Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Rebound Racer Sports Bra Keeps Ultra Runner Coming Back

I’ve reviewed the Rebound Racer in the past. Years later, it’s still my favourite.

Why? Because everything!

IT FITS: This bra is a great fit for women of many bust sizes. It has a compressive factor but also gives a nice lift and sleekly hides under all my training outfits.  It has great adjustability, and is the best fitting bra that I own; hence I keep going back to it.

kelliebIT’S HANDY: This bra has a velcro hook and eye system at the front. It has enabled me to discretely get changed out of my sweaty run gear in public on many occasions!

It has also been a great option for many of my breast-feeding friends.

IT’S COLOURFUL: This bra continually comes out in different colours. I have black for the days when I just want to stick with my “sooo Melbourne” chic. And my latest fave is the Race Pink when I feel like being loud!

TIP: I won’t lie, for the longer races (50km to 160km) wearing ANY bra, I will still often tape under my breasts to prevent chafe, but for the every day run this bra is perfect when fitted properly.

kelliebccI think it’s important to remember that your sports bras should be replaced every six months. I’m a terrible thrower outer and so occasionally I find myself wearing some of my older ones – this is when they are more likely to chafe. Don’t risk it! Donate these to the UpLift Bra Project for someone in need.

*Note: Just following Kellie writing her blog the Uplift Project contacted She Science to say they are currently placing a hold on collecting bras while they manage a backlog and their storage facility.

Kellie Emmerson She Science head shot 2014


Kellie Emmerson is an Ultra/Trail Runner


  • Occupational Therapist
  • Accredited Level 2 Advanced Recreational Running Coach (UP Coaching)
  • Les Mills Body Pump instructor
  • PhD candidate


  • 3xtime Australian Long Course Trail Running Champion
  • 3xtime Australian representative for World Trail Running Championships
  • 2xtime Sky Running Oceania Champion
  • 5th UTMB 2017


  • She Science
  • 2XU
  • Hoka One One
  • Camelbak
  • VFuel
  • SOS rehydrate
  • Everything’s Connected Osteopathy
  • Nunawading Soft Tissue Therapies
  • Le Bent
  • THIR
  • Active Feet


Overtraining Syndrome – Signs, Symptoms and How To Manage or Avoid It

I suffered with Chronic Fatigue for three years after getting glandular fever in my early twenties. Previous to this I was your typical Type A overachiever- studying a science degree and then Physio Masters full time, working part time, training 15+ hours a week for triathlon and socialising. On top of this I severely restricted my caloric intake in an effort to be lean and fast and through a warped body image. Burning the candle at both ends and feeling invincible as I had lived like this for years and had seemingly unlimited energy- my friends called me “Duracell”!

Then I got glandular fever and fought and fought and refused to fully rest. This reluctance to surrender to what my body was telling me lead to me having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years. Each time I started to get a bit better I pushed myself over the edge again. Finally I learnt to respect and listen to my body- I took a big step back from sport and focussed on wellness. Ultimately my body healed through natural therapies, a nourishing diet, rest, mindfulness and following my body’s intuition, but it took a long time and it was a long gradual build up back to training.

I am now back in competitive sport and performing better than ever. I train differently to how I used to and to others around me. I focus on quality sessions and not quantity and I take a lot more rest/recovery than my Type A mind tells me I should. I still slip up and overdo it sometimes, but now I can read my body and quickly correct my mistakes and recover.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is very similar to Overtraining Syndrome. It is a horrible hole to go down and can take years to recover. I have written this blog in an effort to help other athletes and overachievers avoid overtraining.

You can still be a great athlete and perform at your peak without jeopardizing your health.

What is Overtraining syndrome?

 Overtraining Syndrome is the result of an imbalance in exertion and recovery, generally over a sustained period of time. It is a maladaptive response to excessive exercise when not matched with appropriate recovery and results in changes to multiple body systems.

A person would be diagnosed with Overtraining Syndrome if they saw a sudden decrease in athletic performance and increase in perceived effort and this does not improve with rest.

