an eye, yet running still costs exactly zero dollars! Granted you might need some new shoes, but you do not need to look like a sponsored athlete to get running. The old guys who still wear button up shirts and shorts from a few decades ago in running events I attend are always my heroes. They don’t run to be seen, they don’t do it to buy the latest clothes or gadgets – they do it for the love of running and because it costs nothing than some time and sweat.

Of course you can always utilise a coach (I happen to know an amazing one 🙋‍♂️😉) who will help you get faster and run further while keeping you entertained and injury free….. but if you know how to alternate your left and right foot repeatedly whilst breathing, you are 90% of the way there!

If you have lost your income, maybe before jumping online and paying money to a “celebrity” superstar with no qualifications pedalling a cheap and completely unpersonalised (and injury prone) program, try running. Start slow, start easy and remember, it has and will always be FREE.

03 | GO AT YOUR OWN PACE

This seems like the most simple advice, but it’s often overlooked! One of the benefits of running is that you can always GO AT YOUR OWN PACE. You don’t need to keep up with anyone, you don’t need to set any records and you don’t need your heart to explode out of your chest for it to constitute as running. If running is beyond you for any reason, start with walking and build towards a power walk. Everyone starts somewhere and if walking is all you are capable of right now, this 📷 series is still for you. Just replace “running” with “walking” for every benefit listed over the coming days.

Just like you wouldn’t wander into a gym and immediately lift a 250kg barbell, you don’t start running like Eliud Kipchoge and run a marathon in under two hours. Don’t feel trapped thinking that “running” equals working as hard as possible from the moment you leave your doorstep to the moment you return. That’s called stupidity or masochism, it most certainly is not the only way to run! Going too hard at anything nearly always leads to injury and why almost every recreational runner ends up hurting themselves. .

In fact going at a “reduced” pace (otherwise known as “low aerobic” pace) is the best thing for your body and helps improve mitochondrial density, which is one of the major building blocks for being able to run longer and faster. More on that later!

If running always equals a painful, breathless, sweaty and heart exploding activity to you, remember, just GO AT YOUR OWN PACE and pull it back a bit. You’ll be amazed how much more you’ll enjoy it, but you’ll be more amazed by how much the process of learning to go slow will actually help you to eventually go faster. Trust me!

04 | STRESS RELIEF

Do you get the feeling stress levels are a little elevated in most people right now?!!

Running is the ultimate STRESS RELIEF. There are many benefits that we will discuss later that help reduce stress (endorphins, mood, sleep, energy levels, heart health, mindset etc), but one of the major stress relievers simply comes down to “switching off”. We spend hours on screens every day, staring at pixels with poor body positions and sedentary lifestyles. Add to this the stress of work, bosses, phones ringing, messages pinging, distractions, responsibilities, meetings (or ZOOM meetings these days!) and the pressure starts to build. Then we have family, financial and life commitments… you can see how the stress adds up.

When you run, there are no screens. When you run, there are no bosses. When you run, there are no screaming children (depending on where you run!). When you run, the stress of the day melts away. If you need some STRESS RELIEF, lace up at the end of the day instead of sitting in front of another screen and head out for a run.

05 | DISCIPLINE

The pain of DISCIPLINE is better than the pain of disappointment. Most chats around COVID and isolation have been of a similar trend – sitting on the couch for a few weeks, no routine, no exercise, no motivation. As normal as that is, people look for excuses in anything… I couldn’t do it because of COVID, I couldn’t do it because it’s the seventh Tuesday of the month and my cat’s star sign is in retrograde! Come up with whatever excuse you want, it often comes down to priorities and discipline.

Discipline isn’t easy. It takes practice and there are many factors that make it easier. Much like lifting that 250kg weight, you need to start with a 2.5kg weight and build up. My Top 3 tips for building DISCIPLINE are:

  1. Know your reason WHY. With a strong WHY you can achieve anything and in the moments where you lack motivation it keeps you disciplined. I have never found a better motivator than knowing WHY you want something!
  2. Start with a simple goal. So many clients over the years have come to me with big ideas and no concept on how to achieve them. we would always start them with a simple goal of “in Week 1, just train three times this week, no matter what life throws at you”. That focus was the single best way to start on the road to better discipline and changing priorities.
  3. Accountability. If family or friends know your goal (and your WHY) they will keep you accountable. If you struggle with accountability, hire a professional – they will inspire you, cut through the excuses and keep you on track.

When the world resumes some form of normality, will you be enjoying the “pain” of DISCIPLINE, or will you be feeling the pain of disappointment? Did you take the opportunity to exercise (and get running) or did you waste it?

06 | NATURE

I have never seen more runners, walkers (plus dogs! 🐶) and bike riders in my life. We have definitely reached peak isolation exercise mode! 🦠 There are couples, families and housemates out exercising along all of the trails and even though the weather today was fairly average while I was running, there is no doubt this is the busiest I have ever seen them. Bike store owners also tell me they are the busiest they’ve ever been! They are selling up to 5 times more bikes than usual, plenty of baby/child carriers and doing a roaring trade in tyres, tubes, accessories and servicing for people dusting off forgotten bikes from the shed!

When we are stuck inside, we crave NATURE. 🌿 Fresh air, birds chirping, greenery and the natural smells of the outdoors are fundamental to our lives. Running is a beautiful way to interact with nature, especially if you are lucky enough to live near any parks, trails or pathways dedicated to runners or riders.

After taking a battering recently, nature is taking this opportunity to heal. There are many reports saying air pollution is down, waterways are clearer, and wildlife activity is increasing. This can be a time to enjoy things we might normally let pass us by.

Take this opportunity to reconnect with NATURE by finding a beautiful place to run. 🌿🏃

07 | UNIVERSAL

Running is truly the most UNIVERSAL activity we have. Not everyone has access to (or can afford) a swimming pool, a bike or the equipment needed to play sport.

If I asked you to name the Number 1 🥇 event at the Olympics (both men and women) I have no doubt you would not only give the same answer as everyone else, you would also know who has won the men’s event for the last three Olympics in a row! 🇯🇲 Being the “fastest woman or man” on the planet is a universal concept everyone can understand, no matter what your running level looks like.

