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 www.brooksrunning.com.au

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. 



Top 10 Tips for Beginner Female Bike Riders

People often ask me “Courtney, how did you get into mountain bike riding? How did you start?” My response is always “My parents introduced me – I was forced to love it!”

But for people who don’t have bike loving parents that can be slightly tricky.

The best thing about bike riding is that it can be for anyone – styles vary and can be fitted to anyone’s needs. This can range from smashing out a PB on a road bike up the ‘1 in 20’ Mt Dandenong climb to riding along a rail trail for a coffee to tearing up the dirt on a mountain bike or getting muddy on a cyclocross. There is something for everyone.

My 10 hot tips can encourage anyone to get out and give it a go!

Hot tips

1: Get some gear


  • Helmet
  • Shoes (sneakers are a good start)
  • Leggings (or bike knicks if you are more comfortable)
  • T-shirt
  • Sports bra (because support is important!)
  • A bike (any sort, so long as it pedals, has brakes and changes gears, particularly if you plan on going up hills)
  • A decent bike pump


  • Take bike to trail (e.g. Lilydale to Warburton rail trail or Lysterfield tracks)
  • Ride bike
  • Have fun

Simple as that! You don’t need to look the part or be the next Bec Henderson (Australian Olympic Mountain Biker) – you just need to have fun.

2: Take a friend

Find people who are willing to be adventurous and unafraid of mud and dirt! (This is a requirement, as half the fun is getting dirty and comparing the amount of mud covering your bike at the end of a great ride.)

Wendy Courtney May 20173: Ask around

Do some research on women’s riding social groups (Tribal Cycling or She Rides Australia are really good ones to check out, as are your local cycling club or bike shop) for recommendations of trails/rides to check out. Ask if anyone would like to join you. It never hurts to ask and you’d be surprised how many other females are interested in cycling.

4: Try it all

Hire, beg, borrow or steal (not recommended) all different types of bikes for the different styles of riding – road riding, MTBing (cross country), downhill (if you’re game), cyclocross, enduro etc. You’ll never know your forte till you’ve tried them all!

5: Get out for a skills session

From my experience I cannot recommend enough trying out skills sessions. They are so useful and instructors can help you feel more confident on the bike and workshop new techniques to incorporate into your riding. Skills sessions can be run through clubs like Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club (See hot tip no. 6) or businesses such as She Rides (a program run by Cycling Australia – it is specifically for women alike who want to ride and feel confident riding. To find out more —> check out the link http://www.cycling.org.au/Participation/She-Rides).  One of my first ever skills sessions was with elite mountain biker Jenni King and my now coach Adam Kelsall.

6: Join a club

This is such a helpful way to meet new riding buddies with common interests or just feel part of the greater community within cycling. There are plenty of clubs around Victoria who encourage all types of riders to join – Warrandyte, Lysterfield, Geelong, Alpine, Bendigo etc. all have friendly successful MTB clubs with a strong network. St Kilda, Hawthorn and Blackburn road riding clubs are also well known amongst the cycling community.

7: Try out a race or a target event

Yes, I know it sounds intimidating but, hey, you’ll never know unless you try, right? Longer races such as three or six hour endurance races (which is more fun than it sounds – I promise!) are great events to bring a group of friends to and enter as a team. It is a day of good chatter, laughs and awesome riding! It’s also another way to get out and socialise with the forever-expanding bike community.

If road riding is your thing, maybe have a go at a criterium in the Summer.  Any of the road clubs mentioned above will be able to provide you with details to get you started.  There are also lots of mass participation social rides organised which you could enter with a friend or a group.  Set you and your friends a goal to be part of the Around the Bay in a Day in October.  There are many different rides lengths to choose from: from the ultra-challenging 250km all the way down to a beginners 25km.

16118319_693248764186264_265452137_n8: Make it a regular activity

Don’t just ride once in a blue moon! If you truly enjoy it make riding something you do daily, weekly or fortnightly with family and friends or by yourself. You could even try commuting to work or school to keep it interesting and part of a routine.