What are the symptoms?

 Some or all of the following symptoms may be experienced. Generally the more advanced the Overtraining Syndrome is the more symptoms that will be experienced and the longer the recovery process.350064_419_Juno_LS_F17_001 BRK_F17_Sports_Bras_Spring_Juno_18462_i22778x04A_3u

  • Decreased athletic performance
  • Increased perceived effort and heart rate to previously “easy level” training
  • Ongoing fatigue that doesn’t dissipate with rest
  • Lack of motivation
  • Change in appetite
  • Depression or altered mood
  • Increased and /or unexplained Injuries
  • Increased resting heart rate
  • Decreased accuracy of fine motor skills and/or coordination
  • Hormonal changes
  • Weight changes
  • Increased illness and common colds

What causes it?

Too much stress (physical, emotional and mental) and not enough recovery is the main cause of Overtraining Syndrome.

Other causes are:

  • A rapid or sudden increase in training volume and/or intensity. Or a rapid or sudden increase in life load/stress without a reduction in training.
  • Insufficient sleep and/or recovery.
  • Diet also has a big effect. A poor diet- high in inflammatory foods and low in nutrients will increase stress to the body. Insufficient calories consumed to fuel training and life will leave the body depleted and unable to recover and adapt from training.

 How do I avoid it?

Be careful to look at whole life load rather than just your training load. All aspects of life can contribute to fatigue and stress so these must be considered when building a training program. If you have a high life load then you probably won’t be able to log as many hours of training as peers with less life stressors. This may change over time – for example if you are going through a stressful time then it would be wise to reduce your training load over this time.

  • Start any new training program gradually – ie: start with just one hard session per week and gradually increase as your body adapts.
  • Monitor your tolerance to your training and whole life load. Try to be objective and honest and don’t be influenced by what you think you should be able to do/need to do or what others are doing.
  • Monitor your response to training – if a session suddenly feels a lot harder than it should/usually does then take a few days of rest. If this feeling persists see a medical professional.
  • Take regular rest days and easy weeks. Taking every fourth week as a reduced mileage and easier effort week is common in many training programs.
  • Take at least one easy recovery day after every hard training session. Be honest with yourself about how much recovery your body needs – you may need two or three days to be ready to train hard again.
  • Take easy recovery days/weeks after racing as required. This will vary depending on the length of the race and whether it was performed at maximal effort or for training. The longer the race the more recovery will be needed. Generally three days as a minimum increasing up to several weeks for long endurance races. Again, listen to your body.
  • Consume a healthy, balanced diet that contains adequate carbohydrate, protein and fat to meet your body’s needs for training and life.
  • Reduce foods that increase inflammation and stress in your body such as processed food, refined grains and sugars, fried foods, excess caffeine/stimulants/alcohol, any foods that you have/suspect you have intolerances to.
  • Drink plenty of water and replace electrolytes as needed during hot or long/hard training sessions and races.
  • Reduce emotional stressors in your life where possible.
  • Do something for you regularly that reduces your stress (not a training session!) such as having a massage, doing a yoga class or going to see a movie with a friend._HR21267
  • Participate in regular meditation. More and more evidence is showing that meditation and mindfulness is an effective way to lower stress and increase physical and emotional health. It may also make you more in tune with your body so you are better able to recognise when you need rest or an imbalance in the body that could become an injury. There are great apps and YouTube clips for at home guided meditations.
  • Try to get at least eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Monitor your heart rate. Many athletes monitor their waking resting heart rate. If this increases above their normal they will take rest days or see a medical professional until it returns to their normal.
  • If you begin to see any signs of overtraining reduce your training, particularly the hard sessions and see a medical professional.

Images courtesy of Brooks

By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

blog pic vLauren Starr is a physiotherapist and also takes clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and yoga classes. Outside of work she spends her spare time running. She has competed in trail and road events but has currently shifted her focus to athletics. 



