7-Reasons to love Half-Ironman

If you’ve done a few short distance triathlons and are now itching to step it up to the next distance – the IRONMAN 70.3 is your next challenge. Ironman 70.3 offers half the distance and double the fun!

It is simply the best experience! The training, the inspirational buddies, the journey of ups and downs and the most incredible feeling of crossing the finish line. It takes you to another level!
Michelle Nicholas, IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns 2017 

Below are 7-reasons to go for half this year:

  1. The IRONMAN 70.3 is a friendlier distance – although a challenging step up from the shorter-distances, it is more do-able than the full IRONMAN.
  2. Training for an IRONMAN 70.3 is more manageable than training for a full IRONMAN.
  3. IRONMAN 70.3 events are more spectator-friendly and facilitate more race-day fun.
  4. IRONMAN 70.3 feature wave starts, which is appealing for new triathletes wary of the mass start.
  5. The kudos of having completed an IRONMAN 70.3 is unparalleled.
  6. There are a huge variety of IRONMAN 70.3 races to choose from in some spectacular locations.
  7. The IRONMAN 70.3 merchandise is tops!

Our 16-week IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney program is designed for first-time 70.3 athletes.  Based in the awesome setting of the Penrith Lakes, nestled at the base of the stunning Blue Mountains – this program will accomplish you on all levels.

Rise to the IRONMAN 70.3 challenge – training starts on 05 Aug 2017!

Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney – 26 Nov 2017

Have you completed a short-course triathlon? Are you ready to rise to the challenge of a middle-course triathlon? Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney offers an awesome setting in the iconic Penrith Lakes, nestled at the base of the stunning Blue Mountains.  

The 1.9km swim takes place in the International Regatta Centre; the 90km bike course includes breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains; and the 21km flat, scenic run course takes in Penrith’s Nepean River along the Great River Walk. A great location for your first half-ironman.

Training Program

Our 16-week training program is limited to 10 x athletes. Weekly training consists of 3 x coached group sessions* and 3 x individual training sessions. Your training plan will be sent to you each week via Training Peaks – this will include 6 x training sessions.  Each training plan is tailored to fit into your lifestyle – our aim is to balance your training sessions with your day-to-day commitments. (We understand how busy life is.)

Our coaches are qualified across the sport of triathlon, running, cycling and swimming. Each coach has unique experience in competing in triathlons (across various distances), as well as taking part in the ITU Age-Group World Championships.

(*varies across the weeks)

Weekly Training Timetable (Mon to Sun)

(best viewed on desktop/laptop)

Individual Training 6:00-7:00am,
Individual Training Individual Training 7:00-9:00am,
Terry Hills
Shelly Beach
Strength Training* Run
Bike Turbo
Swim Squad Run Bike Outdoor
Open Water
Strength training focusing on strengthening muscles and joints, to help improve performance and decrease injury risk.
(*Additional cost.)
Coached run session focusing on speed & strength. Coached indoor bike turbo session focusing on speed, strength & stamina. Will also include some brick sessions later in the program. Individual swim session with your local swim squad. Individual run session focusing on distance & endurance. Alternating coached & social sessions:

8 x coached outdoor bike sessions focusing on skills, confidence &  endurance

8 x social rides focusing on disance & endurance.

Mixture of coached & social sessions:

4 x coached open water swim session focusing on skills, confidence & endurance.

12 x social swims focusing on disance & endurance.

(tentative timetable)

MOTIVATION: Read our top ‘7-Reasons to Love IRONMAN 70.3’

What is included?
  • 16-week online training program
  • 16 x coached indoor bike turbo sessions (studio)
  • 16 x coached outdoor run sessions
  • 8 x outdoor bike sessions
  • 6 x open water swim sessions
  • Mental skills and strategies
  • Race nutrition and recovery
  • Race tactics and guidance
  • Analysis and feedback on training data
  • Race weekend logistics
  • Motivational support
  • Access to private online forum
  • Membership of a supportive, like-minded Community
What is excluded?
What is cost?
  • 16-week online program
  • 46 x coached sessions
  • $45 p/week across 16-weeks – payable in 4 x $180 monthly instalments (total $720)

Meet our awesome coaches

Read how BEXI Triathlete, Michelle Nicholas, fulfilled her dream of completing IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns 2017:

I had dreamt and visualised that finish shoot for one year – it finally came true. The journey from start to finish was worth every sacrifice. I was an Ironman 70.3!”