9: Explore

Riding takes you places – I would know! My family and I have been to so many different destinations that we would have never discovered or enjoyed nearly as much if we weren’t riding bikes. Go look at new places. Get out on the dirt at Lysterfield, go up to Bright and ride the single tracks before breakfast or the rail trail out to the berry farm for a late afternoon treat. Spice it up and you’ll be surprised at what you discover.

10: Don’t be afraid

My lucky last tip: don’t ever be intimidated or afraid!

Most cyclists are friendly people, and will gladly help when asked. When you’re riding in a group, don’t apologise if you think you’re not going fast enough or you can’t quite make it up the hill. It doesn’t matter. If you’re having fun and enjoying yourself you will have a good time and so will your peers.

So, there you have it. Riding is for everyone. If you’re tall, short, eight years old or 80, all you have to do is pedal, sweat (optional), get a bit dirty and most importantly HAVE FUN!

By Courtney Snowball

CIMG_9009ourtney is a She Science Ambassador and avid Mountain Biker. At just 16 she is competing in the national mountain biking circuit, placing 4th overall in 2016 and 3rd overall in 2017. This year she has qualified for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in September. Follow her on Instagram @courtney_snowball.

(Pictures: Ross Snowball)

Getting Back in the Game and The Struggles with Self-Doubt

I never imagined I’d be in this position: from the football field, to the triathlon circuit and back to footy!

In 2014, after 13 years and 182 games, I decided it was time to hang up the boots. I wanted to continue developing in triathlon to see where it would take me. The lure of a new challenge and the judgement that women’s football had hit its ceiling in my playing time led me to swapping the Sherrin for a TT (time trial) bike!

IMG_2330.JPGIn those two years I raced eight half ironman distance races, competed at the 70.3 World Championships and ticked two Ironman distance races off my bucket list. Then came the historical announcement that a national AFL Women’s competition would go ahead in 2017, which threw a huge spanner in the works!

Lou in training. Picture: Robert Keeley

A lot of people began pestering me about playing, especially my sister Jo. I didn’t really know if I could do it because at that stage I was training for my second ironman, so my focus was on that. I jokingly said to a few friends that maybe I should pull on the boots, but they just laughed it off with me!

I had also been watching quite a few of the team sports at the Rio Olympics on TV and was really missing that team environment. But the tipping point was watching the AFL Women’s All-Stars match between the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne in Queensland, where I was competing in the Half-Ironman World Championships. I had initially allowed myself to take in only the first half, having to get up at 4am to race the following day, but ended up watching until the final siren.

After that match I knew I had to nominate for the draft. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity! As soon as I nominated for the draft I was ringing my ex-teammates begging people to have a kick with me. I wanted to make sure I could still do it! I had probably kicked the footy once after retiring.

And that’s when the rollercoaster ride started …

At first I didn’t want anyone to know I had nominated for the draft. If people knew then they would also know if I didn’t get picked up. And … that’s exactly what happened! After 3 hours and 145 names – Lou Wotton did not get called out. I thought that draft day and my chances of playing AFLW had come and gone. While I was disappointed, I took solace in knowing that some of my good friends had just had their dreams of playing AFL come true.

But after missing out on selection within a day of the draft I had been contacted by TWO clubs about signing as a free agent. So my dream was still alive!

My journey started at Collingwood with a bang! Within the first 10 minutes of training I had won the club 2km time trial and pulled my hamstring! I felt like I had let Collingwood down, as I felt that they had taken a chance on me. It was hard not being out on the track with my new team mates, but I had to push aside the negative thoughts and focus on what I could do. I worked really hard on my rehab so I wasn’t too far behind the 8-ball when I returned to the track after six weeks.

pre-season training team shotI was given a boost before the Christmas break, while I was still in rehab, when I was voted into the leadership group by my team mates. It was a confidence booster that my team mates saw leadership qualities in me, despite me not being out on the track with them.

