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Meet the Coach: Gemma Maini

Gemma is a 5000m and 10,000m specialist with many years of personal experience under her belt. Gemma has been a 2-time Australian Representative in the World Cross Country Championships in 2015 and 2017.

Her career highlights to date are:

  • Representing Australia in the World Cross Country Championships in Uganda 2017

  • 1st Puffing Billy Fun Run 2017

  • 2nd Australian National Championships Cross Country 2016

  • 1st Run Melbourne 10km 2016

  • Representing Australia in the World Cross Country Championships in China 2015

  • 2nd Sydney Track Classic 5000m with a PB of 15.56

  • 3rd Gold Coast 10km Fun Run with a PB of 33.50

How long have you been running, and how did you it start?

I have always had an excessive amount of energy and a competitive nature and with no coordination to play ball sports it was only time before I discovered running as an outlet for these traits. I can’t recall exactly when I started running but it was about the time I started High School and I immediately fell in love with the challenge of constantly trying to better myself.

What has been your greatest running achievement?

It had always been a dream of mine to represent Australia (I wrote a story about it in Grade 3) so to finally have a break-through race and earn my position as one of the 6 women chosen to represent Australia at the World Cross Country Championships will always be a moment I cherish.

To then replicate this achievement 2 years later after a set-back in the months prior was another emotional and unforgettable moment that proves sometimes it’s all about just how bad you want it.

What is your biggest tip to becoming a successful runner?

Consistency and love of the sport! You have to enjoy the process because you don’t improve over-night or by smashing one session. It is a culmination of months of hard work. Just as important as the running component is recovery and giving your body time to absorb the hard work. Make sure you get 8 hours of sleep and consume protein and carbohydrates within the vital 30-60-minute window to replenish the body.

Favourite Training Session?

As a track athlete at heart, I enjoy the shorter, faster repetitions. I have two favourite sessions, both guaranteed to leave your legs heavy with lactic acid. My first session is hills – either 3-minute hill reps, with a float back down recovery or a combination of 400m, 300m and 200m hill reps.

The other is 12 x 400m reps on the track broken into 3 sets of 4, each set getting faster.

I feel both sessions build the strength needed at the end of a race and allow you to finish fast despite being fatigued. Hills are also great for focusing on your running form, it’s almost impossible to run hills with poor form.

What excites you most about Run2PB?

Running has led me to experience some of the biggest high’s and also taken me through some of the toughest times in my life. Through all of these good times and bad times I have learnt so much about the sport and have gained invaluable knowledge off the amazing people who support my pursuits. I am really excited to assist others in chasing their own goals and impart this knowledge that I have gained through my own experiences so that they have the best chance of running a PB in their chosen race.

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