Why does universality matter? When you share your goals with people, they help keep you accountable. But if they understand your goals, they are more likely to help and push you. Everyone understands what it’s like to run and even if they have never run far or fast, the concept remains the same. If your goal is to run a 5km or a marathon, friends and family will understand (to a certain extent) the sacrifice, discipline and training required to cross “your” finish line. You will also have more people to share the experience with, who are aiming for the same goal or who have already achieved it, which leads to more support and greater motivation to get it done.

We might speak different languages, but running is UNIVERSALLY understood all over the world. Draw on the inspiration of those who have gone before you and those you might one day inspire by lacing up and heading out for a run.

08 | WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

For over a decade, the American College of Sports Medicine has published the Top 10 trends in “fitness” each year. It always creates some buzz when the list drops… guess what has been at the top of the list for the last 4 out of 5 years? That’s right, WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY! Only HIIT (high intensity interval training) knocked it down to second spot in 2018 when everyone across the world suddenly thought they were time poor and 30-45 minute workouts were the only viable option (regardless of technique, ability, injury issues or fitness levels – don’t get me started!).

Wearable tech has changed the face of the fitness industry unlike anything else before it. Suddenly we can see so much data on our watches and phones. Rewind a decade or two we would need a lab to record what is now available on demand on a tiny screen. Technology can guide us through our workouts, which can improve technique and increase output like never before. It can even keep us safe, measuring vital statistics like heart data.

The greatest thing about wearable tech is actually not the hardware, but the software. We will talk about this later in the series, but for now, apps like Strava and Nike Run Club are connecting people all over the world. There is a genuine global fitness community and it is all thanks to wearable technology. Running is the major activity behind all these platforms and has been the biggest beneficiary of what GPS trackers and smart watches are capable of recording.

If you are lacking in motivation, feeling disconnected to the world, needing a new challenge where you can track your progress or simply looking to join the running revolution, WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY has been up the top for the last 5 years for a very good reason!

09 | ENDORPHINS & RUNNER’S HIGH

When you exercise, your body releases a chemical called ENDORPHINS. Endorphins can interact with receptors in your brain to reduce the feeling of pain, but the most commonly discussed effect is the euphoric feeling often referred to as the RUNNER’S HIGH.

That’s right! I’ve never heard of a Playstation high, a watching Netflix high or a lawn bowls high!! The term “runner’s high” is used across the world and the effects are incredible – a mood and energy boost for at least two to three hours and some even greater benefits that last longer. Reduced stress, assisting with anxiety or depression, a boost of self esteem and greatly improved sleep.

COVID-19 has caused many people to struggle with many things running might well help with. Lace up, go for a run and get your legs and heart pumping so those ENDORPHINS start pumping to the brain. The natural RUNNER’S HIGH is real and it’s free, but the benefits are priceless!

10 | GOALS

If people who worked in the fitness industry had a dollar for every time we heard someone join a gym or fitness program and say “I want to get fit and lose weight” we would be millionaires many, many times over!! 💰 Unfortunately “getting fit” means different things to different people and as an overall GOAL it’s hard to plan for and even harder to achieve. Am I fit yet??!?! ⁉️

When a client comes to me with a goal of “I want to run the City to Bay” it’s much more tangible. We know exactly how far they need to run and exactly when they have to do it. All we need to match up is their expectations of what their body is capable of, if “finishing” or a set time is the goal and what sort of training (and time) they can dedicate to completing it.

This is why running goals are fantastic. They are so easy to understand and although progress is never linear, you can see the results so clearly. Running further, running faster and losing weight are the three main metrics most people look at, but fitness professionals usually look at the most important numbers like heart rate, body fat percentage and other health and risk factors that running helps to improve.

If ISO 🦠 boredom is getting you down, think about setting a running GOAL. Pick a distance, pick a time, pick a speed, pick a terrain or pick a course. Set that GOAL, create a plan, tell some key people about it to keep you accountable, lace up and get running!

11 | EVENTS

If you ask runners what they are missing the most right now, most would answer EVENTS! In Australia we have entered the recreational running season and yet there are no events on the calendar for the foreseeable future. Most runners are still training in the hope that events occur later in the year.

Events are incredible for so many reasons. As we discussed in the last benefit, it gives a tangible goal where you know exactly when and how far you need to run. They also give an opportunity for family and friends to come and cheer you on, throughout the race and over the finish line, sharing the special moment with you. If you have run in an event, you’ll know the electric feeling of lining up with hundreds or thousands of other competitors and that moment when you cross the start line with adrenaline pumping. Many participants have run their first few kilometres much faster than planned because of this group uplift and some have paid the price for it later in races! Events are also an opportunity to set a PB/PR (personal best/record) which drives many people to keep entering events year after year to keep “racing against themselves”.

Signing up for an event is the single best thing you can do if you want to chase a goal. It draws a line in the sand and signals to the world that you are going to achieve it. Once you’ve paid the entry fee you have no choice but to train for it! Sometimes it’s the difference between completing a training session or not and it can often stop you from over indulging with certain food and drinks! So jump online and find a race for later in the year, pay that entry fee and start your training with that extra shot of motivation signing up for an EVENT brings.

12 | MEDALS

After talking about events yesterday, it seems appropriate to talk about MEDALS today! 🏅

One of the best parts of finishing a race is there will always be someone waiting to hang a medal around your neck. Medals are a tangible reward for your hard work and although it might not be as good as Olympic Gold, it’s a permanent reminder of the training, the sacrifice, the dedication and sometimes the pain required to earn that bit of metal.Medals also act as a reminder of what you can achieve. Often that can be the catalyst to take on a new challenge, knowing that you have been through the tough training before. Even better, they can act as inspiration for others, who might see your medal(s) and decide they would like one of their own! The hashtag of #medalmonday is a common way of sharing a photo of what you have achieved that weekend and a great hashtag to follow to see what people are capable of in the global running community. It’s rarely elite athletes sharing these photos. More often, it’s everyday people who are proud of what they are achieved who are still still enjoying the high of receiving that MEDAL.

13 | APPS

Given the world is in isolation, APPS are one of our best resources right now. They allow us to create online communities and support each other without the need for physical interaction.