(Pictured Top Left: Lou in preseason training. Pictured Bottom Left: The AFLW Collingwood team. Pictures: Robert Keeley)

There was a lot of well-deserved hype surrounding the start of the season and inaugural match at Ikon Park between arch enemies Collingwood and Carlton. We were amongst it all at Collingwood and the excitement was building!

But Tuesday of the week of the match I received a phone call from the head coach “we have decided to leave you out of the side for this week’’. While I accepted the decision that they had chosen the team they thought best to take on Carlton, it didn’t dissipate my disappointment. I also felt really embarrassed! My aunty was flying from Brisbane to attend the match, my family and friends had all organised to come along, people at work had been extremely supportive and the students at school had been enthusiastically talking to me about it. I felt like I had let all of them down. It was a hard pill to swallow but I knew it was about the team and I needed to be the best possible support to my team mates.

The following week when the coach rang me in regards to selection, I was too nervous to pick up the phone, so I let it ring through. However, once I composed myself I got the news I wanted to hear. My debut match was happening!

Over the next five weeks I got three phone calls in a row that kept me out of the side and two phone calls with the good news I was playing. Throughout the whole process family, friends, work colleagues and students would constantly asked whether I was getting a game.

I am glad I went back to footy. I would have had regrets if I didn’t. It’s been a long time coming and many people have worked extremely hard to get this competition up and running. Whilst I would have liked to have played more matches I am grateful for the challenges this experience gave me and how it tested my mental strength.

Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds us back. It holds us back from seizing our opportunities. It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be. The key is to stop listening to that voice and start speaking your own!

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare.

By Lou Wotton Lou and Eve

Lou is a 2017 Collingwood AFLW player, accomplished Ironman and triathlete. Lou is a She Science Ambassador and you can follow her on Instagram @wotto19.





Lou pictured with niece Eve. Picture: Robert Keeley

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.


Everyday wear on the run: Shock Absorber Active Shaped

I have been doing a lot of afternoon runs recently and over the Summer that meant it was quite warm whilst I was running. So I asked She Science for a bra that is supportive but looks good enough to be worn on its own like a crop top.

I decided on the Shock Absorber Active Shaped. I really like the look of this bra – it’s a bit different from your standard sports bra. It is essentially two layers. The inner layer is a lightly moulded band that has minimal seams – so it is comfortable whilst also giving a nice shape. The outer layer is the main body of the bra and at the front this consists of two triangular shaped pieces of mesh. At the back it is your traditional hook and eye fastening and straight shoulder straps.

blog pic vDue to the traditional style back it was nice and airy so my back stayed cool whilst running, but unfortunately it does look like a bra from the back. This has the upside of being very easy to get and off, but the downside is that the straight shoulder straps show if you wear a racer back top.

The whole construction of the bra is of very high quality and there are minimal seams in contact with your skin. The fabric is smooth too so there is minimal chance of chafing- as yet I haven’t experienced any chafing despite wearing it for some very hot and sweaty runs!

The main chest strap is wide as are the shoulder straps so the forces are evenly distributed and there is less chance of straps digging in. The shoulder and chest straps also have a lot of adjustment room, which is great if your size fluctuates slightly as the bra will still fit and support you well.

To break it down:


  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Great shape
  • Stylish
  • Can be worn as an everyday bra
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Lots of adjustment room
  • Supportive
  • Smooth fabric with minimal seams
  • Very open at the back for good airflow


  • Looks like a bra from the back
  • Straight back straps- can’t be worn with a racerback top

For me this bra is great as I can wear it under my t-shirt at work and it still gives me good shape. Then I can quickly discard my tee at the beginning of lunch and be out of the door and running in a blink of an eye! When I get back from my run the bra is quick and easy to remove, even when sweaty. So overall this means more time running and less time changing – good when you want to have a decent run and still have time to eat your lunch!

By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

Lauren 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. 