Tips For Switching From Road to Mountain Bike

It’s not unusual for Road riders to want to venture into Mountain biking, after all, it is just another form of riding to explore.  However, mountain bike riding is very different and does require quite a different approach to road riding.

wendy bike motion wendy and friends wendy bikeMountain biking is a very friendly, relaxed recreational sport.  It’s not about racing or being first across the finish line, it is about smelling the roses in a non competative environment, spending time with your friends and family, or just getting out in the bush for some fresh air, searching for that ideal single track.

There are some beautiful trails and single tracks in and around Melbourne to explore and practice your “switch”.  Not too far from the city is Lysterfield Park – the perfect place to get on your bike.  There are varying levels of tracks from fire trails and basic green tracks all the way up to black and double black tracks used when they held the Commonwealth games there in 2006.

So here are my 6 basic tips for crossing the line to the dark side and once you’ve tried it you may never go back!

Relax your approach

  • MTB riders are a friendly social group.
  • Take your time to enjoy the scenery and take some selfies
  • Everyone waits for each other, its not always race

Attack Position

  • Learn and perfect your attack position
  • Think level pedals, elbows out, eyes up
  • Use this position as your default for obstacles, corners and everything else

Start with the basics, everyone needs to get their foundations right

  • Go and do a basic skills course
  • Hang out with others that ride regularly and follow their lines
  • Practice, practice, practice 

Pick trails that are to your ability

  • To get better, you need to be confident 
  • You also need to be able to commit to certain obstacles and skills, if you don’t you will fail
  • Gradually build your skills, master one, then move onto another

Pedal all the way

  • Whatever you do, don’t stop pedaling
  • When you go over obstacles, up hills and inclines you need to have traction – no traction and you come to a stop
  • By pedaling, you get stronger 

Look where you want to go

  • MTB riding is all about vision
  • Sight the corner or obstacle and then look beyond it, if you continue to focus on it, that is where you will go.  
  • Keep your vision up and scanning all the time

wendy rearMountain biking can be so much fun.  The more you do, the more you will want to do, so get yourself kitted up in a good pair of baggies and a comfortable jersey to head out onto the trails for a ride to remember!  


By Wendy Snowball, Personal Trainer @spincyclewarrandyte


16111940_693254704185670_467797458_nWendy Snowball is a She Science Ambassador, Personal Trainer, Mountain Biker, Warrandyte MTB Club Secretary and also coaches MTB skills. She races with her daughter Courtney – who is also a She Science Ambassador. You can follow the ladies @spincyclewarrandyte, @courtney_snowball and at spincyclewarrandyte.


Thoracic Pain & Large Breasts : How to manage the discomfort


The thoracic spine is the section of spine between your cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). Each vertebrae of the thoracic spine has a rib connected on either side and the upper ribs connect to the sternum at the front of your body.

blog pic y

blog pic x

Due to the attachment of the rib cage to the thoracic spine there is limited movement through the upper back region. Consequently we can often get stiff and sore in the upper back. Sometimes stiffness in the thoracic spine and in the joints between the thoracic vertebrae and ribs can refer pain to other areas such as your sides, front of torso and arms.

Position of the breast on the chest wall:

blog pic d

Muscles of the chest wall:

blog pic e

Muscles of the upper back:

blog pic w

Some factors can increase the risk of getting stiffness and/or pain in the upper back.

Examples include:

  • Poor standing posture
  • Poor sitting posture
  • Lots of time spent sitting
  • Engaging in lots of anterior focused activities and exercises
  • Having a large bust

The weight of a large bust puts increased force on the chest wall and can, amongst other things:

  • Tighten the pectoreal muscles
  • Pull the shoulders forward (which can also lead to various shoulder injuries)
  • Round the top of the thoracic spine (kyphosis)

blog pic f

Some ways to prevent and treat pain and/or stiffness in the upper back:

  • Massage of the chest and shoulders
  • Physiotherapy (which may include mobilisation of the thoracic spine)
  • Spikey ball/tennis ball/cricket ball self-release of pec muscles blog pic jblog pic k
  • Stretches- focused on opening the chest and loosening the thoracic spine
  • Upper back strengthening exercises

  • Improving posture
  • Using a lumbar roll for support when sitting
  • Decreasing time spent sitting or interspersing sitting with regular standing/walking/stretching
  • Modifying activities to decrease load on front of body
  • Getting properly fitted for a good-quality brablog pic u
  • Wearing a good quality, fitted sports bra for exercise

blog pic v

If you are experiencing ongoing upper back or chest pain and these steps do not help please consult a medical professional.