@strava is one of the leading apps when it comes to running (and cycling) communities, but @nikerunning@runkeeper@uamapmyrun and @myfitnesspal are other examples of excellent apps that track and help motivate you to run. Strava is built around community interaction, with “followers” able to give “kudos” or comment on any of your activities. There is also a competitive element with “segments” all over the world where anyone can compete to get the best time over that distance for the day, year or all-time. It is a powerful platform and users have even coined the term of “if it isn’t on Strava, it didn’t happen”! This relates to the accountability factor, proving to others that you have completed the activity, but also keeps you honest because your time, distance and other metrics are displayed.

Couch to 5k is an appropriately named app because it has helped so many people do exactly that! By following a prescribed formula, someone can go from sitting on the couch to eventually running 5km thanks to gradual increases in distance and pace, with changes in recovery time. Although apps never replace a qualified professional, they can offer a decent starting point for anyone who is entering the world of running for the first time.

If you are looking for some support and community right now, Strava is a great place to start, or download another APP that suits your goals and head out for a run.

14 | PODCASTS

This might seem like a strange benefit but running is the perfect activity to take advantage of advances in technology. PODCASTS 🎧 are a brilliant way to learn, be entertained, or escape, and better yet, they’re free! You can pack hundreds of hours onto your phone and hard-drives are so advanced these days you can even store them on your smart watch. Isolation 🦠 has amplified the growth of the podcast industry, but it means there has never been a better time to search for the topics or the people you are most interested in. Comedians will keep you entertained, there are countless shows to educate you on whatever you want to learn, true crime has become a massive genre (and fits podcasting perfectly) and the sports and fitness industry have been podcasting for years! There have been many times I have finished a run laughing the whole way or having learned new things that make me a better and more informed athlete.

If you feel like running is hard work or not worthy of your time, multitask and pick a PODCAST. You’ll get fit and learn something at the same time!

15 | WEIGHT LOSS

Many might have expected this to be higher on the list of benefits, as it is the most common reason why people start running. If WEIGHT LOSS is your only reason to run, it rarely lasts long and has a lower chance of success. All the other benefits are often the reason to enjoy and keep running. Weight loss is a byproduct that occurs after some consistent effort and progress. To be clear, “weight loss” isn’t the term that should be used, but it is the most commonly understood. You are actually looking to achieve “fat loss”, because you don’t want to lose muscle mass. 99% of people don’t actually care what they weigh, they just want to fit into a smaller pair of pants and that comes from losing fat and gaining muscle. Always keep that in mind if you are looking to transform your body. Also important to note, depending on how much you need to lose, it is wise to work with an exercise professional to keep you safe.

Running is successful for weight loss for two main reasons – calories and mindset. Running burns more calories than most exercises as it is very vigorous. The more calories you burn, the more likely you are to end up in a calorie deficit and lose weight. Mindset, however, is the most interesting change. Often people start to approach their health and nutrition differently when they start running consistently. One of the first changes is attempting to eat more nutritious food for energy and performance and the second is steering away from less nutritious food because of the knowledge of how hard (or for how long) they need to run to burn those calories off!

If WEIGHT LOSS is your aim, make sure you stick to all the other benefits first and foremost. Immerse yourself in those and learn to enjoy running because that is the only way you will continue doing it, which is the only way to ensure you are consistent enough to lose body fat. Countless people have achieved life changing results through running and so can you.

16 | TRAVEL

Although international travel 🌏 may be off limits for a while, we might be able to travel interstate at some stage again in the near future. Running is a fantastic way to TRAVEL to new places and take part in an event at the same time. Heading to a new or beloved city for an event adds extra motivation to the goal of finishing or hitting a new PB because of the added excitement that travel brings.

Many people I know who have traveled interstate or overseas for events (mostly marathons or long course triathlons) and often describe it as one of the best experiences of their life. Can you imagine running the New York, London or Boston marathon? These events bring hundreds of thousands of supporters out to the streets and even though they have never met you, they’ll be yelling your name in support (don’t worry, your name is on your race bib, they’re not stalking you!). What about traveling somewhere in Australia for your first half marathon? The best part is that if you time it right and complete the event at the start of the trip, you have the rest of the holiday to relax, enjoy and celebrate the medal you’ve earned.

Lots of races around the world have fundraising elements that can help you enter them without a qualifying time and others have tour groups that will look after every aspect of your running holiday. These options are also a great way to meet other like minded runners who have traveled in search of an amazing experience.

If you are dreaming of the moment when we are allowed to head off on holidays again, spend some time googling some running events you can TRAVEL for. You might go somewhere unexpected and it will lead to some of the best memories of your life!

17 | ENERGY LEVELS

Yes, doing something that many people see as tiring (and hard work) will actually improve your ENERGY LEVELS! 📈

There are many differing scientific reasons for why this occurs. A study from University of Georgia showed that 20 minutes of exercise, three times a week, gave a 20% boost in energy levels and helped reduce fatigue by up to 50%. Other studies report that exercise will lead to more sound and restful sleep. This is because we spend more time in deep sleep, which is our most restorative phase. Many mental health organisations (like Beyond Blue, Black Dog etc) recommend exercise to improve mental health. A Norwegian study of nearly 34,000 adults over 11 years showed that even small amounts of exercise can protect against depression with mental health benefits seen regardless of age or gender. Better mental health can lead to a more productive day, which is often seen as having improved energy levels.

My simplified, “non-science” version of this is that exercise generally makes you fitter and helps with a positive mindset, which means your usual routine feels easier as it becomes less tiring.

The best news of all? When it comes to running and exercise, nearly every study shows that it only needs to be moderate or low intensity. So there is no need to head out the door and run as fast as you can! A gentle jog or a slow shuffle is all you need to starting increasing your ENERGY LEVELS.

18 | ANYWHERE, ANYTIME

Running doesn’t have “opening hours”, you can run ANYWHERE, ANYTIME! Only have a quick 20 minutes to spare? No need to set anything up, no need to wait for something to load, just get your shoes on and run! You don’t need to get in the car and drive to a location, just open your front door.

Yes, sometimes it might be a little wet, but wet socks never hurt anyone and sometimes it might be a little hot, but you can always run earlier or later in the day.

Traveling for work? Another great opportunity to run and discover places you have not seen before. Only a short lunch break? Go for a run. On holiday? Sightsee by running along the tracks, trails and beaches. No need to bring any fancy equipment or anything that needs plugging into a socket. Just a pair of shoes and some dri-fit clothing and you’re away.

