How to train your clients for their first marathon

Their first marathon should be exciting and it should be about not getting first place but just surviving it. They have to train really hard throughout the year and they would have to be really committed to the goal. They would ultimately start training after Christmas and build from there. They should build it up by 10% every week.

Your client would have done a few half marathons and some shorter runs to get to marathon.

Have them keep a diary and share their trainings and learnings with you. You can do it online or in a physical book.

Have them track their food- it doesn’t matter about the calories but its about the macronutrients and vitamins and other things that the body needs to recover. They need to understand their energy needs, ie for a female its different than a male as they would have menstruation to think about. If a female doesn’t consume enough she could lose her period.

Your client needs to understand the different supplements and how to use them for their runs. They need to understand how to take the energy gels and chews and they should practice during their long runs.

Your client needs to understand their hydration needs and practice it. Do convince them to have about 4-5L per day. It may take some getting used to but you’ll get there in the end. Have your client track their water too.

Your clients should build some strength training into their everyday training. You should show them some flexibility moves with the TRX, battle ropes, kettlebells and do some things for balance as well the upper arm workout. They should mix the moves up every week.

The importance of a really good warm up

Warming up at the gym is really important for everyone. But more importantly its imperative for runners and people that are doing lots of cardio. Or playing a team sport such as netball.

Photo by bruce mars on

What is warm up?

Its the session before you start any cardio activities or heavy strength work at the gym. They consist of light activities that you can do to prepare for the session.

Why is it important?

Warming up helps to relax the muscles as well as prevent injury, such as hamstring strains and overuse injury. Warming up also allows us to be mentally prepared for the exercise as well being physically prepared for the activity. You should allow at least twenty to thirty minutes for warm up before running and ten minutes for other activities.

New Zealand ocean swim says that a good warm up can increase the suppleness of the muscle and increase power and efficiency of the exercising muscles.

My types of warm up are stretches, light weights, walking etc. Just something to keep the heart pumping and the muscles moving. When I was new to running I did not do any warm ups of any kind. I just wanted to go for it. But then I got a small ankle injury which then made me realise that I have to warm up before my runs. Thankfully I didn’t need a moon boot or be sidelined for a few weeks. And now I understand the importance of warming up.

What is your favourite way to warm up?

Too much workout and no period

Warning: this one is for the ladies, men please keep scrolling on

Ladies this one affects you.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on

In our case it does not happen as we eat a lot and train a lot.

I had written about this subject before but I mention it again here as its spring and people are looking to lose weight in time for summer so they go to the gym.

Losing your period is not normal, although people think it is. The Health department at Cleveland Clinic says that this issue is quite common among athletes.

When you workout too much and restrict yourself with food and calories, you won’t have enough body fat and eventually you’ll lose your period. It’s happened before to many people and believe me its not nice. Three months down the track and it becomes a serious problem.

In the end you’ll lose bone mass which will then lead to osteoporosis. In the end it can result in stress fractures and can cause you to take time off your sport to rest (Huffington Post)

How that happens

How that can happen is that you have low body fat. By that I mean that it is under 15%. Tinamuir a former elite athlete says that stress and the high intensity exercise is often to blame for the low body fat percentage and no periods.

Low body fat can cause a hormonal imbalance which means that periods can come late or never at all.

” The exact process behind this involves a hitch in the process of the set of hormonal interactions that leads to a period. Sudden changes in weight can cause the hormone leptin, produced by fatty tissue, to drop, which can disrupt the menstrual cycle. Reduced fat stores also reduce thyroid levels but cause an increase of cortisol, which has a knock on effect on the reproductive hormones. Finally, weight loss can cause an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which, like leptin, causes a chain reaction resulting in diminished release of luteinising hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are crucial for the menstrual cycle.” (

But what if you want children?

If you don’t have a period, you might not be able to have children due to infertility issues.

So if you want children it’s best to up the food intake and love yourself for who you are not what you look like. And it’s best to not do too much exercise unless you are training for marathons and have eaten the right amount of food for a marathoner.

How to deal with setbacks

Dealing with setbacks is an important part of life and its an important part of marathon training. We deal with setbacks a lot and we give some advice here.

american back view burial cemetery

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In life and at work you will face some setbacks. But its how we deal with them. Inside Success says that people should expect setbacks from time to time. Engage Coach agrees with this statement.

