The novice triathlon trains…

So, with five weeks until the novice women’s only triathlon in Newcastle on March 6 ( and with time to train limited I have done two short one-hour sessions which went like this:

Session 1: 30min ride, including six x 200m intervals on a slight gradient with 200m recoveries up Kilgour Ave, Bar Beach. This worked out to be roughly 25 seconds harder and 50 seconds recovery. 10min run x 20seconds hard:40sec easy at Empire Park. Ride to Merewether Oceans Baths for six-lap swim. Cruisy ride home.

Session 2: 20min ride, including 10 intervals at Townson Oval of 200m harder:200m easier. 10min run, consisting of 10 intervals x 20seconds harder:40sec easier. Easy ride to Merewether Ocean Baths for six-lap. Cruisy ride home.



The Novice Triathlete


It is that time of year again … time to dust off the bike, convince some close friends that doing a local triathlon will not only be fun but also beneficial to all of us health-wise and psych myself up for the swim leg in Newcastle Harbour.

Well, I have to report that I am well ahead of schedule this year. I would say this is the fifth time I have participated in one the Sparke Helmore Triathlon Festival events in Newcastle. The first year, which was about eight years ago, I competed with a work colleague in a team. That was a great way to get a taste for triathlon events and was also a nice team-building exercise for the workplace and I highly recommend doing your first event this way.

After that, I branched out into the solo section with a few friends and had heaps of fun. Don’t get me wrong though – there was some pain along the way, but when I crossed that finish line I felt a real sense of achievement and found myself already thinking about the next year and how I might improve my times.

Two years ago I did a triathlon in the first trimester of pregnancy then last year I participated, and I emphasise the word participated, in the same ladies only mini triathlon three-and-a-half months after having our third child.

This year I am going back for the women’s only triathlon of 300-metre swim, 15-kilometre cycle and 4km run. It is an excellent starting point for those wanting to give a triathlon a go. You can do this event as a team also, if you so wish.

Anyway, it is on March 6, 2016, which is five weeks away. Just five weeks! I hear you. But I think you can still get some good training in before it starts, and that is what I am planning to do when time allows. I am going to post some of the sessions that I am doing to get myself ready for the novice event, and although I am a qualified personal trainer I am not a triathlon expert so these sessions are just a novice’s guide on how to make things feel a little easier on race day.

So, stay tuned for some session guides and hopefully I will see a few of you on race day for a bit of fun and fitness. And honestly, when you live in such a beautiful place like Newcastle, why wouldn’t you want to get out there and exercise! We are very lucky.


Why a balanced approach beats a 30-day challenge for me

In an attempt to keep myself motivated to do some form of physical activity every day through the festive season I decided to take on a daily burpee challenge for the month of December. I had heard heaps of people talking about different 30-day challenges they had taken up but then invariably stopped midway through, and I now know why! I thought I would start with two burpees on December 1 then add two each day until performing 62 on the last day of the month. This seemed like an achievable challenge as I found burpees quite enjoyable in a weird way and I knew they would be doing me a lot of good in a short amount of time as they work many muscle groups. But what I did not foresee was the heaviness that would build up in the legs, shoulders and shoulder blades from the repetitive movement each day. I made it to the end of the month but was glad it was over and have vowed never to take on such a challenge again. The positive was that it did make me do something every day – it served as a reminder to be active daily. But from now on it is back to a balanced approach to fitness. Time is the biggest hurdle for me, but I am going to try to get at least 30 minutes of fitness into each day.

New Year = New You, free session guides with fit-fy

Enjoy the festive season guilt-free by knowing you can get yourself in shape in the New Year with fit-fy’s free 30-30 online program.

Starting January 2 (New Year’s Day is a bonus day) fit-fy will post daily 30-minute workouts to guide you towards a fitter, healthier and leaner you. That’s 30 days of 30-minute sessions. No need to think, just check in each day and stay motivated.

Stay tuned …

Do at least 15 minutes of exercise a day in July with me

July 1: 15min walking/running

July 2: 15min x [20 lunges with tricep extension, 10 bicep-shoulder, 10 burpees]

July 3: 15min x [20 squats, 100 shoulder throws, 10 dead lifts, 10 glute bridge]

July 4 & 5: Running around with kids and weekend sport

July 6: 15min x [20 squats, 100 shoulder throws, 20 lunges, 10 pull-ups]

July 7: 15min x running

July 8: 15min x [100 skips, 10 push-ups, 40 mountain climbers, 20 ab curls]

July 9: 15min x running

July 10: 15min x [20 squats, 20 dead lifts, 10 pull-ups, 10 lunges with bicep, 10 lunges with tricep]

July 11 & 12: Playing sport, running about with kids

July 13: 15min x [1min skipping, 30 squats with shoulder press, 1min skipping, 10 push-ups, 1min skipping, 20 lunges, 1min skipping, 10 pull-ups/rows]

July 14: 15min x running/walking

July 15: 15min x [50 shoulder throws with light weights, 40 mountain climbers, 30 running arms with light dumbbells, 20 ab curls, 10 glute bridge]

July 16: 15min x running/walking

July 17: 15min x [20 squats, 20 dead lifts, 10 pull-ups, 10 lunges with bicep, 10 lunges with tricep]

July 18 & 19: Playing sport, running about with kids

Quick daily winter workouts coming

Returning to the soccer field this season after having our third child and edging ever closer to 40 … I have decided more frequent fitness is in need. Am going to make myself do daily workouts through winter – planning 10min workouts in June, 15min workouts in July, and 20min workouts in August – in an attempt to regain a semblance of my former fit self before finals time!!

