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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOU-FIT
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

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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.

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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‘.

 

 

Holiday-FIT

Kick the year off with our FUN summer holiday workouts and support your buddies too!

We will be running 2 x 40 min back-to-back beach workouts – one group trains, while the other group looks after the kids. And then you swap! You get your training done and your kids get entertained. Win/Win for everyone!

Each workout consists of cardio, strength and core exercises.  Great for overall body fitness and strength. Sessions are circuit-style and catered for varying levels of fitness. You can ramp it up or scale it back to suit your fitness. Suitable for anyone wanting to add a fun workout in their holidays.

When
Week 1 Tues 10 Jan Thu 12 Jan Collaroy Beach 8am
Week 2 Tues 17 Jan Thu 19 Jan Collaroy Beach 8am
Week 3 Tues 24 Jan Thu 26 Jan Collaroy Beach 8am
Time

Meet 8am and we will split the group into 2 – one group trains, the other entertains the kids (in the nearby Collaroy playground):

  • Group 1 – 8.00am
  • Group 2 – 8.40am

Bring your swimmers and a towel for a dip in the ocean/pool afterwards!

Cost
  • $10 per week ($5 p/session)
  • $25 for 3 weeks ($4 p/session)
Register

Commit to a healthier summer holiday and supporting your buddies!  Register online and pay on the day.

Ready for a Marathon?

I often get asked “Do you think I can run a marathon?” My answer – “if you can run a half-marathon, you can run a marathon!”  Trust me, this is not a case of me saying…”Rah, rah you can do it if you set your mind to it!” (Which of course is very true.) Marathons are hard! They are humbling. They are physically exhausting. They will break you physically and mentally.

But with the right training and preparation, a marathon is THE most special experience ever. Words cannot express that feeling of crossing the line and achieving something incredibly special. It is something that everyone should experience in their life.

So what does it take to be ready for a marathon? Here are my top-5 tips for considering a marathon:

  • Run consistently for at least a year. Your body is better prepared – it is stronger, more efficient and will be able to adapt to the demands of the sport. On the flipside, if you are starting from a fairly sedentary level, you will be vulnerable to injury that could prevent you from running for months (or years).
  • Commitment. Training for a marathon takes approximately 20 weeks. During which you are running 4-days per week. The days you are not running, you need to focus on strength training.
  • Buy-in from your family. Goes without saying – you will need the support from your family. They will need to be there to cover things for you when you are out training, or let you rest up after a long run. It’s a big ask – but it’s not often you run a marathon.
  • Awareness of the risks. The marathon is a big distance and not to be taken lightly. Injuries are very common. It is important to follow a periodised training program that includes body maintenance (rest days/weeks), strength training and biomechanical check-ups.
  • How bad do you want this? If this is something that you’ve always wanted to do; get excited talking about it; get butterflies in your tummy thinking about it; dream about doing it… then it is definitely a ‘HELL YES’ moment!

You will be a fundamentally changed person. You will discover the marathon is one of the mostlife affirming experiences you’ve ever had.

 


“The marathon was everything I hoped it would be and more! If any of you are thinking about doing a marathon, I would say do it! You will certainly find out what you are made of. The lessons it taught me about determination and perseverance will never be forgotten. If you believe in yourself you can do anything!”

Peita Hillman, New York Marathoner 2016


“What a fabulous run I had yesterday competing in the New York Marathon. I’m so proud to have ticked off one of the world’s major marathons (only 5 left to go). The crowds the entire way were amazing. They really made you feel as though you were a celebrity and their energy was honestly the best! Everyone needs to DO a marathon in their lifetime! Everyone! I finished the race by running past another Aussie in Central Park. I said “C’mon Aussie, we have 2.5kms to go you can’t walk now. Just go left, right, left, right”. We did it! I’m such a proud marathoner! The best bucket list tick ever!”

Sarah Jefferson, New York Marathoner 2016


“Self-belief and hard work got me to the start line. I committed to my tested plan and drew in the energy of the awesome NY crowd.  I was high-5’ing and blowing them kisses. The thrill of the experience is hard to describe as the body and mind were constantly battling each other. Yesterday I ran out of my comfort zone and had the time of my life! I am a marathoner… a very happy one!”

Sue Addison, New York Marathoner 2016 

 

Top 5-Tips for choosing your Running Shoes

Running is one of the least expensive forms of sport, all you need is a good pair of running shoes and you’re off.  Yet, so many people resist investing in a good pair of shoes.