By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

Hi, my name is Lauren Starr and I’m a 28 year old physiotherapist. I’ve been working in a busy physiotherapy clinic in Melbourne’s South East for three years now and I love it! As well as assessing and treating people in rooms, I also take clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and yoga classes.

blog pic ablog pic b

Outside of work I spend most of my time running. I have been focussing on athletics recently, but I also compete in trail and road events.

I am lucky enough to have a partner and dog who also love running so we go on lots of running adventures together in our campervan.

In my downtime I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and baking.


First Time Fit Top Five

Do you remember your first bra fitting? For most of us it was an awkward, embarrassing 10 minutes of our life in front of a total stranger. For others our first bra might have arrived wrapped in a plastic bag and been sat subtly on the end of our bed!

They call it puberty blues for a reason!

But it doesn’t have to be that awkward.

A sports bra is a great option for a first bra for developing girls and often it’s during their sporting or school physical education activities that students first start to feel like they need a bra.

Getting fitted for a sports bra rather than for an everyday bra can help eliminate some of the angst from a situation. This is because you’re purchasing a technical sports product for a noticeable need that will make them focus on feeling more comfortable rather than being focussed on being uncomfortable in some new clothing contraption!

But here are our Top Five Reasons a Sports Bra is a great first time fitting option:

  1. Comfort: They are more likely to be a crop/compression style of product. This can, in some cases, assist not only to support but to minimise the appearance of breasts and provide coverage that feels similar to a bathing suit.


  1. Adjustable: There is some great product on the market which will include the straps being adjustable at the front which can allow for breast tissue growth, while still being as supportive as possible.


  1. Wire Free: There are often very supportive options that do not have underwire. Underwire is in Sports Bras and everyday bras simply to enhance shape – and there is nothing wrong with wearing it. But for first time bra wearers they can often take some getting used to. Starting in a bra without an underwire can be a great first step.


  1. Adaptable: They fit with a student’s lifestyle. Often around the age of a first bra young people are sitting at their desk one minute and running around the next. Sports Bras can be comfortable enough to wear all day, whilst providing support when it’s demanded.


  1. Fashion: They come in a great range of colours, and let’s face it, that matters!


Most importantly a well-fitting and comfortable bra – whether everyday or Sports – can have a big impact on confidence. Starting out with the right fit and right knowledge can change what can be an awkward experience into an empowering one.


Bra Banding Might Fix Your Chafing Woes

It’s all about the banding when it comes to Sports Bras – but even more so for Sports Bras for distance runners.

Almost every runner has experience dreaded chafing somewhere at some point – ooh and the nasty sting in the shower post run!

But avoiding chafing is usually down to a few simple steps.

  1. Make sure your Sports Bra banding is firm.

You don’t want your bra to be rib-crushingly-too-tight-to-breath firm but you do want it firm enough that the band cannot move.

Having a firm band around the rib cage is the number one rule for getting a Sports Bra or any bra fit right. If the band is firm the majority of support will come from the band and it will apply less pressure to the straps on the shoulders. The bra will be more comfortable and more effective at holding breast tissue in place.

If the band is too loose you immediately lose support for breast tissue, place greater pressure on the straps AND increase your risk of chafing – because the band will move around the rib cage. This is especially true of distance runners as they deplete fluids and grams to kilograms of physical weight as they run.

  1. Make sure the Cup is snug.

For all the same reasons as above – if there is any room in the cup you lose support and invite chafing. You want it tight – compressive – but not so much that breast tissue is spilling out the top or that you feel crushed.