I’m going to post all workouts on my blog so feel free to commit yourself to doing them too.

Stay tuned …

Mums fitness Term 1, 2014

The holiday period is nearly over – ‘thank goodness!’, I hear most mums saying – and fit-FY’s mum’s classes will return to usual times and venues in the next two weeks:

Mondays, 4pm – Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether (first session feb 3)

Wednesdays, 9.30am – Cooks Hill YWCA hall, Dawson St (first session jan 29)

Fridays, 9.30am – Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether (first session jan 31)

Click on Fit For Mums section above for more info

Mums holiday fitness schedule

It’s the New Year and time to get moving with your fitness goals. Here is Fit-FY’s holiday schedule for Mums’ Fitness. Come along for a first free trial. Bring the kids and wear them out while you get a workout too! PLEASE NOTE: Start times are earlier for the holidays – but they remain loose starting times so don’t worry if you are running late.

Monday, January 6, 2014: 9am at Gibbs Brothers Oval, Rowan Crescent, Merewether

Wednesday, January 8: 9am, meet at Merewether Baths

Friday, January 10: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

Wednesday, January 15: 9am, Merewether Baths

Friday, January 17: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

Monday, January 20: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether

Wednesday, January 22: 9am, Merewether Baths

Friday, January 24: 9am, Gibbs Brothers Oval, Merewether


Cost is $15/session; $25/2 sessions x week; $35/3 sessions x week


PLEASE NOTE: There is no session on Monday, January 13, 2014.

Nutrition For Busy Mums

Being a busy mum/parent or just busy in general means your nutrition is probably not what is could be. Misoteria nutritionist Anita Pugh ( runs workshops for mums which help teach them how they need to
eat to get the best out of their body while also looking after their whole family.

This is Anita’s advice for mums on the go:

‘Mums are renowned for skipping meals, eating on the run or getting by on
coffee only.  The best thing any mum can do for her and her family is to
eat regularly and remember the importance of protein.  It’s the amino
acids in protein that enable our bodies to grow and develop, repair and
detoxify. Our children have twice the requirement that we do so it makes
sense to incorporate the same principles for the whole family. Eating
sufficient protein can help ensure you don’t get those blood sugar lows
responsible for fatigue, mood swings, weight gain and those afternoon
sugar heists!

Start the day with some high quality protein – eggs or dinner leftovers
are quick. Good quality protein can be found in grass fed meats, free
range eggs, fish, free range chicken, nuts, seeds, lentils and beans.
Then make sure you eat every few hours, better to eat this way than go all day with no

‘Giving your body no fuel to run on is asking for trouble.  In the short term it might just be fatigue and cravings that you feel, but you are laying foundations for disease in the body longer term.

‘Stress has
become a common issue as mums get busier with work and life commitments
and attempt to juggle everything that is thrown at them. In times of
stress the body needs more nutrition than usual and often we give it less.
Stress depletes magnesium and B vitamins, therefore affecting your
sleep and energy as well as many other important functions in the body.
It’s imperative that a busy mum feeds herself well in order to cope with
her busy days.

‘Along with the protein make sure you’re getting lots of
colourful vegetables, and the cruciferous ones are the most humble of the
super foods. Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage are
capable of removing toxins from the body like no other food.

‘I am
very passionate about children eating well but I understand how
challenging it can be and offer only simple, fast and practical solutions
for busy mums. Nutrition can be very simple when you apply a few key
rules to live by.  I don’t do diets but we do discuss which dieting
principles work for long-term health and which ones don’t. I don’t
believe in counting calories. You don’t need to know how many calories
are in a food to make a decision about whether it’s good for your health
and in fact calorie counting often leads to poor food choices.  All you
really need to focus on is – ‘JERF’ Just Eat Real Food!’

Check out more nutrition tips and dates for Anita’s workshops at

One For The Busy Mums

Here’s a snappy session I devised while cooking dinner last night. When you’re busy, which most of us are these days, you’ve got to work out when you can. And doing a small workout is better than none at all. In between slicing, dicing and boiling last night I squeezed this 10-minute workout in:

1min squat hold (against the wall)

10 push-ups

10 pull-ups with dumbbells

10 dead lifts

10 lunge-bicep

10 tricep extension

Then repeat from the top

**Modify each exercise to suit your capabilities and try to get a stretch in before and after as well. Get moving!!