Rise to the challenge of Ironman 70.3 – join our BEXI Tri-FIT team

If you are not ready for the Ironman 70.3 distance, then why not join as a team – or join our Long Course Weekend program?

Ironman 70.3 Cairns – My Journey

On Sunday 11 June 2017, BEXI triathlete Michelle Nicholas became an Ironman 70.3. This is her inspirational story:

It is simply the best experience! The training, the inspirational buddies, the journey of ups and downs and the most incredible feeling of crossing the finish line. It takes you to another level!

I wanted to do an Ironman for around 20 years. When my eldest, Gemma, completed the Coolangatta Gold at 16yrs-old, I felt inspired to get fit and focus on myself again.

I signed up for Beauty of Exercise’s beginner triathlon program last year (2016) and completed my first sprint triathlon. After that I was hooked and started dreaming of completing an Ironman 70.3.  I signed-up a year out and starting surrounding myself with the right people. My coach, Debbie Solms, was fully on-board and excited for me. My BEXI buddies were amazing – even though they weren’t doing the event, they still committed to train with me.

I truly didn’t think I was capable and leading up to Cairns I was very nervous and worried that I would let myself down and my BEXI buddies down if I didn’t make it.

The weekend was awesome! My gorgeous BEXI buddy and lovely friend Monique, travelled to Cairns to support me.  The day before the race we went to the swim/bike transition and sat in a beautiful restaurant in Palm Cove enjoying a healthy meal, looking out at the swim course and feeling mentally prepared. Monique was a calming presence who kept my mind off the race and we spent the afternoon laughing lots. I loved that day.

Race day I got up at 3.15am, my bus to the swim start was 4am. Preparing for a full day on the course, I rubbed sunscreen on my body… only to realise that my race number tattoos were never go to stick. Lucky for permanent markers!

A few friends came to find me at the start to wish me good luck. I felt special that they’d woken early and made the effort to see me. The swim was fantastic, dark and murky in the water, but with the rolling start I didn’t feel like I was fighting my way through the crowd. I had a great rhythm from the start and I never once thought anything negative.

I couldn’t believe I was actually doing this and I was really loving it.

I started the bike with the biggest smile on my face. The hills were longer and harder than I had imagined but I took it in my stride and did my best. Turning around at Port Douglas was a highlight, as I realised I made the cut-off time!  This enabled me to enjoy my race.
Shortly after disaster struck!  My gears jammed and I was restricted to using the small chain ring for the rest of the ride.  I was slow but I was never going to give up!  I finished the ride in under 4hours which I quietly wanted to do (but didn’t think I was capable of). Monique was waiting for me at the bike finish which gave me a good chance to have a giggle and a quick chat.
I set off on the run and my legs felt like lead weights for the first 5km.  The crowd along the run course were so very supportive and yelled my name like I was their best friend, it was a great pick me up when I needed it.  The run isn’t my strong leg, I was negative towards myself and didn’t like that I was so very slow – but I finished (finally) and the elation of the finish shoot was worth every single slow step. It was worth every sacrifice I had to make in training for this event.
That finish shoot I had dreamed and visualised for one year, finally came true. The journey from start to finish was worth every sacrifice. I was an Ironman 70.3! 
Photo credit: Delly Carr

If you would like to take on the IM70.3 challenge or mix it up, then join our BEXI team as we train for IRONMAN70.3 Western Sydney and the Long Course Weekend.

It takes all of you!

It inspired me, it overwhelmed me, it humbled me, it took all of me! The spirit of the Comrades Marathon.

On Sunday 4th June 2017, I had the enormous privilege of standing on the start line of the Comrades Marathon 2017.  It was an absolute dream-come-true. As a kid growing up in South Africa, I was brought up having a huge appreciation for this race. Every year the race was televised from the start to the finish – 12hrs+ of viewing – the South African nation was caught up in the grips of the Comrades fever. I was in awe of the runners who took part and had a huge respect for each and every one of them.