I speak from experience. My first ever pair of proper running shoes were from a specialist running shop in Jo’burg (owned by an ex-elite SA runner) – they were Asics Gel Kayano. I remember clearly baulking at having to pay such an obscene amount of money. Those shoes were worn until they were totally dead!

Some (umm, many!) years later… and many, many more shoes later, I can truly say that proper running shoes are the BEST investment you can make to boost your love for running.

Having recently swapped my ‘retired’ Asics with a fabulous new pair of Hokas, from an awesome specialist running store, I was inspired to share my top tips for choosing new running shoes.

My top 5-tips for choosing your running shoes

 

  • Find a specialist running shop near you. These are typically your ‘boutique’ stores, not your high-street retail stores. As a specialist store, they are staffed by runners who understand about ‘running’. They have been trained by the different brands and are familiar with the latest shoe technology available.
  • Take your current running shoes with you to the store. Don’t get embarrassed if they are somewhat ‘retired’ and unsightly. Your old shoes are a good indicator of how you run. The sales consultant will be able to identify your running-style – i.e. pronate, supinate, heel-striker, forefoot-striker, etc. This is invaluable for matching you to a suitable shoe.
  • Be sure to also take a pair of your running socks. You will be running in these socks, so it is good to try them on with your new running shoes. The sales consultant can also give you advice in terms of whether they have good padding, breathability & blister protection.
  • Discuss your running goals with the sales consultant. If you are new to running, planning to run a marathon, or taking to the trails – you will need totally different shoes. A sales consultant from a specialist shoe shop, will have an excellent understanding of the different types of shoe to support your running goals.
  • Ensure you try on and test all the shoes recommended by the sales consultant. Don’t be shy! I have been known to try on box-loads of shoes. Each shoe will have a different feel, so lace them up and head out for a short run. Again, a specialist store will allow you to go for a short run outside to ensure you have the right shoe. Now I know we are all drawn to funky colours, designs and are brand-loyal – don’t let that sway your decision. You will know which shoe is right for you – listen to your comfort.

As a guideline, running shoes typically last for approximately 700/800km. This is entirely dependent on your running style, how hard you are on your shoes, and the type of training you are doing. At this stage, the support and cushioning in your shoes are hugely reduced and you are vulnerable to injury. Which is something runners REALLY want to avoid.

Our preferred BEXI special running store is Pace Athletic in Manly and/or Mosman. Pop in and say you’re a BEXI athlete and you’ll receive a 10% discount off your shoe purchases.

PS: perhaps now is a good time to write your letter to Santa ?

 

 

 

 

 

A Big YES!

I recently overhead an advert on TV that really caught my attention. It was about pursuing our dreams and the journey to achieve them.

The key message was about making sacrifices to achieve what we really want in life.

A big YES is built on a lot of NO’s

Pursuing a dream takes an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm. So where do we get that energy? By making sacrifices. In order to stay motivated, to stay on the path of realising our dreams, we need to be willing to make little sacrifices.

Below are 5-tips to build towards that big YES:

  • Time management – use your 24hrs wisely, prioritize the important tasks, learn to say ‘no’.
  • Instability – we all like a smooth ride, but life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. Ride it – embrace the challenges, they make you stronger.
  • Personal Life – work out ways to manage your relationships and friendships. Again, learn to say ‘no’ – you can’t please everyone and sabotage your own goals.
  • Immediate Desires – choosing the easy option is often the temptation, but we have the choice between our immediate desires and those that will propel our dreams forward. Stay true to what is most important to you.
  • Sleep – we all love a few extra hours of sleep (especially when the alarm goes off), but there’s an awesome rewarding feeling when you accomplish what you set out to do — making the lack of a ‘lie-in’ always worth it.

We make these sacrifices as we know they are a short-term and there is an end-goal in mind. We stay focused, we stay committed and we stay true to our goal. And in the end, we reap the reward of achieving our goal. All the sacrifices become worthwhile.

We achieve our dream!

Embrace all the good in your life

 

I had the privilege of cheering a friend at the recent Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba a couple of weekends ago.  The atmosphere was amazing! There were athletes from all walks of life, from countries all around the world.

As a world championship race, these age-group athletes would have had to earn a slot at a qualifying event. It’s a huge achievement just making it to the world champs! The key thing that really struck me about this event, was the variety of athletes. There were young & old athletes, small & large athletes, able-bodied & paraplegic athletes. It was truly inspiring watching all these athletes pursue their dream.

One of the biggest inspiration for me that weekend was watching a paraplegic athlete embrace his goal. This guy rolled his wheelchair to the beach, where the race officials carried him to the start and placed him in the water. When he finished his swim, the race officials carried him to his bike (see above pic), where he focused on getting on his bike and continuing with the bike course, followed by the run course in his wheelchair.