  1. Make sure the bra doesn’t sit too high.

As Sports Bras are often ‘’crop’’ style another common chafe point is if the bra sits too high and digs into the tissue above the breasts and slightly in from the arm pits. This is a potential friction point due to arm movement during running. As runners seek higher coverage from a Sports Bra to close vertical escape routes for breast tissue – which we love – sometimes they can sit too high and cause issues.

  1. Wear a breathable, moisture/sweat wicking material.

It might sound simple but the wrong fabric close to the skin can increase the risk of chafing. Cotton based materials for example will become saturated with sweat and lose most of their breathability.

  1. Arm yourself with an anti-chafe product

Sometimes everything you try will not be good enough. Be sure you are well hydrated and arm yourself with an anti-chafe product like Body Glide. It needs to be something that is water based and NOT petroleum based. And if you already have chafing protect it from getting worse with a film dressing.


There are some schools of thought that you shouldn’t wear underwire for distance running. In fact this is an entirely individual decision. If a wire is sitting well in the right place and on the right person some runners will find they prefer this as it will assist to encapsulate the breast tissue reducing sweat pooling between the breasts. Others will find the wire will not sit correctly on their sternum and this can cause irritation as they progress into their run and deplete in fluids. Unfortunately, as our bodies have so many variables, this is one thing that can only be determined when tested on the track.

Getting your Sports Bra professionally fitted can help to ensure you’ve ticked as many of the right boxes as you can before you head out to hit the pavement.


Regaining Core Strength After Pregnancy


By Libby Nuttall, Personal Trainer and She Science Ambassador

So you’ve had your baby, congratulations! Now it’s time to smash a few ab workouts and flatten that mummy tummy, right?! Wrong. On so many levels, wrong.

Pregnancy puts huge strain on your core and pelvic floor and now is the time for rehabilitation, not waist training, ab workouts, or thrashing our bodies at the gym.

Let’s talk a little bit about the core, because there’s lots of misconceptions. Picture a cylinder. The core is like a cylinder, with the diaphragm at the top, pelvic floor at the bottom, the muscles surrounding your spine known as the multifudus, and your deep abdominal muscles, known as your transverse abdominis. Your glutes are a really important piece of the puzzle as well.

What’s not so important right now are your outer abdominals, you know, your six pack muscles. Unlike your transverse abdominis, they have little impact on your general health or strength. So forget about crunches for a while.

So why does pregnancy put pressure on this region? Well imagine a hammock. Now imagine bouncing a bowling ball on the hammock. That’s what pregnancy is like for your pelvic floor. The extra weight and size puts pressure on all of the internal organs, changing the centre of gravity and the muscles we use to walk, stand and move. The stretching of all these muscles during pregnancy leaves them weakened and at risk of injury.

After childbirth is a crucial time for rehabilitation, and looking after your body in this phase will stand you in good stead for future pregnancies and general health and wellbeing, including minimising aches and pains, preventing pelvic organ prolapse or hernia and healing diastisis recti.

Diastisis Recti

The first thing we should identify is whether we have experienced abdominal separation, and how severe it is. Many women experience diastisis recti, so it’s nothing you should worry about and shouldn’t cause you any pain. It’s important to know which exercises to avoid, to help heal the separation or cause further damage. Undiagnosed ab separation can lead to hernia, posture issues, low back pain and incontinence issues.

lib picYou can determine whether you are affected by visiting a physiotherapist or performing this simple test on yourself (I would always recommend a physio after birth anyway!)

Once this is done, it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to regain core strength, and let me tell you right now, it ain’t situps.

In the first few of months after pregnancy we want to avoid exercises which put too much pressure on the outer abdominals such as situps, double leg raises and crunches. It’s also time to back away from the front loading exercises such as planks and push ups.

It seems like you’re not allowed to do anything, right? Don’t worry, this is a short phase in the scheme of things and there is still plenty you can do to regain core strength without those particular exercises. Trust me, your body will thank you down the track.

