This week on the blog, we catch up with the super hard working Katie, following her outstanding BRONZE medal performance and 1 hour PB, over the 50km trail distance. Just hearing about her experience at Brisbane's largest Ultra Trail Running Event, The Guzzler, makes you want to lace your shoes up and get rolling on your favourite trail.
How long you have been running and what do you love about running?
I started running back in 2009 when I signed up for my first six week triathlon beginners course. I had previously competed in body sculpting competitions where most of my training was in the gym lifting weights. I really found my love and appreciation of running in 2011 after having our daughter Khloe. The simple act of lacing up and getting out the door for a run after my husband arrived home from work become something that I grew to love, as it was my time and my therapy! I decided to sign up for my first half marathon and completed the Noosa half marathon in May 2012. I was hooked and went on to complete two more that year, improving my time at each event. I competed in triathlon from 2009 - 2016, then switched to road and trail running.
How did the Guzzler 50km Ultra pan out? What did you find the toughest?
I was pleasantly surprised at how well my day went. I didn’t have any clear expectations as I was a bit worried that I hadn’t done enough mileage on the trails in the lead up (nothing over 20km) and thought the body may struggle in the second half... but I felt strong the whole way. The toughest part was the humidity and adjusting my nutrition plan to ensure I was getting enough electrolytes in. Quite a lot of people ended up with a DNF due to the unexpected heat and not hydrating accordingly! The very steep fire trails added to the challenge and I came across a lot of athletes cramping. I hadn’t trained for hiking the steep parts, so my legs and glutes were on fire!
Your previous best time in a 50km Ultra was 7hrs 40min. 3 months ago you set a goal to break 6hrs 30min. You smashed this and placed an amazing third in a time of 6hrs 26min. Is there anything you changed in the lead up to this race, which you think assisted in such a huge improvement?
I think getting a running coach was the best thing I’ve done to improve my running and fitness levels! I thrive off routine and structure, so having a program to follow has been so enjoyable and I get a lot of satisfaction from ticking off each session, which is tailored specifically for my fitness level and goals. My running coach Matt has instilled a lot of confidence in me too and it was the first ultra race I went into feeling excited, rather than super nervous and scared!
Was there any specific sessions that you reflect on in the build up?
I think a combination of the Tuesday speed session and Saturday tempo sessions stood out, as I could see the improvements each week. It also transferred across to my long runs, which continued to feel easier as my fitness level improved. Hitting the paces set out for me by my coach and seeing my pace increase was really exciting and gave me the motivation to keep pushing hard.
How did you manage to the combine work, family and life with all the training? Did having an online coach assist you in any way around managing your time?
Since getting my online coach Matt, I have improved so much as a result of structure, accountability, and the specific sessions being suited for me. Running our own health and fitness business and being parents to our seven year old daughter means that I have to run at around 4am during the week as my husband walks out the door to train his clients at 5:25am. Having the sessions set out for me in the Run2PB app is awesome, as I can set up my speed and tempo sessions on my Garmin app and sync it to my watch the night before. When my alarm goes off at 3:40am I can jump out of bed, throw on my training gear, have a coffee and then I’m out the door. It has taken my love of running to the next level now that Matt’s running expertise has taken all the guess work out of what I should be doing... and I was often hitting the snooze button and missing sessions! Getting my sessions done first thing also means my head is clear for the busy day ahead with school drop-off, training clients and administration in between. My working day does not finish until 8pm some nights, so structure is everything!
How has Run2PB assisted your training and any feedback:
Run2PB has been so beneficial for me and my busy schedule and I have been recommending their services to friends and clients. I continue to see improvements in my running and having the support keeps my stress levels low, and my love of running outdoors high! Matt is so supportive and positive too. It is pretty clear how passionate he is about running and helping others achieve their goals! Setting a positive example for out daughter is really important to us and she is continues to improve each week and now trains twice a week before school. I think that seeing both me and my husband living and breathing running with a passion naturally makes her want to do it too. We have never pushed her to do it, so it is such a pleasure seeing her growing to love it so much and sharing our passion!
Follow Katie's journey on Instagram via @ktplantpoweredpt along with her active health and fitness business where you'll find all your personal training, physiotherapy, massage and nutrition needs @activate_health_fitness
Want to join the Run2PB team and be personally coached online by an elite athlete with a proven record of helping runners achieve their PBs?
If so, check out all the details at www.run2pb.co and fill out the 'Sign Up' form to start achieving your personal best today!