At 5am on the 4th June 2017, I was huddled in my starting chute with my gorgeous hubby, Martin, and good friends Sue & Richard Ollerhead. It was dark, the atmosphere was electric – combination of nerves and excitement – lots of people rushing to get into their starting chutes… and then the singing started. The entire field of 20k runners were singing Shosholoza and the South African national anthem – it truly brought a lump to my throat. This was followed by the music of Chariots of Fires (again, very emotional), then the iconic Max Tribold’s Cock Crow…. and bang, the start gun at 5.30am. And we were off!

I can recall the entire experience step-by-step, but will save that for another post. Instead, I wanted to share a few (of the many) special moments that truly touched me:

  • As a South African brought up in the apartheid era, I was completely humbled by the spirit of the Comrades. Blacks, whites, nationals, internationals – everyone was united by the raw emotion of the Comrades. Throughout the entire day, the 20k field of runners were cheering and supporting each other along the way. No matter who you were and where you came from, we were all equal – united in this beautiful sport.
  • The support on the day is second to none. There are crowds of supporters from start to finish – the entire 88km. Singing, dancing, cheering, calling out your name, handing you food, drinks, spraying you with water – creating the most amazing atmosphere! You truly felt like an elite runner competing in the Olympics.
  • The organisation of the race is on par with the Olympics. It is flawless! From pre-race registration, the ongoing communication, international ambassadors for each country, race registration, expo, hospitality, logistics, refreshments every 2km, choice of refreshments, pacing buses, entertainment, medals, photos, etc. All international runners, together with their supporters, had access to an international tent at the finish where they were served food and drinks all day. It was position right next to the finish line – so truly amazing for our families/supporters.
  • On the Friday before the race, I joined the international athlete course tour. Part of the tour was to visit the Ethembeni School for the Disabled – one of the Comrades official charities. As the bus stopped, the children we waiting for us with welcome signs for each country. Despite being faced with adversity, these children had the biggest smiles on their faces. They sang and danced for us and gave us each a beautiful, hand-made beaded bracelet. The colours of the bracelet were those of the Comrades Marathon and Ethembeni School, and consisted of 88 x beads – one for each km of the race. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience.
  • After the tour I was hanging out in the hotel lobby. Sitting next to me was a young African runner who was chilled and relaxed. His buddies came to join him and sat down for a cup of tea. There was much excitement in their conversation (in Zulu/Xhosa). At one stage I overheard them talking about their race pace of 3.50-4.00/km. I looked over at them and asked if they were planning to run the race at that pace. They all laughed and their coach asked me if I knew who they were. They were the gold-medal runners! (Ludwick Mamabolo finished 4th in 5:42; and Sphiwe Ndlela 6th in 5:45.) Truly humble and super-friendly gentlemen.

Two weeks later and I am still on a high. This event is without doubt one of the most rewarding races I have ever done! Now to consider returning next year for the ‘Back-to-Back’ medal…

It was tough, for sure… but that’s what makes finishing all the more sweeter.

Below are a few low-res pics taken on the day… enjoy! 

If we always do what we know we can do, we never grow…

Three Mental Strategies for Endurance Running

As a runner, our biggest asset (or sometimes our greatest enemy) is our brain. Physical training is important, but that alone is not enough to put wings on our feet. What we feel on and off the road has a huge influence over how we perform once we lace up.

Professor Tim Noakes MD (author of acclaimed Lore or Running – and a real guru in the running world!), recommends we train our brains to cope with ‘discomfort’. Interval sessions, hill repeats, tempo runs, endurance runs – exactly the type of training sessions that should be included in our training programs. What is a hard training session one week, becomes a manageable session the following week. Why? Our brains become conditioned to accept and manage the ‘discomfort’ – twinned with an improvement in our physical conditioning.

In the Runner’s World book ‘The Runner’s Brain’, Jeff Galloway (USA Olympic Runner) shares his three mental training methods that he has used for over 40yrs:

  1. Visualise the Race

    Rehearse the outcome over and over. Imagine what you will feel like at certain stages in the race. When you will have strategic nutrition breaks, when you will walk, etc. Visualise key milestones in the race (historic building, bridge, park), where your supporters will be waiting for you, the various terrain (hills), etc. Rehearse your race step-by-step.