Enjoy running ANYTIME, ANYWHERE (especially when we’re allowed to go anywhere again!).

19 | PARKRUN

Saturday is the most appropriate day for this post! Millions of runners across the world are missing PARKRUN, the free, weekly, timed 5km event held all across Australia and another 20 countries as well. It began in 2004 in London and has grown to more than 3,000,000 parkrunners who tun out to their local event (run by amazing volunteers) each Saturday, rain, hail or shine. The courses are mostly on running tracks/trails and many of them include beautiful scenery.

The 5km run is entirely at your own pace – you can try to win it, go for a jog or enjoy the walk. You will see hundreds of people take part with families, prams, dogs and wheelchairs, with first-timers all the way up to those who have completed hundreds of parkruns. In fact, as you hit milestones (50, 100 etc), you can buy t-shirts to celebrate how many you have completed.

As it is a timed event, ⏱ it’s a great opportunity to compete in the greatest race of all – the race against yourself! Each week you receive an email after the event with your time, which can help you track all your efforts and work towards a personal best (PB). There are “pacers” at each event, experienced runners who run at a constant pace and finish at a set time (like 25 or 30 minutes) so you can run with them to ensure that PB.

There are nearly 400 parkruns in Australia, 🇦🇺 so there is bound to be one near you. Many runners attempt to “complete the set” and finish all the events in their area. What a great way to see your state!

Given @parkrunau is volunteer led, it really demonstrates how special the running community is. But what really makes PARKRUN special is that it’s for free, for everyone, forever!

20 | SIMPLE

There are many forms of exercise out there, but the most SIMPLE form has to be running (or walking). You don’t need any instructions, you just need to alternate your left and right foot and breathe.

We often overlook the simple things in life thinking that the more complicated option must be the best solution. Buzz words, marketing jargon and false promises have led millions of people astray and the fitness industry is littered with complicated concepts (and machinery!) on how to train the body.

There will always be a new “gadget”, there will always be a new training method. Even worse, there will always be a “best-selling” book that tells you the “secret” of how to get fit in less than 4 minutes per week. You know what they say about something that sounds too good to be true?!

So keep it SIMPLE during isolation and get running. Simple is nearly always best.

21 | SHOES

What to know the best pair of shoes to run in? Here’s the most honest answer you’ll ever get!

The global athletic footwear market is worth tens of billions of dollars and running SHOES are the biggest part of a very big industry. The big brands are all household names with huge marketing budgets and representation by the highest profile athletes.

So how does this help your running? Technology is always improving the quality of materials used, making them lighter, stronger and “faster” by providing more energy return. The biggest brands are always in a “race” to win, whether it be Olympic gold medals or world records. Much like Formula 1 technology trickles down to cars we drive everyday, running shoes follow the same pattern. You might have heard about the Nikes that were going to be “banned” and “changed the shoe industry”. Long story short, those shoes are the result of a constant drive to find the best possible running shoe which is a great result for us, the runners!

But here’s the problem. With all the marketing spin, fancy colours, designs and athlete promotion, which is the best pair of shoes for you?!

The answer is no one should “tell” you. You need to go to a store that sells a wide variety of brands and styles (neutral, supported etc) and not just try them all on, but actually run in them. For nearly 8 years I have sent hundreds of clients to @therunningcompanyadelaide because I know they will get the best shoes for them. You run on a treadmill and then view slow motion footage of how your foot (and body) reacts to each shoe. Then you can run around the block and really test them out. It’s not about picking your favourite colour or brand, it’s simply about selecting the best possible fit and this always leads to injury reduction and better performance.

Old, poorly fitting running shoes are like driving your car on flat and bald tyres. If it’s time for some new SHOES, maybe look for a quality store like the The Running Company. You won’t be disappointed!

22 | RUN FOR A CAUSE

Running is amazing, but helping others is even better. Running, especially combined with events, gives a brilliant opportunity to RUN FOR A CAUSE. Raising money for a charity or a cause benefits everyone, not just those who are on the receiving end. There is the sense of fulfilment when you do good for others but it will also help with your running. In order to raise money, you will need to ask others to donate, which does two important things. The first is it shares your goal with everyone, which is the ultimate accountability. You can’t ask for donations if you don’t plan on finishing! Second, it motivates you to train because you are now running for so many people – the people your donations will support and the people who made the donations! Running for others is extremely powerful and I have seen many people achieve extraordinary things when they are raising money for a cause close to their heart.

If you are looking for extra inspiration for your next event, look at ways you can RUN FOR A CAUSE. Finish lines are even sweeter when you are running for a reason.

23 | TECHNOLOGY

If you’re a tech-head, then you will love some of the ways TECHNOLOGY is improving our running experience.

GPS watches now measure cadence, vertical oscillation, balance, heart rate, ground contact time and plenty of other metrics to help you improve. Smart watches hold all your music and podcasts, allow you to tap and pay (seriously handy when you’re out for a long run and need to buy a drink or a post run coffee). You can even make phone calls, which is great when you need a lift home!

Heart rate monitors were once only available as a chest strap, but now we have optical sensors on our watches or even headphones that can do the job! Speaking of headphones, there have been huge advances here. Bluetooth headphones allow us to go wireless, bone conduction headphones use vibrations to transport sound so we don’t even need to put them in our ears, and “transparency mode” on in-ear headphones allows external noises to “pass-through” to keep us safe around high traffic areas.

Smart insoles are coming in 2020! They measure multiple pressure points from your foot and feed the data to an app to help coach you, but the main aim is to help prevent injury.

Software is also on the rise with machine learning analysing hundreds of data points across millions of users to develop “smart” coaching and performance metrics. Software is also helping to understand VO2 max and our thresholds, which was once purely performed in a laboratory with 8 scientists wearing white coats.

Foot pods are also giving us lots of data on our bodies, but also showing our power outputs and Zwift are even using them to create online communities in the virtual running world via treadmills! Speaking of treadmills, they are even seeing a revolution with “smart” features, while some have adopted the exact opposite approach and are curved so they don’t require power and replicate a more natural running feel to reduce impact and injury.

TECHNOLOGY is helping to make our running safer, more enjoyable and best of all, help us perform better.

