ready to run | week of health & fitness


For today’s post I thought I’d borrow something from Australian Women’s Health magazine Running Guide from their July 2013 issue.

Before I started 12WBT I couldn’t run 500m let alone 5kms. Although I now scale back and forth with the length and frequency of my runs, for some people running is an exercise that comes naturally and for others it can be really daunting. My friend and work colleague Phil is an insanely good runner. He naturally balances his eating with his exercise and has a runners body to prove it. This is a man who regularly knocks out 10kms in his lunch break in 50 minutes! My ultimate goal is to go running with him one day!

*********all text below from WFH mag*********

Haven’t run since high-school athletics? No sweat. (OK, well a little.) This workout plan designed by coach Jenny Hadfield, co-author of Running for Mortals, will help you build from a walk to a run. By the end, you’ll be able to run 30 minutes without stopping – and you’ll be showing off a rock-hard body under your shorts. Whether your goal is to run 5km or 10km, or drop some extra kilos, in one month you’ll be well on your way.

Your Plan: Run 30 minutes in 4 weeks

For all weeks:

  • Warm Up: 3 minutes. Start easy, progress to a power walk
  • Cool Down: 3 minutes. Gradually dial your pace down to an easy walk.
  • Frequency: Perform running workouts 3-4 times a week, every other day.
  • Cross Training: Add a total-body strength-training workout, and either yoga or pilates on 2 of your days off.

Week 1 – Get Outfitted

The two most important items of gear a runner needs are a supportive, high-impact sports bra and running shoes. Both can be found at your local running specialty store. Make sure they fit well: a poorly fitted bra can reduce breathing capacity and make your run feel more difficult. The wrong shoes can give you shin splints, knee pain and a host of other issues. Get fitted by the experts for these items.

Week 1 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes
  • Repeat 7 times (28 minutes in total)
  • Cool down

Finish with Flexibility

Just 5 minutes of stretching and muscle-release exercises after your run is enough to maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints – and prevent tight muscles, which can lead to inefficient form and injuries. Use a foam roller to loosen up your shoulders, hamstrings, quads, calves and iliotibial bands (outer thigh). Also take a minute to stretch your chest and your hip flexors.

Week 2 – Monitor Your Breathing

Your running pace or speed ca vary every day because it’s based on a lot of variables: how you slept, food intake, stress, your (female) menstrual cycle, whether you went out last night…you get the idea. The easiest way to run at the perfect pace every day is to run by the sound of your breath. Take the talk test: if you can’t say the words to Happy Birthday out loud 4 times without gasping for air, slow it down. You should be able to hold a conversation while you run. Being out of breath and not being able to talk means that your running pace is too fast.

Week 2 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Repeat 7 times (28 minutes total)
  • Cool down

Think About Your Form

It’s normal to feel awkward during the first few weeks of running, even if you’ve run in the past and are starting up again. Begin every running segment on the right foot by thinking about good running form:

  • Head is balanced over your shoulders and focused forward, not down towards the pavement.
  • Shoulders are relaxed to allow your lungs to expand.
  • Arms are bent at the elbow about 90 degrees and swinging like a pendulum from your shoulders (elbows close to your body).
  • Hands are relaxed and not crossing over your belly button as your arms swing.
  • Hips are under your shoulders and stabilising your legs as they move under your body.
  • Feet are landing with short, light, quick strides under your hips.

Week 3 – Find The Fun

The best way to guarantee running success is to finish with a high-five moment. When you finish your workout feeling as if you can go just a little further, you feel a sense of pride, happiness and success – all of which lead to wanting to do it again and again. Running habits are created as a result of happy running moments, so try to keep it fun, rather than pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion.

Week 3 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute
  • Repeat 6 times (30 minutes total)
  • Cool down

Work On Your Stride

A common mistake that many runners make is covering too much ground with every step. That’s a bit like climbing stairs two or three at a time – it takes a lot more energy and the impact on your body is much greater. Aim for short, quick strides and a turnover rate (the number of steps you take in  1 minute) of 180. To figure out your turnover, count the number of times your left food hits the ground in 1 minute and multiply by 2. To increase your turnover, match your stride to music that’s about 180 beats per minute.  You can download mixes at this speed, and others, at

Week 4 – Learn To Listen To Your Body

If you start to feel aches and pains that don’t go away after a few days, it’s time for active recover with lower-impact activities like cycling, swimming and the cross trainer. In most cases, minor aches will heal with a few days of TLC. Aches may also be a sign you’re pushing too hard. Ease up a bit, and you’ll continue to improve without injury.