It was truly very humbling. He never complained.  He just embraced the atmosphere and all the support from those along the course. At the end of the race, a supporter walked up to him, patted him on the shoulder and said, “Well done mate, you were truly awesome!”

As able-bodied athletes, we often take our situation for granted. We complain about the mundane — “I’m injured, I can’t train… I’m overweight, I can’t run… I can’t cycle, I’m too scared… I am busy, I can’t commit.”

We are all guilty of taking things for granted — however, it just requires a little reminder from time-to-time, to appreciate what we have. Just watch the Paralympics at Rio – swimmers with no limbs, runners with no eyesight, table-tennis players with no arms. It is truly very humbling.

So my message today – pause for a moment to appreciate all the good in your life. Your health, your family, your environment, the opportunities you have, the choices you have… the support you have.

Learn to appreciate what you have… before time makes you appreciate what you had.

A huge congratulations to all those athletes who competed in Mooloolaba — the oldest being 87years old! Truly amazing!

Also a massive ‘Good Luck’ shout to all our BEXI athletes taking part in the Blackmores Running Festival this weekend.  Embrace all the good in your life and make the most of it.

 

Debbie Solms
Feeling Grateful

The first thing when starting to RUN

We get asked all the time, “What is the best way to start running?” For most, it is a case of digging out your old trainers and heading out the door for a 5km run – which you have not attempted in years.

The obvious happens! You hate the experience, it’s uncomfortable, you are shattered, your feet/shins hurt, you knees ache and your hips cause you to limp. You then decide that running is not for you and throw your trainers to the back of the cupboard. Until next year!

Hands up if this is you? We’ve all been there – but it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be this way.

The first thing we ask people who want to start running, is what their motivation for running is. For most it is to get fit and lose weight. But more and more, we are seeing people embracing running to manage stress and balance their lifestyles. Running is absolutely fantastic for this!

Understanding your motivation for running is key. But there is a deeper level — why are you experiencing the issues that are forcing you to run?

Do you have certain fears, do you struggle with self-confidence, do you get anxious about certain things, do you have challenges with motivating yourself, do you have self-limiting beliefs – about you can and can’t achieve?

These issues are paramount and effect every single one of us, in one way or another. So going back to our original question about the first thing you need to do when starting running – the answer is ‘connecting our minds to our bodies’. For everything we think in our minds, our bodies have a reaction.

Having delivered numerous beginner running programs over the past 5-years, we have learnt that the most important element of the program is training our minds. The most important muscle in our body! Which is why we have been super-motivated to deliver a program that focuses purely on the mental side of training. We 100% believe that once we have addressed the issues that are holding us back, we can then forge ahead… in leaps and bounds.

Which is why we are beyond excited about our upcoming online program that focuses entirely on the mental side of training. If any of the above resonates with you and you are wanting to make a change to your life, then our 6-week ‘Mental Training for Athletes’ program is for you.  Starts Thurs 11 Aug, 8-9pm.

Give it a go – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

To achieve or not?

I love reading biographies of successful people. How they start with humble beginnings and then go on to achieve great success.

Take Chris Froome for example – winner of the recent Tour de France. Born in humble Kenya, spending his youth riding through townships, past wild animals, until winning his first race that his mum entered him. His book, ‘The Climb’, is an exceptional read and highly recommended!

The key point I want to make is that we all start from modest beginnings. We then discover a passion and go on to pursue our passion.

In the case of Chris Froome, he had a burning hunger to pursue his passion for cycling. He trained incredibly hard physically – but what propelled him to the next level was his mental strength.

Understanding how to stay focused, overcoming our fears, managing our anxieties, removing our self-limiting beliefs, developing our self-confidence, maintaining our self-motivation, the list goes on….

Beauty of Exercise is very passionate about supporting you in pursuing your passion and achieving your own success. Over the past 5-years we have focused purely on the physical-side of training our athletes. We have dabbled in the mental-side of training, but have not really hit the mark.

Which is why we are super-excited about teaming up with SportsSupports to deliver our ‘Mental Preparation for Athletes’ program. Grant Giles and Christie Sym have successfully coached a number of athletes over the years, many of whom have gone on to achieve great feats (& podiums).

Grant and Christie will be hosting our 6-week online webinar program, starting Thurs 11 August at 8pm.  If you’re wanting to address your fears and progress your passion to the next level, this webinar is a must!

More information and to register.