24 | MUSIC

With a beautiful mural of a lady playing a harp, this benefit needed to be about MUSIC! 🎶

Running and listening to music go hand in hand. When music first became “portable”, we had to run with a walkman or a discman that skipped with every stride! The mp3 revolution changed how we run with music, with all our songs contained within our phones, watches or headphones. Now 4G networks mean we don’t even need them saved and we can stream any song wirelessly.

Music allows us to set the mood and this is important for running. Sometimes we need a stress release and that might mean soft, slow tunes. While for other runs we might require upbeat or louder songs to blast away the day. If we want to perform at our best and search for a PB, this might mean a special playlist with all our favourite songs. Studies show that louder and faster tempo music results in attempting to run a faster pace, so consider this when building your ultimate race playlist.

Thankfully technology has helped make listening to music with headphones 🎧 whilst running safer, passing through noises so you’re aware of your surroundings. If you are running with MUSIC, enjoy the added boost of some good songs, but stay safe and aware.

25 | PETS 🐶

Guess who else likes going for a run? Your PETS! Ok, so it’s most likely to be your dog, but our neighbour used to walk their cat around the block, so you never know!

Dogs can be a brilliant running partner because they are always so happy when you reach for the lead. Most dogs also have the ability to remind us when it’s time to head around the block and it’s hard to say no – which helps us get out when we’re not motivated.

Just like you need to gradually build up your pace and distance to avoid injury, the same goes for your dog. Start slow and small and gradually build to avoid injuring them, as they might just follow you for too long out of love or obedience and end up hurting themselves. Also be aware of hot surfaces or abrasive paths on their little paws! Lastly, dogs pant their heat away, so avoid letting a dog run with a ball or stick in their mouth as this can be dangerous for them.

Think about sharing your next run with your “best friend” and taking your beloved PET out with you.

26 | SLEEP

Like to SLEEP better? Try running!

A three week study where participants ran every weekday morning for 30 minutes, resulted in both a better quality of sleep and the ability to fall asleep faster. Participants also reported better concentration during the day, better mood and less periods of feeling sleepy. The best news of all is in many running related studies, running is performed at a low to moderate intensity, also known as the “aerobic” phase. That means you only need to run at an easy, relaxed pace to reap the benefits.

The beautiful symmetry of this is that better sleep improves your running! Sleep is when our body repairs and regenerates. So, if you manage consistent, high quality sleep, your body will be better prepared to run well.

Running and SLEEP. It’s a match made in heaven!

27 | FRIENDSHIP

Running with a partner makes a tough run easier. Doing enough tough sessions together often turns a running partnership into FRIENDSHIP.

The best part of running with a friend (or a training partner) is that you are more accountable. Early starts, poor weather or just not in the mood? It doesn’t matter when you have someone waiting to run with you, you can’t let them down!

Over the years I have been lucky enough to witness many runners become friends, sharing highs, lows and lots of events together.

Most of our social activities revolve around food and drink, whereas a great running FRIENDSHIP is a healthy way to catch up with mates.

Prepd- Man running

Out Run COVID – Michael Case

YOU ARE AN AVID PREPD USER, HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PREPD?

I have been following the process of Steve McKenna. From when he first started out in triathlon to going pro. Steve trusted in his results as an athlete and he truly believed PREPD worked for him. As an athlete, you listen to other athletes and their trust in a product, it makes you want to try it too.

WHY DID YOU START THE “OUT RUN COVID, THE BENEFITS OF RUNNING” CAMPAIGN ON YOUR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT?

I don’t use Instagram to gain followers. I have been in the fitness industry for years and really enjoy running. When Covid hit, I could see the fear in not knowing what to do and the feeling of hopelessness. Suddenly everyone couldn’t go out, see friends and family and go to the gym. But we could run.  It’s always hard to know what to do, but one thing I know for sure, is that exercise will always be the best option for for physical and mental health. Running is one of the greatest gifts we have. It is truly universal, (almost) everyone can do it and it’s easily done in isolation.

I am lucky enough to have been a part of hundreds and hundreds of running journeys (with clients) over the years; as much as I love programming athletes and recreational runners to improve and enjoy their running more, my greatest joy comes from inspiring others to take up running in whatever form suits their body, circumstances and goals.

Now more than ever, we need to inspire others to find a way to lace up, step outside (safely) and feel the joy of running. So I decided to post one running photo a day with a different benefit of what running can do for you. It’s a project I feel strongly about and one that I hope people share to help others through this strange time. If it inspires, educates, resonates or helps anyone in anyway, it will be entirely worth it.

WHAT WAS THE REACTION/S TO THE CAMPAIGN?

I had a lot of private messages from friends, family and former clients saying thank you for getting them motivated and inspired to run again or just to try running for the first time. Some of the people who contacted me had never spoken to me about running, were now talking to me and asking me lots of questions about running. I tried to educate them on key points about running from their questions. Like “which pair of shoes should I buy?” I would recommend that they get properly fitted and not worry about the brand or colour they wear, but rather about what shoe is best for their foot and running style.

Also running doesn’t mean hurting. A lot of people would consider running as a painful exercise, but talking to them I could explain that even a gentle jog is a great way to run.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT RUNNING?

The mental health side of running is my favourite benefit of running. I find running a stress relief and it gives me happiness. There is nothing like a tough week at work and then going for a run. That feeling of all just melting away.

YOU’VE BEEN IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY FOR A LONG TIME NOW. ARE THERE SKILLS OR THINGS YOU’VE LEARNT FROM TRIATHLON TRAINING THAT ARE TRANSFERABLE INTO YOUR DAY TO DAY ROLE?

The main skills that are transferable are consistency, dedication and commitment. As a personal trainer and a triathlete you must keep up your training, over a long period of time. You also need the support of your family and friends. Client rapport is the same.

ARE YOU ABLE TO TELL US ABOUT AN AVERAGE DAY FOR YOU & YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE?

Even before covid a usual day doesn’t exist for me. But I try to train 3-4 hours a day (or 20-24 hours per week). Every morning and every evening, I will run, ride, swim or gym. Covid means that servicing clients is more online now with new software and videos.