Here are my top tips for post partum core work. Remember to always focus on controlled, smooth movements, continuous breathing and good posture.

  1. Breathing and engaging exercises. Start your post partum workouts by learning to re-engage your pelvic floor and core. Identify whether you can, in fact, feel your core and floor being turned on and off. Deep breathing exercises are also key in the early stages. Simply lie down and allow your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while taking deep breaths.
  1. Basic floor work. There’s several ways to activate your core simply by lying down. Before each of these, actively engage your core and continue to breathe normally.

Single leg heel slides – With knees bent and heels close to hips, slide one leg out to straight and return, swap legs

Single leg extensions – With knees bent and heels close to hips, raise one foot upwards and return, swap legs

Pelvic tilt – lying down and place feet up on a chair or fitball. Engage your core and tilt your pelvic back by pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for five seconds then repeat 10 times.


  1. Plank variations. As we talked about above, front loading exercises are best avoided in the early days, but there are still other options for you. Reverse plank and side plank are great. Over a series of weeks and months, progress at your own pace toward regular plank by starting leaning against a wall, then lower onto a chair or fitball. Next, move on to plank on your knees, then do short bursts on your toes.libpic2
  1. Resistance bands – When you’re ready to add some resistance to your training, resistance bands are a fantastic place to start. They provide a low-impact core workout that you can work up to in the post partum phase, just make sure you’ve really mastered points one and two first. There’s dozens of exercises to do with resistance bands, from rows, to posture work and dedicated core work. The bands allow you to work at an appropriate resistance level and gently regain core strength.

By Libby Nuttall, Miracle Months 

libby nuttalLibby is a women’s personal trainer in the Macedon Ranges. When she’s not hanging with her two sons, husband and Weimaraner (a.k.a; the boys), she is running high intensity fitness classes, volunteering as the president of the local playgroup, or working on her range of pre and post natal wellness programs, Miracle Months. Libby had her second son in December 2015 and is loving sharing the journey back to fitness and strength post baby with her social media following. This year she is looking forward to competing in a number of runs and obstacle races. Follow Libby via Miracle Months facebookinstagram.

Breast Feeding + Exercise

By Libby Nuttall


There are so many questions running through your mind as a new mum, many of those about breastfeeding. For something so natural, it can actually be pretty hard to get the hang of! Exercise is not only safe, but recommended while breastfeeding. Studies show exercise does not have any long term affect on milk supply or nutrient content.

The benefits of exercise to a breastfeeding mother include enhanced mental health, improved fitness and more energy to cope with the demands of a baby, so now is the time to get active!

Many mums want to get back into their exercise soon after baby has been born, but are nervous about the process. Will my supply be affected? What if I start leaking? How can I tame my “ladies”? It’s all about making it work for you. Here’s my top tips for getting back into it.


Don’t rush back into high intensity exercise, allow your body to ease back into everything. Some women do find that increasing the intensity too quickly can affect their breastmilk supply, while others say it has no impact whatsoever.

You need to discover what works for you, but easing into exercise is advisable for everyone, even if you exercised right through your pregnancy. If you find noticeable changes in your milk or baby when introducing exercise, cut back and return gradually.


As a new mum, you may be sleep deprived and lethargic. You are also using more energy each day just by breastfeeding. Don’t forget, your supply can be affected by your lethargy, so don’t push it. It’s crucial that you are providing your body with the nourishment it needs, that is, good quality food, sleep and water, so you have the energy to exercise as well as produce milk.

In the early months, I find two to three days of exercise followed by a rest day is a good way to maintain and refill those energy stores.


Invest in a really supportive bra. Whether it be a breastfeeding bra or not, it needs to support your breasts so you can run with ease. Many women say their biggest challenge to overcome when it comes to exercise after baby is figuring out how to manage their breasts, so it’s invaluable to invest well and most of all, make sure it is correctly fitted.

One of my 'breast feeding appropriate' facvourites, the Juno!

One of my ‘breast feeding appropriate’ facvourites, the Juno!