From Office to Trail – Brooks Anyday

I don’t know about you, but I am always in a hurry after work to hit the road, trail or track. Even more so now when daylight savings has ended and we are limited with the amount of daylight left to guide the way. So I really hate wasting precious sunlight getting changed once the clock hits 5!

anydayblackfront_clipped_rev_1.jpegI don’t usually like wearing my sports bra to work. But the Anyday bra by Brooks is the perfect everyday bra to serve the purpose of work to workout.

A great soft fit with light padding, giving a nice shape- it looks like a normal bra but it will give you a higher level of support, combining encapsulation and compression.

The bra is quite low cut, and you have the option of wearing the straps in traditional or cross back. This enables a wide range of outfit choices.

This bra does not come in a size 8, but I found that it was a small fit and hence I was able to fit well into a 10.

Overall a great compromise between different functions.


Kellie Marceau Photography

2016 Australian Trail Champion, Kellie Emmerson is a She Science Ambassador and serial ultra-marathon podium finisher.  Kellie professionally works as an Occupational Therapist, Running Coach and Body Pump Instructor. You can follow Kellie on facebook and on Instagram @kelemmo. 




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Six of our favourite everyday bras

She Science has carefully selected a range of everyday bras that are more sassy than sporty, great for that night out!

Our Favourites for D cup plus ladies are:

Freya’s ‘Deco Moulded Plunge Bra’ RRP $90

picaThis bra is a staple in many women’s wardrobes, Deco has a nice round moulded cup great for V neck tops. The straps on this bra aren’t bulky like some bras and it has the ability to cinch in at the back to create a flawless line across the back of racerback tops. Deco has a seam free cup design to prevent irritation across the nipple and give a soft look under clothing. This bra doesn’t only come in black, Freya always do at least one seasonal colour so you can spice up your wardrobe!

Deco Is Available in cups B – GG


Scantilly by Curvy Kate’s ‘Peek a Boo Balcony Bra’ – RRP $135

picbbThis sassy underwire black bra you can wear day to night! The soft satin outer sling and 4 piece cup creates a perfect round perky shape. The Straps on this bra are very supportive and thick to add to your comfort to wear all night. This bra is perfect for summer is it’s made from a light breathable polyester blend, the seams do not irritate the nipple and its great under scoop neck tops. Scantilly’s Peek-A-Boo bra comes in a fashion colour each season so be sure to check it out!

Peek a Boo Balcony Bra is Available in cups DD – HH


Our Favourites for size 14 plus back ladies are:

Fayreform’s Coral Underwire Bra – RRP $50

piccCoral is a full coverage underwire 3 piece cup bra. The underwire in this bra overlaps at the centre panel creating a narrow silhouette. This bra has a wide solid elastane back ensuring full support along with comfortable thick straps to get you through any day! The seams in Coral are what gives the bra its shape along with the unique underwire. Fayreform also makes a wire free version of this bra ‘Coral Soft Cup’ which is a good alternative if you prefer wire free bras. The elegant lace Coral has a cult like following within the fashion bra community and is easily accessible in Australia instore and online. Coral comes in a variety of colours which makes it so hard to pick which one to get!

Coral is available in C-F cup.


Elomi’s Bijou RRP $90

picddBijou is similar to Deco (previously mentioned) in many ways. This bra is an underwire plunge contour bra. The smooth cup inside and out prevents any nipple show through and is great under sheer clothing. Bijou gives a flattering rounded shape giving you a great silhouette, it even has a J-hook at the back (cinch) to hide straps under racerback tops, what more could you want! The straps on this bra are thick and supportive without being bulky. Bijou comes in nude and seasonal colour for those less conservative!

Bijou is available in E – H cupspicee picfffffff


Loveable’s Sexy and Seamless Contour Bra RRP $60

Sexy and Seamless underwire is a great as a first bra as it’s not too invasive and gives nipple coverage. Loveable also make a ‘Sexy and Seamless Wire free bra’ available in A to D cup. The seamless bra fits nicely under school uniforms as well as business shirts. This bra has supportive straps and the back fits a little on the firm side! This bra is a plunge bra has foam cups giving a rounder projection and has hook and eye closure. Loveable is easily accessible in Australia online and instore. Sexy and Seamless comes in a variety fun of seasonal colours, so what are you waiting for!