Nutrition is key and involves a lot of eating (oats, yoghurt, fruit, veggies, meat and pasta). An easy session means I will drink lots of water and fluid during the day but a hard session means I need PREPD. I drink a PREPD Prime as my dessert after a meal and it’s even more delicious with the chocolate flavour now! The PREPD Recover is my favourite part of finishing training.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO TRIATHLONS AND IRONMAN?

I did my first duathlon at the age of 18 years old and my first triathlon in my early 20s. I remember getting into the pool and the length was 25 metres. I thought I was going to drown,  even though I could stand up, I still felt the panic! So I was no good at the start but I kept going and kept training, until I could.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT DOING THEIR FIRST IRONMAN?

I think that people all give advice which relates to them. I remember when I went to my first Ironman and I heard Liz Blatchford interviewed live on stage (an English professional triathlete). Liz placed third at the 2013 and 2015 Ironman World Championships, so I was really interested in what she had to say. She was asked the same question of what advice would you give someone thinking about doing their first Ironman?

Liz’s answer helped me the very next day, when my bike gears broke and the weather blew in hard. “Just aim to finish the race. Anything can go wrong on the day and it’s a long event, so don’t worry about times or where you are in the race, just finish. If you cross that finish line, you will forever be an Ironman and no one can take that away from you. So just aim to finish. Then next time you can time it.”

DO YOU HAVE SOMEONE WHO YOU FOLLOW ONLINE OR A PROGRAM THAT HELPS YOU TO MEET YOUR GOALS?

Matty White is my coach and the support I need, as I can coach myself to a point, but Matty gives me programs that he knows I can do, but need.

IN THE WORLD OF TRIATHLONS, WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

#1 – My key goal is to represent Australia at the world championships. I have a watch band that I changed to green and gold. I did it to remind me that when I am struggling and things aren’t going my way in my training, that is why I am doing this. I am almost there and I am going to represent Australia in September 2021.

#2 – 70.3 Championships

#3 – Kona, the holy grail.

TO FIND AND FOLLOW MICHAEL CASE ON INSTAGRAM – SEE THE LINK BELOW

Prepd- Woman putting hands together

From Smoker to 10 time Ironman Finisher

HOW DID YOU GET INTO IRONMAN EVENTS AND ULTRA MARATHONS?

I smoked heavily for over 20 years and finally managed to quit 12 years ago. I started running to get fit and did the Melbourne Marathon in 2010. In 2012 my brother suggested that we (my boyfriend and I) all do the Cairns Ironman 70.3 together. I said, “Sure, what’s an Ironman? How hard can it be?” Well, pretty hard! We trained for nearly a year for the race. I absolutely loved it and the next day my boyfriend and I signed up for the full Ironman in Port Macquarie. We went onto racing 6 more 140.6 and 10 x 70.3 races together around Australia, over the next 7 years.

In 2018 I went onto Lite n Easy and lost 11 kilos and I was even on the Lite n Easy ads around Australia in 2019!  My training and racing improved dramatically.

After the 2019 Pt Macquarie Ironman, I found I had lost my love for the sport but my love for running was still strong, so when we got home from the race, I signed up for the Yurrebilla ultra trail marathon. The race is 56kms of steep, rocky trails through the Adelaide hills.  Again, I had no idea what I was in for, but if training for and finishing 7 Ironman races has taught me anything, it’s that I am made of tough stuff. I finished this ultra and then decided I was ready to tackle Ironman again, so now have my sights set on Ironman Western Australia in December 2020, the day after my 50th birthday.

YOU ARE A 7 TIME IRONMAN FINISHER, 10XHALF IRONMAN FINISHER, AND AN ULTRA MARATHON RUNNER. HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME TO HAVE TIME TO WORK AS PAEDIATRIC INTENSIVE CARE REGISTERED NURSE?

I’m not quite full time, but I do work a lot of hours! I’m a very focused person and also very stubborn as my boyfriend will attest to! When I put my mind to something, I am single minded about achieving this, and I can honestly say this comes from all my training and racing Ironman. I never realised that I had this kind of determination prior to Ironman.

ARE YOU ABLE TO TELL US ABOUT AN AVERAGE DAY FOR YOU AND YOUR ROUTINE?

On a working day I get up at around 4.20am and run for about 8-9kms before I leave for work and do a 7.00am – 7.30pm shift. I am absolutely exhausted by the time I get home as nursing in Intensive Care is a very physically and emotionally demanding job. I have a glass of wine, eat dinner and go to bed as I usually have to get up and do it all again the next day.

On my days off I usually have a sleep in and then get up and study for a few hours as I’m currently studying my Bachelor of Criminology. I then head out into the trails for a long run, or to the outdoor pool at my gym for a swim no matter the weather. If the weather permits, I’ll go for a ride. I actually prefer swimming and running in winter as I always get a lane to myself at the outdoor pool, but I’m not a huge fan of road riding, so I often train indoors. The trails are so pretty in the colder months and I don’t have to worry about snakes!

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN TRYING TO JUGGLE BOTH ENDURANCE RACING/TRAINING AND WORK?

I have to really prioritise my time and when I make a decision or commit to training and a race, I stick to it. I have very understanding friends and family, as quite often I’m exhausted after working and training and don’t have the energy to catch up as often as we would like. I plan out my weeks and know what I have to do, including study, work and training. I’m quite regimented about it and I’m lucky to have such supportive, wonderful people around me who know how much I get out of my training and racing. I couldn’t do it without them.

The biggest challenge is time. I’m always tired and feel (like many people) that I race from one thing to another. Getting up at 4.20am most mornings isn’t my favourite thing to do, but I always remind myself of how good I feel when I’m racing and cross that line to the words “Kate Allan, you are an Ironman”. It is indescribable and addictive. There is no better feeling than being really fit.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT DOING THEIR FIRST IRONMAN, 70.3 OR AN ULTRA MARATHON?

Sign up and do it! If I can do it anyone can! I’ll never win, in fact I’m often near the back of the pack but that isn’t what it’s about in my mind. Ironman and Ultras have taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. It has given me so much confidence in my choices and decisions in life, and I am a better person for it. When you push your body and mind to the absolute limit over a 15-hour race, not to mention all the months of training leading up to it, you find that you are capable of more than you ever imagined. It has transferred to other areas in my life – I’m back studying again and have taken steps in my career that I hadn’t thought possible prior to Ironman.

