Words slow motion

I went from couch lover to marathon runner

Sunday Life section of Sydney Morning Herald - 17 July 2022

Andrea Doney Running

“I’ve always preferred the couch and daytime television to any sporting activity. I actually used to pretend to be sick to get out of the athletics carnival at school. Read full article here.

Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

(This session was recorded in Sydney in March 2022) 

Bad weather is just one of the obstacles that runners regularly contend with. Any running plan will always encounter obstacles. The physical ones, like injuries, require strength training, physio, rest and rehab to get you back on the road. But there are other obstacles too, like the loss of motivation, coping with work and life, caring for families and the ever increasing limits on our personal time.Let’s use a rainy morning to discuss a practical and empathic approach to running through adversity, and gain some hacks to improving both physical and mental strength for the long run.

Mindset, goal-setting and tips for beginner runners

(This session was recorded in Sydney in March 2022) 

Most of running is mental. If you know how to set up yourself up mentally from the outset, so much of your training will be easier. Listen as Andrea shares key tips for gaining clarity, setting goals, keeping your motivation alongside practical steps for starting a run training program.

Rundamentals: Focus, training and running in 2022

(This session was recorded in January 2022) 

Listen as two coaches talk about getting focus and clarity around your running in 2022. Do you want help with mindset? Motivation? Goal Setting? General annual planning?

Simon and Andrea are experienced local coaches from opposite ends of the running spectrum. Simon is an accomplished international athlete and coach, and will give you tips on getting the most out of your personal power, improving performance and framing your outlook for personal achievement over the next 12 months. Andrea is a committed back of the packer, who runs for quiet enjoyment, community, mental health, personal goals and fun.

With two very different sets of lenses, let's take a look at what your running might look like in 2022.

The Run Down on Mood and Food

Why nutrition is crucial to mental health, and why both are important for life as runners and as humans.

(This session was recorded in September 2021 during Sydney's lockdown.) 

Penny Dillon from Mind Mood Food,  follows Andrea's introduction at the 9:47 minute mark. 

Listen to qualified counsellor and clinical nutritionist Penny Dillon from Mind Mood Food, who balances running her own business with raising three teenage boys. She provides holistic counseling therapy and nutritional support for emotional and mental wellness. She supports clients through stress, anxiety, emotional challenges and mental wellness. As a clinical nutritionist she also works with clients on dietary and lifestyle changes to further enhance mental wellness, energy levels and sleep.

Tips from my first 50k at 50 years old

I ran my first 50km ultra on my 50th birthday. As an older runner, there wasn't a lot of guidance out there in 'running land' for me, especially given that I didn't want to run fast and I didn't care about finishing times. So I had to figure a lot of it out along the way. Here's some of the lessons I learned along the way.

Run Down on Sleep

Why sleep is one of the most critical elements of your running training, and how to improve your sleep quality during covid.

(This session was recorded in August 2021 during Sydney's lockdown.) 

Cheryl Fingleson, The Sleep Coach,  follows Andrea's introduction at the 7.37 minute mark. 

Hear from expert Sydney sleep coach Cheryl Fingleson on why sleep is as important as training when you’re a runner. But more than that, how sleep informs recovery, menopause, routines during covid and more. Life in general is very taxing at the moment for everyone. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and provoke strong emotions, not only in runners but also in those who may be experiencing financial stress, isolation, or worry on behalf of vulnerable family and friends.

If you’re feeling edgy, having trouble sitting still or concentrating, finding yourself constantly or obsessively checking for updates, losing sleep, or waking really early with anxious feelings – you are not alone.“These are completely normal, human reactions to a completely abnormal situation,” says Cheryl Fingleson. “Worrying about both the present and the future is part of the experience right now. In particular, our collective sleep is suffering.”

And while there is no body or life hack to make you a better runner, impervious to the touch of anxiety of the impact of disease, we do know that sleep is key to helping our bodies stay healthy.

In this free webinar Cheryl Fingleson sets out the advice she most frequently gives to clients who find themselves battling to sleep or who want to improve their sleep habits.

50/50 Challenge

I turned 50 in August, and decided that I’d like to spend it doing something unconventional. Even more unconventional than celebrating it in lockdown, that is.

In lieu of the traditional festivities, I'm challenging myself to run 50km. Hence the 50/50 challenge!

Why am I doing this? My South African family have had a really tough chapter on the back of my mum's diagnosis with a rare blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. This is sadly not curable, but it can be managed for now, which is awesome. My 50km will be run in honour of my mum, who is the most graceful, kind person I know. If she can battle cancer, I can run to honour her pain and her courage, and the long road she has travelled on the back of diverticulitis and surgery and other medical complications too.

Here’s to a healthier chapter ahead for all of us, and to the power of celebration and friendship and sunrises. I may be 50 years old but I’m 100% determined to make the best of it. Thank you for your incredible friendship. I am because we are.

Running over the Hill

Running and active lifestyles as we approach older age and menopause.

(This session was recorded in August 2021 during Sydney's lockdown.) 