Working in the weight loss and health industry people don’t always expect a plateau with weight loss but it does happen. And they blame the trainer for it or their hormones. And both are not good. Most failures according to Pereira are opportunities to get back on your feet and start afresh.

This week I didn’t run so well and had to figure out why. Normally I’d get around 160-175 beats per minute but I think it was a bit cold this week. So the intensity was not there.

But then I bounced back on Friday and Sunday and got up to 337 intensity minutes which is double the 150 minutes that we’re supposed to get. I learned that I should get the potassium levels a bit higher and wear more clothes for the run. I don’t run so well in the cold.

Oh, and I was also battling a little busted leg in a couple of weeks before that.

But then how do you deal with the setback? Pereira says to expect it. For me, I just brush it aside and start afresh. But for others, they dwell on the past and it’s bad for their stress levels.

And then when my period came there was another setback. It was raining that day at the end of the long run and I only did 262 minutes of running that week. Fortunately, though it was sunny the following week and I was able to recover.

The Subtle Art of Fuck mentions having a positive attitude. Divyblog also mentions this and mentions joining a group of like-minded people.

According to Tiny Buddha we should eliminate blame and move on. Inside Success says that we should think about what happened and learn from it. We should also challenge ourselves moving forward. Tiny Buddha also suggests meditation as a way of dealing with things. The Subtle Art of Fuck also talks about challenging yourself and moving on.

So bloggers how do you deal with setbacks as it comes?

Do you ignore them or do you learn from it?



Running Etiquette in Australia

Guys here are some tips on how to run well in Australia. It’s surprising how many people don’t share the pathways among other things whilst running. 

We run on all sorts of different terrains but for many occasions, we run on shared paths or streets.

Do not chat to your fellow runner

Sometimes they just don’t want it and want to be left alone. Or they may be trying to do a new PB.

Stop for cars

Yes, and there are just some people that don’t do that at the lights. But if there’s no car coming and the light is green it’s usually ok.

At races, there are things known as slip lanes to allow residents to go in out of their houses and it is up to the runners to watch out for cars

Give way to bikes and other pedestrians

If the other people are walking too slow you can overtake them. It is perfectly alright. Most people shouldn’t be walking on the streets listening to their iPod or being distracted. They should be able to hear you coming and move.

Most walkers should stay on the left and runners should be able to pass them without saying “Excuse me”.

Give way to bikes as we share the path with bikes. And bikes usually have the right of way.

Don’t listen to your iPod or other listening devices

Instead, just enjoy nature and its surroundings. When you listen to your iPod or phone you can’t hear what is going on. You can’t hear the sirens when it’s an emergency. You cannot hear if there is a car coming.

More importantly, many races don’t allow participants to listen to music for that reason.

Listen and obey race marshalls

Race marshalls are there at every race for participants safety and are there to enforce the rules. If you don’t listen to the marshall you can be disqualified.

Give way to emergency vehicles

And when they are there, just walk around them. Don’t try and run, as that could be disrespectful and they are there to help someone out. You never know what is going on.

It’s one of the pet peeves of mine that people keep running when there is an emergency vehicle approaching.

Do not litter

It is one thing in a race to dump your trash everywhere but not in a training run. In training, run and find a bin. No one wants to clean up after you and keep Australia beautiful.

Run the World book review

I got this book from and they ship the book from the US within 15 days.

This story is a true story about how one female runner went for about 3500 miles across the globe to see all the different running cultures and recovery techniques. She went for a year and alone.  She had 11 pairs of runners at this time.

Becky Wade is an American professional long-distance runner who competes for ASICS. She trains in Houston for the Houston Harriers.

For each country that she goes to she learns lots of new ways of finding herself. And she learns about that country’s culture. And she also keeps a little Moleskine journal for writing down recipes and then later on practices it at home with her family. For each country, she stayed with a homestay family and made friends with some runners from that country.

We start off with England where she arrived during the London Olympic games and then stayed for about two months. At first, Becky stayed on her own and then other flatmates from Kenya joined her. London has a no-excuses running culture. You just get up there and do it

Then she found her peace and love for food in Ireland. Here is where she discovered Guinness.

