Fitness Events in Australia – Challenge Yourself

One of the reasons for getting this blog up and running was to inspire people to set some goals and make a start on living a healthier lifestyle.  As I have mentioned before, when I put together a hitlist for myself I try and have a goal that is a bit scary and out of my comfort zone so that I continue to challenge myself.  I thought I would help you out and put together some of the sites that I look at for some inspiration for my big hitlist item.  Stop procrastinating…..lock in an event….and get training!!

Australian Running Calender – I’ll kick off with running events because it requires very little equipment and training can be done absolutely anywhere.  If you are new to running don’t forget to check out My Top Running Tips from an ‘I can’t run’ Mum and Exercise Physiologist.

Park Run Australia –  This is a free weekly event, a timed 5km run held in many parks across the world.  Good place to start if you are nervous about participating in an event.

parkrun2

Eventfinda – Upcoming Sports & Outdoors Events.  This is a calender of many, many, different sports.  You just have to choose one that tickles your fancy.

Eventlist – Australian Triathlon, Running, Obstacle Racing & Multisport Event Calender

Oxfam Trailwalker – Challenge Yourself, Challenge Poverty

This was at the start of my shift, all four members completing the 100km which was quite a feat.  Quite a few teams lost members due to injury or exhaustion.

Stairclimbing Australia – Looking for something different?  Stairclimbing is a thing!  Looks tough but covers some pretty great locations.

Ocean Swims – Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Pacific, and Europe

Adventurethon Australia – Off road multi sport event (Kayak, Mountain Bike, Trail Run).  Different distances for different levels of fitness, also can be done as a team event.  You can read about my first Adventurethon here.

Albany finish

Adventure Race Australia – This race involves a bit of everything.  It is off road so trail running and mountain biking is involved.  For the water component you can often choose whether to kayak, canoe, or swim.  There is also an element of navigation/orienteering involved as well as some alternative challenges (these are optional).  It looks like a lot of fun and encourages family and team participation along with individual racing of course.  There are some great prizes up for grabs too.

Tough Mudder – Mud Run

Basic RGB

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it should give everyone a place to start.  What are you waiting for?

If you know of any other great events that I should check out please get in contact with me and share the fun.

5km Done and Dusted in Beautiful Kalbarri, Western Australia.

So for those of you who follow my facebook page you will probably be aware that I finally hit that 5km milestone.  I have been sitting just under 5km on my training runs three times a week and I knew it was time to step it up.  On the weekend we travelled to Kalbarri which is a small coastal town about 580km north of Perth in Western Australia.  On our arrival into Kalbarri we pulled into The Grandstand Lookout to check out the view…..

Grandstand Lookout

Grandstand Lookout

I noticed that there was a path leading in and out of the lookout and on further research discovered that there was an 8km trail that hugs the coastline from Natural Bridge to Eagle Gorge.  I decided then and there that if I was going to complete the 5km hitlist task then I was going to make it memorable.  This coastal run would be the first time that I have run more than 5km after having four kids and the first time I have run this far in more than 10 years.  I think the last time I ran any decent distance was the 14km City to Surf event from Sydney to Bondi.  It would also give me an idea of how I was travelling fitness wise for the upcoming adventurethon.

My parents are visiting at the moment which is one of the reasons we were out exploring some of WA.  My mother was really keen to walk the trail, my dad not so much, but he didn’t want to miss out so he bravely put on his best walking gear and came along for the experience!!

My father's best walking gear....not quite the party he thought it was going to be. Haha.

My father’s best walking gear….not quite the party he thought it was going to be. This boardwalk was misleading, it only went for the first 800m.

I was going to head out early with my parents but woke up with a headache (didn’t drink enough water the day before) so I decided to go a little later after rehydrating.  This actually worked out for the best as I ended up finishing about the same time as my parents.  I will let the pictures do the talking as they tell a far better story of the magnificence of the trail then I ever could.

Start of the walk - Natural Bridge lookout.

Start of the walk – Natural Bridge lookout.

Warm up walk to Island Rock which is where I started my run and the boardwalk ended.

Warm up walk to Island Rock which is where I started my run and the boardwalk ended.

Running literally on the edge of Australia - pretty amazing.

Running literally on the edge of Australia – pretty amazing.

Just under halfway point was the Grandstand lookout.  This is mum contemplating the view....and waiting for Dad!

Just under halfway point was the Grandstand lookout. This is mum contemplating the view….and waiting for Dad!

This is the point that I caught up to Mum and Dad 1km from the finish point.

This is the point that I caught up to Mum and Dad,1km from the finish point.

Cutting inland a little as I ran to the carpark at Eagle Gorge where hubby and the boys were waiting for us.

Cutting inland a little as I ran to the carpark at Eagle Gorge where hubby and the boys were waiting.

My boys were cheering, what's a girl to do?  Victory salute, haha.

My boys were cheering, what’s a girl to do? Victory salute, haha.

Stretching at the end of the 8km at Eagle Gorge.  Feeling quite a sense of satisfaction at this point.

Stretching at the end of the 8km at Eagle Gorge. Feeling quite a sense of satisfaction at this point.

Apart from the first 1km of wooden boardwalk that I walked for my warm up, the rest of the trail was either really rocky or sandy.  This meant that the going was quite slow but I found that the slower pace meant that I completed the remaining 7km quite comfortably.  This is good news for the Adventurethon, just have to do this after kayaking 5km, running 2km on sand, kayaking 3.7km back to mainland, and riding 22km on mountainous terrain.  Shouldn’t be a problem……..

