Train with me….

Recently a few of my friends and people I met through training have said how keen they are to join me on my next run or try out Altitude Training.  So I’ve come up with an idea which means anyone with any ability can join me in my training up until the Everest Marathon Event or even for future events I participate in.


If anyone has been to an event before the social aspect of these days and culture you become a part of is addictive.  With this in mind this can be open to anyone, friends of friends, family and people wanting to challenge themselves.  Most of all create a fun way to train for both you and me.  Everyone needs a Forest Gump team behind them!

First thing I know most of you will be saying is “oh god I’m not fit enough to train with her”, “I have to get fit first”, “I don’t want people to see how un-fit I am”.

Well the short answer is….IT’S FOR ANY ABILITY AND ANY SHAPE!  I have a month set out in advance and if you want to join any of this then it can be done.  I will be setting event dates up on my Facebook page – Motivation Endurance Learning.  Simply click on the ‘More’ tab and then click ‘events’ and away you go! (Click here now to view)

Simply click on an event that you like and join in.  Below are a couple of options that it will include for the month of February:

Ceri riding his way to better health

Ceri riding his way to better health

Altitude Training at the NZ Altitude Training Centre near Panmure Basin.  You don’t have to be an athlete to get benefits from simulated altitude training. Altitude offers all kinds of health benefits, and training can be as easy as sitting still.  This is perfect for all abilities and fitness levels.  Thanks to the owner and operator Walter Thorburn he has given any new client a FREE first session followed by a very special rate for anyone who joins these events – Limited spaces available and bookings essential.

Tash, Ceri and I after the Hunua Massey, Cossey

Tash, Ceri and I after the Hunua Massey, Cossey

Running – There will be a varied amount of km’s that I will be doing over the month which includes shorter 8km, longer 17-21km and varied trail runs.  These date also will be set and locations given on the events set up.  FREE of charge is the benefit of this training.

Swimming – I will have the occasional swimming portion of my training at the Tepid Baths in Auckland CBD.  There is a cost involved with this but you can purchase concession cards which make it cheaper.

So please come and join me on my journey to conquer one of the hardest yet most rewarding events of my life!  I look forward to seeing some of you and having some epic fun and adventure along the way.  Share and share a-like I say too, so spread the news and pass this onto anyone you think may want to join us.



Everest Marathon Training Update


Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The countdown begins with only 100 days (just under over 14 weeks) until I depart to Kathmandu so a quick update on the training and journey to date.  I’ve managed to climb to the top of the tallest building in the world recently (Burj Khalifa, Dubai) care of the Altitude Training Centre but more about that later.

I’ve kept the legs moving and not for long distances so time to pick up the km’s and get back to the long distance running dragging my (much faster) partner Ceri along for the ride.  17km every other week is the slow increase of distance after a nice relaxed christmas.  Lets just say the usual low sugar and starch diet had a wee holidays too.

With the help of some great advice from my coach Walter Thorburn I will be running a long distance run every other weekend and increasing that distance over time just by small portions.  This has been the best way for me to manage the distance without incurring further injury.

New flights are booked along with accommodation in Kathmandu and now to find some way to save for any additional expenses along the way.  You cannot always have smooth sailing and sometimes life will throw you a few curve balls just to test you.

This all became apparent when my good friend and Manager of the Harvey World Travel shop in Botany called me.  Michelle had to break the news that the very wonderfully priced flight I had booked with China Southern had been cancelled to Kathmandu in May due to fuel shortage.  This truly shows you the devastation continues for the people of Nepal.

Thanks to Michelle’s expertise I secured a new flight with Singapore Airlines but paying an additional $1400.  A small price to pay for a recommended and trust worthy airline.   Not the kind of spare cash one has floating around!  Goodbye spending money and thank you mortgage fund.  Michelle was so amazing and as always make the most of now and not dwell on what could have been.

Onwards and upwards (excuse the pun) to the next big run which I would like to call ‘the Waipu special’.  I knew it was going to be a challenging 18km run on a hot morning but it was worth a go.  The hills appeared and it wasn’t until both Ceri and I completely jinxed ourselves by saying “it must be mostly down hill from here” when we realised we were horribly wrong.  What came next was a gradual climb and with every corner you reached (thinking it’s the top) just continues to another km of hill.


The “glorious bus shelter”

The temperature increased from the 8am start and it now reaching around 9:30am, it was getting very hot.  Ceri and I were thinking of ice cold beer and the lunatics who run the death valley run.  Always in the back of mind in these moments is – “harden up Mel it’s nothing on the Everest Marathon”.  You must be crazy when cars pass you on their journey with that look of confusion on their face.  “Well that’s commitment!?”.  Ceri started to get goose bumps which was a sure sign of heat stroke.  Lucky the glorious bus shelter appeared which was our 18km stop!  I love that bus shelter.

January had quickly arrived and that 4 week summer break had ended for Altitude Training.  Back off the the Altitude Training Centre.  I was curious to see how the body would react and was pleasantly surprised with how my body was coping with the stress of less oxygen.  Training at roughly 12% oxygen which was an increase of 2% of my usual 10.

The best way to explain that very first time when training with reduced oxygen is that you feel slightly claustrophobic.  You soon get your rhythm and it can quickly change to being rather therapeutic with following a very routined breathing pattern.  It’s always a good idea to have that thought in your mind to get you through the first few mintutes.  The second training session I reduced the oxygen further to roughly 10%.  This is now back to the level I was on before Christmas.


Having a funny 5 on altitude

In my current 1 hour altitude session I include a 30minute session on the ‘Stair Master’ (the tall contraption and most challenging yet rewarding pieces of equipment i’ve used) climbing enough stairs to reach the top of the tallest building in Dubai (the Burj Khalifa) then 30min running all on 10% oxygen.

I sure missed the feeling of achieving the training but sure to regret saying that when it all increases again as each day passes.  I received my updated race pack from the Everest Marathon organisers just last week.  It’s all feeling very real now and i’m nervously excited.  I’m looking forward to working with the very talented Walter Thorburn and training with my awesome support and partner Ceri with the encouragement of my two gorgeous girls.  Watch this space….