If you want to do it, sign up and commit to it. Prepare to suffer and prepare to sacrifice, but it’s worth it. Set yourself training goals every day over the weeks and months leading to the race and stick to them. Tell people you’re doing it. I find that if I tell friends and family of my plans, then I’m more accountable and have to do it! Thank those around you who support you and understand your complete and utter obsession with Ironman and Ultras, because trust me, it will happen. It’s like a drug. Enjoy the day, smile and thank all the volunteers, be kind, courteous and don’t litter out on the course.

Don’t lose sight of why you’re racing and savour every moment.

IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE, WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE – TRIATHLON RACING OR RACING AN ULTRA MARATHON AND WHY?

Definitely Ironman, hands down. There is no better feeling than crossing that line with the lights, music pumping and hundreds of people cheering. Running down that finishers shute are without doubt the greatest moments of my life. I will never forget that feeling. It makes the hundreds and hundreds of hours of training and sacrifice worth it.

I absolutely love ultra-trail running too. Funnily enough I love the training as much if not more than the race itself.  Running for hours on trails in the hills, seeing no one but birds, kangaroos and koalas is the best way to spend a day, but Ironman will always be my true love.

HOW MUCH OF AN ISSUE IS DEHYDRATION FOR YOU AND WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS?

Obviously when you are racing for 15 hours dehydration is a massive concern, especially in some of the places we race like Western Australia where it is hot and dry. I sometimes train for up to 6 hours at a time so I have to think about how I’m going to best hydrate and fuel my body.

HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR HYDRATION AND NUTRITION DURING TRAINING?

If I’m heading out for a session that will be over 2 hours I’ll wear my hydration vest and also pack nutrition bars, peanut butter sandwiches, bananas etc. I always use PREPD, electrolyte powders on longer sessions and then PREPD recovery powder when I get home.

IN THE WORLD OF ULTRA MARATHON RACING AND TRIATHLONS, WHAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

I would love to get to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii one day.

I would also like to finish the Ultra Five in South Australia. This is five ultra trail marathons over the year. Not many people are able to finish the whole series as it’s incredibly taxing on the body. I had signed up for the series this year, but Covid had other plans. Maybe 2021?

PREPD TEST LAB – Bicycling Australia, Article Karen Forman

BIKE RIDERS LOVE ‘NEW’

– new bikes, new kit and new products. But sometimes we find a product that we like, that works for us, and we don’t really want to change things up, especially when it comes to personal aspects such as hydration.

Asked to review another new hydration product not so long after I spent a month drinking a brand that I liked enough to take it to France on a recent trip for Bicycling Australia, I wondered… really? Can there be anything better than this? What could be different about PREPD?

Then I spent some time chatting with Nathan Hocking and his team and learnt a thing or two about this new product. Namely, it isn’t a hydration drink, but actually a hydration enhancer. So that idea is very new. It meant I didn’t have to quit drinking the product I had decided was ‘my’ hydration drink. I could still have it, but add PREPD to my before and after exercise regime.

The theory was that PREPD, which tastes like a very nice fruit smoothie (the mango and passionfruit Prime is taken six to 12 hours before training or racing while the equally as flavoursome strawberry and kiwi Recover is taken straight afterwards) works with other forms of hydration in my body (including water), enhancing their absorption. And as most riders know, with better hydration, an athlete can minimise dehydration, sustain training/racing efforts, recover better and reduce the risk of heat stroke on super-hot summer days. With that information, I was keen to try some for myself and even hauled the road bike out of storage after a snowy winter to get out there, sweat a bit in the spring sunshine, and see if it worked.

A MAJOR ADVANCEMENT
Until recently, we have not seen any substantial advances in hydration technology since sports drinks were invented. PREPD professes to change this by significantly increasing the absorption of all fluids consumed by athletes.

Backed by 20-plus years of research and testing through Flinders and Yale Universities, PREPD, as mentioned above consumed pre- and postexercise, has been proven to boost the absorption of leading sports drinks and water. Interestingly, the Prime is taken a minimum of six hours before you clip in and with its smoothie-like texture, minimal sugar and a pleasant flavour, isn’t bad as a night cap the night before a morning ride.

So how does it work? Why is it so different? The team at PREPD explained they use patent-pending resistant starch formulations; this specific resistance starch has been proven through research to enhance fluid and electrolyte absorption in the gut. As many of us have experienced, often most inconveniently while trying to do a PB in a race or sportif, when dehydration sets in it is extremely difficult to rehydrate fast enough to avoid performance deterioration. Nathan from PREPD said the crippling sensation of fatigue towards the end of a long training session or in competition is caused as much by dehydration as from depletion of fuel stores as is commonly to blame.

CLINICAL STUDY

A recent hydration clinical trial of elite AFL players published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition acknowledged that fluid deficits exceeding as little as 1.6% could lead to physical and cognitive impairment in athletes. It found that sport drinks used by athletes were often hyperosmolar; this was known to be suboptimal for rehydration as it did not utilise the absorptive capacity of the large intestine which could be enhanced by fermentative production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) from substrates such as resistant starch – as utilised by PREPD. The primary outcome markers of hydration were hematocrit (the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood) and body weight.

Across three time-points, hematocrit was significantly lower and body weight significantly higher in sports drinks compared to maize starch. The study’s conclusion was that the combination of the significantly lower hematocrit and increased body weight in the maize starch group represented better hydration not only at the end of training as well as following a recovery period but also at its commencement. “The magnitude of the benefit seems sufficient to have an impact on performance and further studies to test this possibility are now indicated.” There is strong research to back up PREPD’s claim of enhanced hydration along with a growing number of athletes  using PREPD and experiencing improved hydration and performance benefits.

Riding (and a bit of spring snow skiing) with PREPD for just a week, I wasn’t able to test my hematocrit and didn’t weigh myself, but I found that I didn’t feel as thirsty/obviously dehydrated as I usually do, particularly on the mountain. I am keen to try it again in the hot summer months when I spend hours coaching junior and master’s riders at mostly club level.