There is evidence to suggest that lactic acid can build up in the milk supply during high intensity exercise. Once again, this can be different for all women, so just monitor your baby’s response when feeding. If she doesn’t mind, then continue. If you find bub struggles to feed after a workout, avoid feeding for 90 minutes, when your milk should return to normal.

And remember to change out of your sweaty clothes straight after a workout to avoid infection of the milk ducts.


Try to feed your baby before you do exercise. This will not only mean your baby isn’t subjected to a sweaty, salty nipple, but will mean you’re not as full while you’re working out. It can also alleviate any concerns about lactic acid build up.

Before you leave for the run, insert fresh nursing pads into your bra to prevent a mid-run leak!


By Libby Nuttall, Miracle Months 


libby nuttalLibby is a pre and post natal personal trainer in the Macedon Ranges. When she’s not hanging with her two sons, husband and Weimaraner (a.k.a; the boys), she is running high intensity fitness classes, volunteering as the president of the local playgroup, or working on her new range of pre and post natal wellness programs, Miracle Months. Libby had her second son in December 2015 and is loving sharing the journey back to fitness and strength post baby with her social media following. This year she is looking forward to competing in a number of runs and obstacle races. Follow Libby via Miracle Months facebookinstagram.


A guide to returning to training after a break

By Catherine Allison,  Triathlete, Oseopath + She Science Ambassador


Catherine Allison, Triathlete + Osteopath

Catherine Allison, Triathlete

As I write “February” on my client notes I can’t help but wonder where on earth did January go? While I’m not one for making New Years Resolutions I do know a number of people who have recently admitted they have decided to re start 2016 in February – and I’m full of support! It is so easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and when the reality of life sets back in you realise it’s been almost a full month since you worked normal hours and completed your exercise regime like clockwork. So how do you get back into exercise again after an extended break? Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t have to re make your resolution again in March 😉



  1. Start small – don’t expect to be able to take up where you left off in December 2015. It doesn’t take long for fitness to drop and for our motivation to workout to go with it. Don’t set unrealistic workouts for your first few weeks back or you will end up feeling depressed when they don’t go to plan. Start with 5-10minutes a day; Exercise without your beloved Garmin or Heart Rate monitor; but most importantly just enjoy being out there again.
  1. Set a goal – summer in Melbourne is one of the best times to find a fitness goal as there is an event on most weekends. It doesn’t need to be a big goal or a race you want to win: simply having a date set for your return is enough to kick start the motivation.
  1. Find a fitness buddy – It is very easy to snooze the alarm if there is no one holding you accountable. Chances are your friends are in the same boat as you after the holiday period and simply having someone to meet is motivation enough to get out of bed. And lets me honest, there is nothing more enjoyable than taking a friend (or furry) friend for a well deserved post workout coffee.
  1. Mark it in your diary – A wise man once said “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. If you write down in advance on paper (or in your phone) the exercise you plan to complete with a time frame, you are more likely to stick to your routine. Deciding its time to exercise isn’t enough – set some short term goals for each week and enjoy ticking them off as you go.
  1. Make it enjoyable – exercise should be fun and not a chore. For exercise programs to work they need to be something you enjoy or, even better, look forward to completing. Choosing “running” because you heard it’s good for fat burning isn’t going to cut it in a few months when it gets colder and you lose motivation. Find something that makes you tick and stick to it. Life is supposed to be fun.
  1. Dress for it – with the post Christmas Sales lingering it is the perfect time to reward yourself as you tick off each goal. So if you need the extra motivation why not find some new exercise gear to make you feel excited about getting out and about again!  You are far more likely to go out and exercise if you have some new threads and don’t pull on your 3 year old baggy T-shirt from the bottom of the drawer.
  1. Don’t be hard on yourself – coming back from a break for exercise is tough, even for an elite athlete. It is easy to be critical of yourself and to feel despondent when you realise you aren’t where you were a few months ago. Remember that conditioning takes time – there is no quick fix: each day you increase your program you are one step closer to your goal and feeling how you did at your peak.