Sexy and Seamless is available in A – G cup


Heidi Klum’s Sofia Underwire Bra RRP$75

Heidi Klums’s Sofia underwire bra has had a cult like following ever since Elle Macpherson’s first launched it as Dentelle. It’s safe nothing changed with the bra, basically it’s same bra, different ambassador for Bendon Lingerie’s flagship brand. Sofia is an underwire balconette style bra with 3 piece cup adding support and shape. For extra support in Sofia there is boning at the side of the bra. This bra has fashionable and supportive straps perfect to show off in summer! This bra also comes in a ‘Sofia Contour bra’ from A – DD if you prefer a little more nipple coverage.  Sofia without fail comes in at least one fashion colour every season, so it’s easy to find a colour or two you will love!


Sofia is available in B – G cup

Reward and recognition: How to ‘achieve’ in sport without being a Pro’

My life motto is to dream, believe and achieve in all that I do and I believe that anyone can if they set their mind to it.

Today I call myself a Triathlete and Ultra Marathoner.

Four years ago I didn’t know how to ride a bike and I couldn’t swim a lap of the pool.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a Pro’ triathlete. I don’t even necessarily have the talent to reach the podium in my sport, but I do have the passion and drive to achieve all the personal goals I have set for myself within triathlon and in life.

But passion and drive didn’t stop me having to face some significant hurdles in my journey from absolute novice to completing an Ironman in my first year of the sport.

Whilst training for Ironman Melbourne in 2014 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) which is an autoimmune disorder that causes pain and swelling of the joints.

Defying all odds, I completed the event!


Ironman is no mean feat even for the fittest athlete. It comprises of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and then a full 42.2km marathon. So for me to cross the finish line in a very respectable 14 hours and 7 minutes was a HUGE accomplishment. Especially when you consider that most people diagnosed with RA to the degree I have it are rarely able to get out of bed in the morning.

I did actually end up in hospital at the completion of the event for a week and a half.

However I am not a quitter and I refuse to give up, no matter how hard and crappy my RA is so since that Ironman moment I have also competed in a bunch of events including the 50km 2016 Great Ocean Rd Ultra Marathon, 50kms of the 2016 Surf Coast 100 as part of a team of two and I have a big list ahead of me for 2017 – including another Ironman.

IMG_0002 (002) 0658_16374 (002)

So now I find myself giving back to my sport.

Two years ago I took on the role of President of the Bayside Triathlon Club which is one of the biggest Triathlon Clubs in Victoria with over 500 members. This has been no easy task, but it is one that I love and am extremely passionate about.

In two years we have increased total membership by 30% and female membership by 40% – which I’m really proud of.

I’m also now on the board of Triathlon Victoria which enables me to further encourage and promote the participation of Women into our sport.

I am an everyday person with the positive attitude and drive to succeed in all that I do. I also have a proven track record in “getting things done” both in my personal and professional life. I never take on something I don’t believe I can whole heartedly achieve at and I have I made a commitment to myself to always give back to the things that make me happy.

Many people believe that being recognised for what you do is a result of the place you get in a race. For me it’s about being in the race and representing what you believe in. Not only in triathlon but in day to day life.

My goals range from something as simple as getting out of bed, to something as big as racing Ironman.

I am proof that anyone who has the drive, commitment and determination to achieve something can be recognised for it. You’ve just got to ask yourself what do you want to be recognised for?

By Sonia Dunne, Triathlete @sonia_D227713173804_10153781682415547_845512458671438348_n (002)


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.

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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:

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Muscles of the chest wall:

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Muscles of the upper back:

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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)

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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

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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.

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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.