Hot Power Yoga

I have been a big fan of yoga for several years, so many principles of yoga are things that resonate with me as an Exercise Physiologist in terms of injury prevention, such as postural awareness, working on creating symmetry in movement, flexibility, stability, and a focus on breathing and centreing.  I’m not a die hard yogi and therefore there is a lot I am ignorant about……I’m not great at knowing the differences between the different yoga practices and I’m really not good with a lot of chanting and ‘Ohhhhmmms’, no disrespect meant.  I am more of the DIY yoga variety with a lot of my practice done at home with Yoga DVD’s.

The kids loved doing it with me too!!  Downward Dog anyone??

The kids join in too. Downward Dog anyone??

I used to be one of those people that scoffed at Yoga because it wasn’t a real workout, I wanted to be sweating, hurting, and unable to catch my breath, I didn’t have time for an hour of stretching (hehe little did I know).  But as I have got older and less flexible I wanted to look into this whole yoga thing a little more.  As mentioned, I started with you tube yoga clips, P90X yoga, and then eventually decided to try a class so that I could get some feedback on technique and progression.  I don’t do it nearly as often as I should, or would like to, but it always keeps drawing me back as you really do feel pretty wonderful after a session.

After moving to Perth I was searching for a yoga class to attend to get my fix and came across The Twisting Peacock Yoga Studio.  Firstly the name is just awesome, but it also had Hot Power Yoga.  Now I love a strong, flowing kind of yoga and I had never done a hot yoga class so it had to go on my hitlist.  If you have never done a yoga class then I suggest you read The Twisting Peacock’s Your First Class page.  For what its worth I think they did a great job on their website, everything I needed to know was right at my fingertips.

I booked in for my class online, printed out the first timers health questionnaire ready to take along with me, and off I went with my water bottle and my towel.  It would pay to book online as the class filled up quickly.  Usually in yoga classes you will get a range of different body types, but I swear this class was the postcard perfect yoga group, you know the leggy, lean, gorgeous type.  All I could think was that I bet none of them had to tuck their saggy, post baby belly into their yoga pants!!  Haha It made me feel slightly better when one of these girls was the first to break, and meekly asked our dominatrix style instructor when we we got a break??  In fairness the class was tough but great, and the instructor did a great job in making everyone feel welcome and well supervised.

I borrowed this photo from Twisting Peacock Yoga FB page.  Check it out for more info on what they get up to.

Twisting Peacock Yoga let me borrow this from their FB page. Check it out for more pics on some of the cool stuff they get up to.

As for the ‘hot’ yoga part, well it comes as no surprise that it was hot.  When I first got there it was pleasantly warm on a nice Winters day.  Actually I wanted to snuggle up and go back to bed if I am being completely honest, especially as I had a few drinks the night before with a group of Mum’s from school.  In no time at all though I was warmed up and starting to sweat.  Yep, Sweatty Bettie had made a return!  Initially I’m not sure I thought the hot room was necessary, but on second thoughts there is no way I would have got the range of movement that I did on my first session back.  Also, as your muscles are warm I think the work didn’t feel quite as hard as it actually was.  I walked away feeling tired but not too bad, but the next couple of days my muscles were telling me all about how much work we got through!   The other bonus was that I managed to sweat out the alcohol from the night before….not even dusty.  Winner!  I was chugging water for the rest of the day as well.  I really did enjoy my session and have booked to go again.

Subliminal message......

Subliminal message……

Indoor Rockclimbing

Another fun, active idea to do with the kids or a workout all on its own. This made the hitlist on the spur of the moment as I picked up a family pass off Scoopon for a great price and I thought why not!! The voucher was with PWR Urban Ascent Rockclimbing gym.  We did this one on a rainy day during the school holidays which was great as the kids had been going a little stir crazy. My cousin was visiting at the time and we dragged him along as well which was lucky as we really needed another adult for our tribe of 4 kidlets. Kids under 13yrs are not allowed to belay (controlling the tension on the safety harness and rope) so it may be something to consider if you are thinking of trying it out as you don’t want the kids sitting around waiting too long.

When you first arrive you will need to fill in an indemnity for each person who is climbing.  You will then be shown how to put on the harness (insert inelegant snort here as I tried not to laugh at how uncomfortable my husband and cousin looked!) and undergo a safety demonstration on how to safely perform rock climbing, belaying, and abseiling.  It was really easy to pick up although the first couple of runs I was a little nervous about dropping the kids on their butts.  Turns out it is actually quite difficult to drop them.  Look no hands!!  I’m kidding, I didn’t really do that.

There are several walls with climbs of varying difficulty, but for obvious reasons we stayed on the basic climbs.  My boys are 8yrs, twins are 6, and the youngest is 4 yrs old.  The instructor was lovely and let us pay at the end for my youngest so we could see if he could actually do it.  He managed to have a great attempt at it and had a ball.

My youngest scaling the cliff face

My youngest scaling the cliff face

The kids surprised us with their ability and gained confidence with the heights as we went along.  Us big kids had a turn too and I found the hardest thing was having the grip strength, the confidence to trust that grip, and trust that you won’t fall.  It is higher than it looks.

All I could think about as I was climbing was the Spiderman theme song....

All I could think about as I was climbing was the Spiderman theme song….

It was a quiet afternoon when we visited so we had the place to ourselves and we ended up staying for a good couple of hours.  Check out their website for details on programs, prices and opening hours.  Some rockclimbing centres offer junior and senior classes which can be a great alternative to the usual sporting options if you are looking for something a bit different.  Definitely worth a go.