And then in Switzerland, she really loved the atmosphere and the runs. There are no real running groups in Switzerland. The runs on the hills were hard

Japan really resonated with me as that’s where the Olympics next year will be held. It’s here where serenity is found. It is here where she discovered the onsen and just the pure joy of relaxing

The last stop was Scandinavia. It’s here where she met her older brother Matt and they did a 5K race together.

When she got back she applied what she learned from overseas to her first real race, the California International Marathon. She woke up early and studied the course map.

So what can we learn from the book?

  • For newbies join as many running groups as you can. That way you’ll make tonnes of friends
  • Embrace coffee- here Becky used coffee to fuel her runs. You can too.
  • Embrace different foods, you’ll never know what you like if you don’t try. And you’ll never know what works for you and what doesn’t
  • Embrace nature- go without technology if you can. Becky did that in the book and she found her inner peace.
  • Have no excuses for exercise- just do it. People jog to work in London with their backpacks. In Australia, we should do the same too. But then again we are too lazy.
  • Relax- do something that you like. For me its blogging and meditation.


Running on a hot day

I get asked this question a lot and I have asked it a lot in the past.



In Australia, it is summer now and February and March are very warm months.  The Melbourne Marathon is done in October and the last few I have had was on a warm day. Normally the race is run on a 24-27C day, but I have heard that it sometimes gets to 35C.

So how do I get used to the heat?

For everyone heat acclimatization is different. Most people take up to two weeks to get used to the heat.

How much water do I need to drink if it’s hot?

Personally, I would suggest about 2-3L more for a long race but it all depends on you. Practice your water drinking strategy in training so that you get used to it on race day. There are plenty of aid stations but they only have just enough for everyone. I normally carry two bottles of water on my long runs.

You should get used to wearing a hat and try and wear the same one that you wore in training for the race.

If you want to wear shorts for the race, make sure that you practice this in training and with the shorts that you are going to wear for the race. Cotton on in Melbourne and Australia have some good running shorts. I think they are priced at $24.

Don’t wear too tight clothes or clothes that are made out of cotton as they will not absorb the sweat.

Races like Ironman and Melbourne Marathon will have icy poles and cola and its best to try these out in training so that you’ll get used to it.

Triathlon training week 47


This week did the long run and had a coffee in Laurent in East Melbourne. Here I felt a little bit nauseated after drinking it and going straight for the run something I won’t do again.

Ran 30km today and my bpm was on 166.  Did really well because I slept so well but in the end got tired. I need to put some more strength work in there to make my runs work until the end.

At least the ankle wasn’t too sore today as I tied my shoelaces up tightly. Good fitting shoes always helps along with good nutrition.

Then the other days were just darn fine. I finally slept really well as it was really warm. It is spring. Then on Friday I was not sore at all.

Tapering time during the Marathon

Tapering is the process of resting ( doing less) just before the marathon. Here we can do yoga, pilates, and some stretches during this period. This is to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself or get stress fractures. Some fitness to keep up is also essential. This could be going to the gym and cycling or some strength training.


During the last two to three weeks before the marathon or triathlon, you should aim to eat more fiber and more carbs. Meals should be nutritious.

You should also aim to reduce the number of kms by 25% each time. You should always have a long run or two still in there as they are good ways to make sure that you are on top of things.

Its important to taper right. And here is one strategy of doing so:

Week 1: 30km long run, lots of stretching exercises, spin cycle, gym

Week 2: 20km long run, spin cycle once or twice a week, yoga and pilates

Week 3: 10km, yoga and meditation

Week 4: Rest and race day.

So here’s how you could do it. But then again everyone is different.

Week 45 of triathlon training



My ankle seems to be a bit better this week now that I have had my period. But I still have to watch it.

I biked for about 24km and then burnt 540 calories. Ran a bit slow that day but oh well.

Then on Wednesday I fared better again and biked rather well. And I did a bit of stretching afterwards

Friday’s run seemed to not go so well. I hadn’t quite got used to the ankle brace yet.

Then Sunday’s run fared better but it was short due to the replacement buses on the Craigieburn line. By then I got used to my ankle brace and with it I was much better. I wasn’t as sore. And on Saturday I ate quite a lot of things at the Franchising expo.

Which I must admit I learnt a lot too.

I had trots that day and I’m not sure why since its just after my period. I will find out soon.