  2. Use Magic Words (Mantras)

    Magic words distract you from the discomfort while connects you to your inner thoughts:

    • Relax – There is no pressure on me | I am relaxed | I am enjoying the endorphins | I feel comfortable
    • Power – I feel good about myself | I know what I’m doing | I can do this | I am going to nail this
    • Free – I feel light as a feather | I am floating through the crowds | I am running smoothly
  3. Use Dirty Tricks (Mind Games)

    These are quick fixes to get you from one point to the next. Imagine wrapping a giant invisible rubber band about the runner ahead of you, start cinching him/her in towards you so that you can feed off their momentum. Another trick is to create songs of the names on posters of those who are being supported – i.e. Angela | Pamela | Sandra | Rita… “Mambo No. 5” 😚

There is no right or wrong mental strategy. What works for one person, may not necessarily work for another. The key take-out is that we should identify which mental strategy(ies) work for us and then practice them over and over again.


If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy — Amby Burfoot

Injury Recovery Program

Sports injury – we’ve all been there 😞

Training for a key event, everything is going to plan… and then bang! Our hammy explodes… or our knee flares up… or plantar fasciitis rears its nasty head.

“I’ve hurt my [body], but I want to keep training. What can I do?”

As exercise professionals and athletes, we understand the pains and frustrations involved in incurring an injury while training for a big event. Which is why we are motivated and driven to support our clients in reaching the start line. We understand the cause of the injury (following advice from a medical professional) and then build an individual recovery program to support your rehab.

What is our Injury Recovery Program?

Our Injury Recovery Program is a 6-week program focused on restoring strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, endurance and power – to get you to the start line. It is achieved through various strength & conditioning exercises and drills. We work closely with you to identify and understand the cause of your injury (following the diagnosis from your physiotherapist/medical professional) and then build an individualised recovery program to get you strong and fully recovered so that you can continue training for your event.

“The aim of a recovery program is to regain pre-injury levels in all aspects of physical fitness.”

Who is this suitable for?

All athletes who are currently struggling with an injury or who are coming back from an injury. It is important that you have been diagnosed by a medical professional.

How is the program structured?

Each week (during the course of the 6-week period) you will have access to the following training:

  • 1 x 30min one-on-one personal training session with Exercise Physiologist (Coach Marcel Soares)
  • 1 x 60min individual training session in gym (to use at your convenience)
  • 1 x 60min group strength training session lead by Exercise Physiologist (Coach Marcel Soares)
What is the investment?

The 6-week investment is $420 – which includes a total of 18 x training sessions. (Total can be split into instalments – 2 x $215)

  Invest in your body – sign-up today!

SMH Half-Marathon – Sun 21 May 2017

The SMH Half-Marathon  is Australia’s largest and most prestigious half-marathon events. With over 12,000 participants, the route takes on 21.1km around Sydney’s most iconic sights.


Our 12-week training program starts on Sat 25 February 2017 and progressively builds up, so that you are able to cover the course comfortably.

Our programs are based on the 80/20 Rule – 80 percent at low intensity and 20 percent at moderate/high intensity. By training slower we aim to run stronger and race faster.  All programs are built around 3 x coached sessions.

Each member has an online program, which is prepared in blocks and provided via Training Peaks. This allows us to provide individualised plans that best suits your needs and goals, as well as giving us the feedback and analysis tools we need. You will be able to log your workouts and analyse your performance data as you complete each session. Our aim is to progresses you gradually, so that you train safely and without injury.

Looking for motivation to get you started –  read our blog A BIG YES! 

What is included?
  • 12-week periodised training plan based on your race distanc
  • 3 x face-to-face coached group session – long run, interval run and tempo run
  • Analysis and feedback on training data
  • Goal setting
  • Mental skills and strategies
  • Race nutrition and recovery
  • Race tactics and guidance
  • Race weekend logistics
  • Motivational support
  • Access to private online forum
  • Membership of a supportive, like-minded Community
  • FREE BEXI cotton singlet
What is excluded?
  • Race entry fee
  • Travel, accommodation and meals
  • BEXI technical race singlet
What is cost?