Week 4 Runs

  • Warm-up
  • Run 5 minutes, walk 30 seconds
  • Repeat 6 times (33 minutes in total)
  • Cool down

Ebb And Flow

Running is like life: there will be rockin’ fun workouts and also runs that humble you. You’ll make the most gains when you run based on how you feel on any given day. On days when you feel great, take advantage of the opportunity to push a little harder or run a little longer. That way, when rough days come along you can ease back on the throttle and still make progress.

Week 5 And Beyond

Building your running regimen by adding 3-5 minutes to your workout time and decreasing your walking time every 1-2 weeks until you reach your goal.


gotta get up | week of health & fitness


What gets you up and out the door in the morning for your early workout?

I know not everyone does their exercise in the morning, but for me if I don’t get it done before I go to work, chances are pretty slim that I’ll get it done later in the day. Exercise guru Michelle Bridges always says that it doesn’t really matter when you workout, as long as you do it, but it’s better to do it first thing in the morning before “life” gets in the way. I agree!

I get up in the morning for 2 reasons;

  1. because my love of food means I have to workout.
  2. because I have a little dog named Harley who needs to go for a run before we leave him for the day, otherwise we’d come home to a house destroyed!

I’m lucky that I live in a beautiful suburb where my morning jog is along the gorgeous Sydney harbour. I don’t take my iPod because I love the early morning quiet. It’s just a time to detox from the busy city life.

Here are my top tips to make getting up at the crack of dawn just a little bit easier:

  • go to bed early. It’s almost impossible to get up at 5.30am if you’ve only had 6 hours sleep. I make sure I’m tucked away in bed by 10.30pm. That means that the TV is off by 9.30pm!
  • layout your workout gear before going to bed. It’s way easier to fumble around in the dark (and the cold in winter) when your stuff is on the floor next to your bed.
  • prep your breakfast and lunch the night before. That way your when your workout is over, you’ve had a shower and gotten ready for work, your breakfast is easily prepared and you can grab your lunch and head out the door. On schedule!
  • have a backup plan so if it’s raining you can still workout; at the gym, with a workout DVD in your lounge room or like me, out the door in a raincoat!

Hope this helps you on your workout tomorrow!!! And I’ll leave you with a few photos of the views I enjoy on my early morning workout adventures… 

chasing pavements
chasing pavements


nothing but fog....winter settles in around the harbour
nothing but fog….winter settles in around the harbour
before sunrise; a view of the city
before sunrise; a view of the city
after sunrise; a view of the city
after sunrise; a view of the city
welcome sailors! a cruise liner on it's way into port
welcome sailors! a cruise liner on it’s way into port


view from Barrangaroo
view from Barrangaroo
my little workout buddy; Harley
my little workout buddy; Harley & his stick

Happy Monday!

a week of health & fitness!!!


get ready for it!

a whole week of health & fitness posts

something to motivate and inspire you (and me)
and get us both moving!

it’s winter here in Sydney and I’m starting to use that snooze button a little longer than usual. lucky I have Harley who helps get me out of bed while it’s still dark but I’m always on the lookout for inspiration.

whether it’s scrolling Pinterest, reading fellow bloggers food & exercise posts or dog-earring fitness magazines, I thought I’d dedicate an entire week to motivating us all to eat a little better and exercise a little more!

watch out for the first post Monday 17th June

weekly fitness roundup | week 1 | 12wbt

You know that feeling of accomplishment you get from sticking to a punishing schedule? Yes?!!! Well that’s what I felt like this past week being back on Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation program.

My calorie intake is capped at 1200 per day
I am doing 6 days training per week.

Here’s my round up….


