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Going The Distance With Nicola and Ali
Ali and Nicola from Jetts Australia just completed their first half marathon whilst raising money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. We caught up with the girls to find out exactly what’s involved in long distance running, and what’s next on the girls’ fitness bucket list.
What inspired you to take part in a half marathon?
N: It’s been a goal of mine for a while now to complete a full marathon so the half marathon was the first step on the way to this. Committing to the goal on paper gave me the push I needed to finally conquer this goal.
A: I have wanted to do a long distance run for a while but I never had the motivation or determination until Nicola and I started training together. It makes the goal look a whole lot more achievable when you have a work out buddy!
What was your training plan in the lead up to the half marathon?
N: We downloaded a running plan from the Asics website. We took on 3 runs every week varying in speed and length. We also made sure we did 3 weight sessions every week with a few HIIT sessions thrown in as well.
A: As Nicola said, we downloaded the schedule and followed that as best as possible. We both also have sporting commitments so that was a bit of extra cardio on top of our running plan.
What was your diet like in the lead up to the half marathon?
N: I avoided alcohol for the last 2 months prior to the race, ate as healthy as I could. I also always had a banana before every run to make sure I had enough energy to go the distance. On the race day we took dates with us for the extra energy hit we needed along the way (a natural alternative to energy gels).
A: I probably could have eaten a little better than what I did when I look back now! I did lower my alcohol consumption and carb loaded a few days prior to the race. I also made sure I was always hydrated. I drank at least 2litres of water each day, which wasn’t hard with the amount of exercise we were doing.
How did you stay motivated during your training?
N: Working out with a buddy helps keep you accountable as well as having the goal written down on paper and staring at me on my desk every day.
A: Having our run plan printed out definitely helped as it made us aware of what needed to be done. From there we just got in there and made it happen. It’s also great having a friend because if you did feel a little lazy and didn’t want to work out, you had someone supporting you and giving you motivation. Nicola wouldn’t let me say no!
How were you feeling on the day of the half marathon?
N: I felt nervous and excited; it was an awesome feeling finishing!
A: I felt a little nervous but once I saw all of the other competitors I got quite excited. Finishing was such an amazing feeling of accomplishment but I was a little tender once my legs stopped.
What was the hardest part of it all?
N: Getting started I would say is the hardest part, once you have done a few really long runs it becomes second nature.
A: I have always been quite an athletic person so the training wasn’t too hard for me. I think the mental side of things was tough for me, urging myself to just keep going and be tough through it all.
What advice would you give someone looking to take on their first long distance run?
N: Do it! It is so rewarding to be able to brag about doing a half marathon and it’s addictive!
A: Definitely do it. It’s such an amazing feeling to know that you have done something at that level. Plus you get to support and help a charity that you truly believe in.
What training are you doing now?
N: Currently I am gearing up for an 8 Week Challenge with Jetts Maroochydore, but I am keen to train for and complete a full marathon next year (I just have to convince Ali!)
A: Definitely not training for a full marathon at the moment! I might have a change in heart but I’d like to work on my sprints so I can try and get my times a little quicker.
What’s next for the two of you to conquer?
N: We want to do a 5km @ 5min/km and I’m keen to do a full marathon once I’ve convinced Ali.
A: We would like to do a quick 5km run and I would like to find an obstacle fun run early in the New Year to participate in.