$360 for 12-week program

Total can be split into monthly installments – (3 x $125/pm)

 Join our BEXI Team and train for Australia’s largest half-marathon

Programs to support your goals

Schools go back next week, which is a perfect reason to jump-for-joy.

Our daily routines are out of sync and we’re all desperate for some kind of normality to resume.

To help get things back on track and to support you in planning your goals for 2017, we’ve summarised our training programs on offer.  Each program is built on the foundation of our motto:

BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE. Use what you have. Do what you can. 

A gentle and supportive learn-to-run program – starts from a low fitness base and builds you up to running 5km.

Progressing from our learn-to-run program, our 5km-FITTER program builds on your speed, strength and endurance.

For those running 4-5km regularly, our Run-FIT program focuses on building muscular strength, speed and mindset.

If you’ve ever wanted to train for a half-marathon | marathon | ultra-marathon – we have an exciting 2017 race calendar.

Stepping up from single discipline to multi-discipline triathlete – we have triathlon programs for beginner and improver levels.

A gentle and supportive swim program aimed at beginners who are looking to build  confidence and technique in the open water.

Customised online training programs to support you train for a personal goal – from 10km | marathons | triathlons.

Look forward to supporting your health & fitness goals in 2017.

~ Debbie & the Beauty of Exercise Team x

The Two Mindsets

Earlier in the week I shared a very poignant quote with our BEXI members:

No one is wise by birth, for wisdom is the result of one’s efforts

Later that day one of our members backed this up with fascinating research by Dr Carol Dweck, Ph.D, Psychologist Stanford University. After studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence.

Mindsets are beliefs about ourselves and our most basic qualities, like intelligence, personality or talent. Mindsets are ways of thinking about the world and about our impact on that world through what we believe we can do and can’t do.

Source – Mindset Works














I started writing this blog about my first marathon in 1999.  About how life-changing it truly was and how everyone should experience something like that. As I was writing, it soon became apparent that my life-changing experience was all about my mindset. I was looking for fulfilment, achievement, recognition, success. I was determined to prove to myself that I could achieve my goal and succeed.  This experience taught me so much – about embracing life, challenging yourself, learning from mistakes, being inspired by those who have achieved and above all – being humble.

As life evolves, so should we!  Embrace the unknown and let your life surprise you.



















Dream BIG!

When kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up, they might say, “I am going to fly a space ship to the moon”… or “I am going to be a mermaid and rescue dolphins”… or “I am going to be like Usain Bolt and win every gold medal”.

They’re spontaneous and fearless. Often they will go on to become pilots, marine biologists or top runners. Dream fulfilled!

So what holds us back as adults?

In her book ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, Susan Jeffers explains the five truths about fear:

  1. Fear will never go away as long as we continue to grow
  2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and DO IT
  3. The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and DO IT
  4. Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else
  5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness

As we start winding down for the summer holidays – we’d like you to start thinking about your dreams for 2017.  Think big, dream big, believe big and then go chase those dreams!  And if you’re looking for like-minded buddies to help you achieve your dreams, Team BEXI will support your every step.

Debbie and Team BEXI


“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”   Nelson Mandela

2017 Race Calendar

We’re super-excited about our new 2017 race calendar. Next year we’ll be offering training programs for marathons, half-marathons, triathlons ranging from sprint to half-ironman 70.3 distances.  It’s going to be an awesome year!

  • APR – Australian Running Festival, Canberra
  • MAY – Diamond Women’s Active Triathlon Festival, Penrith
  • MAY – SMH Half Marathon
  • JUN – Ironman Cairns 70.3  (New!)
  • JUL – Gold Coast Airport Running Festival
  • SEP – Blackmores Sydney Running  Festival
  • OCT – Husky Triathlon Festival, Jervis Bay (New!)
  • NOV – Ironman Western Sydney 70.3, Penrith (New!)

Interested in stepping up to the marathon distance? Read our blog ‘Ready for the Marathon‘.