Understanding Bra Fitting and Bra Features to improve your riding

By Tish Monahan, founder of Sports Bra Store, She Science

FIND US AT EQUITANA John Deere Pavilion, Stand 128

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Anecdotally we understand that breasts and horse-riding haven’t always paired well together, but it wasn’t until recently that we truly understood the nature of this barrier to participation.  A study that was conducted on over 1300 female horse riders demonstrated 40% of participants experience breast pain in the saddle, with 21% reporting that is affected their riding. The conclusion was made that education regarding bra fitting and breast support was required in order to improve the comfort and performance of female riders.

The most important thing to get right when you are purchasing a bra is the fit. You could be in the most expensive bra with the greatest online reviews but if the bra doesn’t fit you perfectly it has no chance of functioning well.

Here are my tips to buying your best Sports Bra for horse riding:

  1. Know where the support comes from.

It’s actually the band that runs around the ribcage that is responsible for stabilising breast tissue and decreasing breast displacement (bounce!). If this band is too loose then the band will ride up and down your back and the front will follow in a see-saw effect. This leads to out of control breast displacement during activity. This is the component of most bra fittings that women often get wrong, and it is the most important part to get right. Knowing that this band needs to fit firmly in order for it to sit securely and stay in place will put you in good stead when it comes to finding your best bra.

  1. Coverage is key

The breast moves in three directions when we are riding. It moves in and out, side to side and up and down. The up and down movement is the most excessive movement. This vertical pattern of movement must be controlled in order to reduce your overall breast displacement when riding. Along with getting the right bra fit, coverage is the next most important feature to look at to control this movement. A bra that exposes cleavage will often provide an escape route for soft breast tissue during activity.

  1. Shoulder straps and posture for horse riding

The shoulder straps are important, we’d be in trouble without them, but they are often relied on too much. The shoulder straps are there to add stability, not to take the weight of the breast. A mistake often made which significantly impacts ones riding posture is pulling the shoulder straps to tightly which causes us to roll our shoulders and hunch forward, making it impossible to sit tall in the saddle and ride with the correct hand position. This over-tightening of straps often coincides with the ribcage band being too loose, and the wearer then feeling the need to tighten the straps to compensate.

  1. Shape, Style and How your Jacket sits

I can certainly tell you that shape is subjective. Some people want a flattened look under their jacket and others prefer a more well defined and shapely look. I find that in many cases this will depend also on the fit of one’s jacket.

To achieve a flattened look which could work best under jackets that possibly fit too tightly, then a bra that compresses the breast tissue down will work best. These are typically non underwire bras, and will result in more of a ‘uni-boob’ look.  Some popular options for this are the D+ Classic, Enell Sport or Jubralee.

For those looking for a more shapely look that still offers great support then a bra with underwire and a moulded cup will be most effective. This style will leave the wearer with a more defined and lifted ‘two boob’ look. Great examples of this are the Ultimate Performance, Panache Sport and Epic Sports Bra.

Some of our best rated Sports Bra’s for horse-riding

JUNO, available C – E cup


















D+ CLASSIC, available D – H cup









MOMENTUM, available D – G cup









ENELL SPORT, available approx. D – J cup









A bit about She Science

She Science is Australia’s only Sports Bra Store. We specialise in the fitting and prescription of technical Sports Bras for cup sizes A – J and band sizes 6 – 24. Our range is sourced from 12 industry leading brands from around the world, with over 40 styles to choose from.

In store we offer a comprehensive bra fitting service, optional treadmill wear testing and the use of the motion analysis software to assist us in finding each customer their best Sports Bra.

Our full range is also available online for those shopping from interstate.


Best Bra Fitter Australia Melbourne


Tish is the co-founder and director of She Science, a Specialty Sports Bra and Sports Wear store in Melbourne. Tish has completed Advanced Bra Fitting training both locally and internationally as well as tertiary education in biomechanics. She follows the latest research on breast biomechanics and Sports Bra design religiously to ensure that She Science remains the most advanced Sports Bra shopping environment in the world. Tish views her Sports Bra business as a vehicle for her to inspire and enable women of all shapes and sizes to participate actively in life. Find Tish online via @SheScience.