Anja Lineen follows Andrea's introduction at the 8.25 minute mark. 

As many of us approach older age we find it harder to make time for exercise, manage our weight, juggle the mental load, find focus and calm, and prioritise wellness. Hear from expert personal trainer and menopause coach, Anja Lineen from The Wellbeing Toolkit, on research-driven avenues to find balance, navigate aging and even improve your running form and how the view can be better when you’re ‘over the hill!

Pilates for Runners

A follow-along Pilates workshop especially for runners, targeting vital running muscle chains and providing strength, resilience and even some relaxation prior to your next run.

(This session was recorded in August 2021 during Sydney's lockdown.) 

Robyn Goldin follows Andrea's introduction at the 8 minute mark. 

The workshop is hosted by qualified Pilates instructor Robyn Goldin from The Mat App. Robyn is relatively 'new’ to running and has found that Pilates training has really assisted in her form. Enjoy her energy and expertise as she takes you through a 30-minute workout especially designed for runners.

Runjuries

Tips and guidelines on how to avoid running injuries and what to do when you get them.

(This session was recorded in August 2021 during Sydney's lockdown.) 

Dr Greg Sher from Sydney Spine and Sports Clinic  follows Andrea's presentation at the 8:35 minute mark. 

Andrea aka The Slow Coach chats to Dr. Greg Sher, a Sydney based chiropractor, runner and duathlete. Listen as they chat about common running injuries. Greg explains what causes them, how to protect yourself against them and what do if you get one. He also discusses progression and running efficiency.

The run down on nutrition

Tips and guidelines for runners on fuelling and sustaining a running lifestyle

(This session was recorded in July 2021 during Sydney's lockdown.) 

Jean Jarrett from Jean Jarrett Natural Health follows Andrea's presentation at the 7.5 minute mark. 

A running coach chats to an expert nutritionist about eating before and after exercise, preparing for an event, nutrition recovery for sore muscles, nutrition for returning from injury and who you might not be reaching your health and fitness goals.Find out how to fuel an active life through nutrition, coping with lockdown and all those frequent snacksidents.

From Slow to Powerful

Running as a tool for resilience and strength

(Filmed in Sydney, Australia in July 2021 as runners face tighter restrictions on outdoor exercise and the cancellation of races.) 

Simon Finch from I'mPower Fitness follows Andrea's presentation at the 17 minute mark. 

Hear from not one but TWO running coaches on how running has been a coping tool at various points in their lives, together with tips and hacks for getting stronger, more efficient and maintaining the best running mindset during a difficult chapter.

Simon is a Sydney-based coach and runner. He held the All-African Elite triathlon championships title in 1999, and has raced and coached professionally in France and qualified and raced at Kona (Hawaii Ironman.) He has a natural passion for helping others achieve through empowering, structured training systems that create a positive, balanced, motivating and purposeful environment where results take care of themselves.

Andrea is known locally as The Slow Coach. The complete opposite of Simon, she has cemented her position at the back of the pack and her love running is not for the podium finishes (she has none!) but for the sense of personal achievement and positive health benefits that running has given her.

Like almost everyone, both Simon and Andrea have had their share of life challenges but have found that running can be an invaluable tool in coping, strengthening and overcoming adversity. As we seek ways to survive another lockdown and stare down the uncertainty of the immediate future, learn tips and techniques for strengthening your love of running, strategies for improving your runs and ask questions from two coaches who have been there done that.

Strength in Running 

A 30-min follow along strength training workout for runners, especially suited to older, newer or injured runners. Workout begins at 8:25 following introduction.

Hit the Ground Running 

A membership program exclusively created to support slower, injured, bigger, older and returning runners, or anyone who might like to try running but feels 'other' in any way. Ground Running is designed to get slower runners to their first 2k, their first 5k, or whatever the finish line looks like for you.

Flat to Finish Line

Webinar | Tips for runners on the power of mindset, goal setting & why every body can run

Not everyone can be an elite level runner, and generally speaking most people don’t want to be! But starting a running program can be very intimidating. Running clubs are terrifying because every member looks like they just stepped off a race podium, they proudly sport t-shirts from expensive overseas races and their conversations are populated with jargon like cadence and PBs and negative splits. No matter how welcoming membership copywriting is, it’s still intimidating to sign up to something where you will likely be both the least attractive and the slowest member of the group, with little hope of reprieve. 

The running community is in fact, an incredibly inclusive, welcoming, friendly and empowering tribe. But to us outsiders, the price of admission is the perception of intimidation, embarrassment, fear and pain. And our biggest fear is often that of being too slow.

In this webinar Andrea (aka the Slow Coach) outlines why every body can run, how to get started, and why the biggest battle in running is fought above the shoulders. She provides some great tools for mindset and goal setting, provide a simple running plan for beginners and a pathway for intermediate runners to follow. She also talks about why being slow is in fact, a superpower, and that speed is no barrier to a great running journey.

Welcome to The Slow Coach

Run with the Slow Coach wants to make space for conversations about NOT getting faster, but instead about how life-affirming it can be to just keep going.