Monday workout

6am outdoor training session; interval walk/run, running stairs, steps-ups & abs.

brekkie - banana bruschetta
brekkie – banana bruschetta
dinner - fish with chickpea, tomato & spinach salad
dinner – fish with chickpea, tomato & spinach salad

My BFF Gracie stayed the night & loved this dinner too! We’ve committed to doing the 5km Color Run in May in Newcastle! Isn’t she supportive?! Can’t wait!

dessert - fruit jelly
dessert – fruit jelly


Tuesday workout

6.15am Body Pump class at the gym.

brekkie - apple muesli
brekkie – apple muesli
steak with green beans & mushroom sauce
dinner – steak with green beans & mushroom sauce

This is one of my fave meals! The sauce looks creamy but it’s made of Philadelphia extra light cream cheese for cooking, dijon mustard & mushrooms – and only 283 calories – yum!!!

dessert - fruit salad
dessert – fruit salad


Wednesday workout

6am outdoor interval walk/run & abs

brekkie, coffee, dinner & dessert
brekkie, coffee, dinner & dessert

brekkie – avocado & eggs on toast
dinner – potato, spinach & feta frittata
dessert – fruit jelly


Thursday workout
Thursday workout

6.15am Pump class

macchiato & brekkie
macchiato & brekkie – avocado, beans & rocket on toast
dinner & Valentine's Day dessert
dinner – beef with avocado & corn salsa & mini-cheesecake bite for Valentine’s Day dessert


Exercise Rest Day!!!

brekkie, lunch & dinner
brekkie, lunch & dinner

brekkie – banana bruschetta
lunch – mushroom frittata & salad
dinner – pita pocket pizza


Saturday workout
Saturday workout

The aim was to burn 1000 calories but this tough workout got interrupted by a thunderous storm that forced us shivering & completely drenched, in white t-shirts, running the 1.5kms back to the car!

brekkie – eggs, ham, tomato, cottage cheese & spinach
lunch – pumpkin, avocado, chickpea salad
dinner - Japanese
dinner – Japanese


Sunday workout
Sunday workout

Body Balance class. Jay even came with me & loved it!!!

brunch – coffee & pumpkin, walnut & chicken salad
dinner – homemade beef burger & wedges

Keep training hard!!!

2013 my year to move nourish believe

this is a space for…

DREAM words
words of TRUTH
words that call for ACTION
words that MAKE YOU
& words that inspire you to


I am loving my new Lorna Jane diary for 2013.
It’s beautiful, practical & inspiring.

20130119_160333 20130119_142431 2013


fitspiration friday

It’s easy to fall off the good nutrition & exercise wagon. 

Most people generally know what to do for good health; eat less, move more.

Sounds simple enough right? Well why do we struggle at times?

Personally, it’s my love of food that is my downfall. I go hard with my exercise but And unfortunately you can’t out train a bad diet.

545380_501385109906313_1540081412_n [via]

You-cant-out-run-a-bad-diet1 [via]

I’ve put back on a few kilos of my hard earned weight loss but thanks to my new year’s kick-start detox earlier in the week I’ve lost 1.1kg (2.4lbs) of it and am off to a good start for this year’s fitness & weight loss goals.

Essential to my nutritional well-being is my regular green smoothie. I have these about 3 mornings a week. I really notice the difference in my skin, digestion & general “perkiness” when I drink them regularly!

I’m always trying new variations of the green smoothie but at the moment this is what I’m loving:

green smoothie ingredients
green smoothie ingredients

green apples
coconut water

The trick is to keep all the ingredients green. The moment you add carrot or beetroot it turns brown. And there is nothing worse than drinking a tall glass of brown liquid first thing in the morning!… Keep those other non-green ingredients for juices!

mmmm nutritious & delicious
mmmm nutritious & delicious
use a Vitamix for uber smooth awesomeness
use a Vitamix for uber smooth awesomeness

Kickarse workout:

This one is bound to kick you up the butt and make you pay the next day!

I do this one outdoors but you could also do it at the gym. All you need is your GymBoss timer, running track/treadmill & a step/park-bench.

*15 minutes interval running; 2 mins run, 1 min walk x 5 sets
**mountain climbers; 3 x 1 min, 30 sec rest
**sumo squats; 3 sets 20 reps
**burpees; 3 sets 10 reps
**step-ups; 5 sets 20 reps
**front to back lunge (L & R); 3 sets 20 reps
**high knees; 3 sets 1 min interval
**Russian twist; 3 sets 20 reps
**V-ups; 3 sets 20 reps
**plank drops (L & R); 3 sets 20 reps each side
**Superman holds; 3 sets 20 reps
**cool-down stretching

my lovely reward!
my lovely reward!



signature - melly xox