WORLDTOUR TESTED

Kevin Poulton is head coach UCI WorldTour Team Katusha Alpecin and has had long-term experience and is a strong advocate of using PREPD. With 20 years of coaching experience, victories in Paris-Roubaix 2016, Grand Tour stage wins, World Tour Classics and many podium places at World Tour level, Kevin understands the planning, science and training required to win the biggest cycling races. He was first introduced to PREPD at a pre-Vuelta training camp in Andorra during the height of summer last year, conducted his own research and knew what the supposed benefits were. “I wanted to trial PREPD without giving away what we were looking for from the product,” he said. “To my amazement, everything PREPD expected the athlete to experience with the product, he was conveying the same messages back to me. Most notably, he was strong in the final hour of training. I was monitoring pre- and post-exercise weight and I was very pleased with the minimal amount of fluid loss experienced despite the high temperatures. “PREPD complimented our existing hydration strategy. For the athlete, implementing the use of PREPD pre- and post-training into the daily hydration strategy was seamless. “The key difference we continue to see with pro cyclists using PREPD is less reduction in post-exercise weight through better hydration. This reduced fluid loss is resulting in a stronger performance by the athlete especially in the later stages of racing.”

Another fan of PREPD is Australian rider Gina Ricardo, who rides for the Sydney Uni- Staminade Women’s Cycling Team. “I first trialled PREPD in training in January 2017 and then continued using it throughout UCI road racing events in the heat of summer,” she says. “I have to say that I truly believe in the product – my performance felt great after drinking Prime and I didn’t experience any cramping at all throughout the January racing calendar despite some really tough and hot conditions.”” PREPD comes as a bottled drink and the recommended retail price for 350ml is $7.50. Riders can order a starter pack online, 2 x Prime & 2 x Recover for $26 including freight. It is also available through a growing number of cycle and sports retailers. BA

More details at www.prepdhydration.com.au

Q&A with Rebecca Butler

WHAT ARE YOUR TRAINING GOALS FOR SUMMER 2019?

This summer I am focused predominantly on mileage and elevation for rough trail mountain endurance races later in the year. At the same time however I am focused on building speed momentum post my 200+milers in the 2nd half of 2018 that saw me slow down in order to go further.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOUR PREPARATION LEADING INTO COMPETITION?

What is most important for me leading into competition is maintaining balance, strength, perspective and purpose.

As athletes, we participate in races as a complete self that consists of our commitment to and intensity of our training, our every single day of hydration and nutrition, recovery, our attention to our body and our mind, how we deal with our responsibilities, our ambitions and our own story. We are a complete self. David Suzuki tells a story about a particular ecosystem in the USA Pacific North West and how the delicate ecosystem that exists between the sea and the forests, fish, microbes and bear, is broken apart and “managed” by distinct government departments, including the Department of Water, the Department of Forest Services, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Water Services and so on. The balanced ecosystem is suddenly disconnected and it is the same with humans. As athletes we need to connect back to our internal ecosystem so that when we make our way to the start line our mind and body is interconnected. Injuries, aches and pains, gut issues, hydration and fuelling, training and recovery, motivation, joy, concentration and run mojo: are all connected and all equally part of our athletic self. We can’t blame an injury or gut issues for a lack of race success for we are that injury or that gut issue. If we train hard but ignore an injury or adequate daily fuelling, or gut health, our trained self is an injured trained self, or a poorly hydrated or nourished trained self.

In consideration of this, I am aware that what is most important to me, in a lead up to competition is balancing the elements of the mind and the body that creates a complete trained me.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH HYDRATION OVER THE SUMMER?

I drink a reasonable quantity of water during the day but probably only as much as most healthy people.  When I am out for my long days and/or hard days I usually only take water with me and some fuel such as Pure gels or Cliff blocks and real food.  I don’t feel like I need much when I am out there.
During the day I will often also have an electrolyte drink such as Nuun.  I will also have a protein shake using Infinit RAW and perhaps a Tailwind Rebuild.

HOW HAVE YOU INTEGRATED PREPD INTO YOUR TRAINING AND COMPETITION ROUTINE AND WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS IT MADE TO YOUR PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY?

Generally I take PREPD Prime two to three times a week before hard training sessions and I follow up with PREPD Recover after each of those sessions.

Since taking PREPD I have noticed that my general hydration levels have changed substantially. In very hot weather I am able to maintain good levels of exertion even on low fuel. My training is consistently improving without becoming as easily fatigued and I am better able to push through the burn that often accompanies hard climbing sessions. On PREPD I am not feeling like I need to take long periods of recovery or take on intermittent mild weeks as I previously did.

But PREPD is doing more than making my hydration, endurance and recovery work better for me. The prebiotic qualities of PREPD, along with my natural food intake, has restored my gut health which has meant my body is absorbing nutrients better, is becoming better nourished and therefore also keeping my mind sharp, focused and alert.

PREPD is now an important part of the ecosystem that is my trained self.

Q&A with Kirstin Bull

WHAT ARE YOUR TRAINING GOALS FOR SUMMER 2019?

January is always a good time to set new goals and reflect on the year that was. My aim for the next few months is to improve my strength and flexibility in order to enhance my running efficiency and speed.

Flexibility is essential for day to day movement. As our years of running increase, our bodies become stiffer and tighter. Although I have chosen not to race competitively this year due to other commitments, focusing on and achieving new personal goals gives me a sense of personal satisfaction and happiness.

I am also looking forward to training and assisting a number of my runners to achieve their goals.

WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOUR PREPARATION LEADING INTO COMPETITION?

Nutrition, rest and recovery are the most important components leading into a race. No matter how much training I may have done, the taper (rest and recover) is essential in ensuring I arrive to the start line rested and ready to race. Nutrition and hydration are equally as important. In the lead up to the World 100km Championship in 2016, I was very mindful eat and drink enough prior to the race. I wanted complete confidence that I was adequately fuelled in order to reach my greatest potential.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH HYDRATION OVER THE SUMMER?

Given I live in Melbourne, the weather is very unpredictable day to day. Reviewing the weather prior to hard quality sessions or long runs allows me to adjust the amount I drink prior to, during and after a session.

HOW HAVE YOU INTEGRATED PREPD INTO YOUR TRAINING AND COMPETITION ROUTINE AND WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS IT MADE TO YOUR PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY?

Since trialing PREPD and seeing the benefits, I have now incorporated it into my training regime twice a week. I drink Prime the morning before my evening quality session or the night before my weekend long run. I always look forward to the Recovery drink after each session.