Remember that the things you do today will show in the weeks to come – sadly we cannot snap our fingers and be back to full fitness or goal weight, so in the meantime, slow down and enjoy the process. Take time to remember why it is you enjoy exercising, make some new friends to keep you company, set some goals in place for the year, and reward the small changes you make along the way. And within no time at all you will be back to your routine and feeling fabulous.



Catherine is a fierce competitor in the Australian Triathlon community. Her distance of choice is the Ironman 70.3, but you’ll find her on Sprint and Olympic distance courses too. When she isn’t working on her 16 hours of training a week Catherine works with athletes of all levels clinically as an Osteopath. In 2015 Catherine was named the Victorian Female Athelte of the Year by Triathlon Australia. She has her aims set high for another huge year in 2016. Follow her progress via her instagram or review her clinic details here.

How to avoid injury when training CrossFit

5 tips to help prevent injury during exercise and in your CrossFit gym

By Hannah Briggs


CrossFit – simply put – is a strength and conditioning program that uses weighted and bodyweight exercises including Olympic Lifting and Gymnastics skills. It targets various aspects to deliver a fitness that is broad, general and inclusive. This way the program is designed to be scaled in any way, making it suitable for any individual regardless of fitness level or exercise experience.


I have been a dedicated CrossFit Athlete for a couple of years now, and for the most part I have been injury free. I became a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Personal Trainer over a year ago, and started entering local CrossFit competitions early into my training.

A common issue or concern I hear most from people when it comes to CrossFit is “I’m not fit enough’, ‘ Isn’t CrossFit dangerous’, or ‘CrossFit is only for the elite’. These statements couldn’t be further from the truth.

Almost every other sport has the potential for injury, and CrossFit is no different. How many football players do you hear of each weekend that have done the ACL in their knee? How many Netballers roll their ankles or destroy their knees due to the high intensity of the game, and the twisting/turning required.

CrossFit, performed under the watchful eye of a qualified PT and Coach, is no more dangerous than Football and Netball.

Here are my 5 tips to help you remain injury free, but also get the most out of your CrossFit experience.

1. Leave your ego at the door and listen to your coach.

Your coach is there to help you, so ask questions when you’re unsure or feel like you need some assistance. You’re not supposed to know everything about CrossFit – that’s what your qualified trainer is for!

2. Warm up and cool down appropriately

This is fairly common sense, but you would be surprised at how many people warm up incorrectly or not at all. You should warm up for 10-15 minutes, during which time you slowly build intensity as you focus on the large muscle groups. This is designed to raise your heart rate and prepare your body for the workout.

3. Scale the WOD (Workout of the Day). Don’t be a hero.

If you feel like you’re sacrificing your form by trying to do a weight that is too heavy, just scale it back a little. You’re coach will help pick a weight that is suitable for you if you aren’t sure – it’s more important to lift correctly and safely and perform at a higher intensity, than to take 40 minutes to complete what should take 20 minutes just to say you did the weight Rx (as prescribed).

4. Rest Days

Listen to your body. Everyone needs rest days. You might be able to physically turn up every day, and get through another workout, but you won’t be able to give 100% effort. It is recommended to take a rest day every 3-4 days, and your body will thank you for it.

5. Mobility and Massage

Massage Therapy can help to alleviate pain, stiffness and improve flexibility. It can help reduce inflammation in joints and soft tissue, and also reduce stress and anxiety. When you exercise often and at high intensity, regular massage can also assist in preventing injury.


Hannah B headshot profile


Hannah is a She Science Ambassador, a Personal Trainer/CrossFit Level 1 trainer, and a CrossFit Athlete. Hannah competes at local CrossFit competitions both individually and as a team competitor, and made the finals event in her last 2 major competitions. Hannah is passionate about helping other people achieve their health/fitness goals through her PT and coaching, and motivating others to become passionate about their own fitness. Follow Hannah on instagram @_mindovermatter_13 and facebook Factory 3 Cross Fit.


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