Racing to PBs, podiums and bigger things !

We had athletes take on a number of races over the past weekend, each with their own goals, their own journeys and their own stories, but one things remain constant. Each athlete took LOTS from their ability to race, and had ‘fun’ pushing their bodies to their physical and mental limits on the day. And that’s what it’s all about ! The results are a bonus!

A slightly tougher day on course this year compared to 2020. With a little current in the swim and some nice wind to greet athletes on the bike. But this is what racing is all about. Facing what the day gives us and working our race plans around that. Pre-race chats, and athletes were confident – with a few nerves thrown in for good measure. But athletes can always go in with confidence with sound race plans in place – and this doesn’t mean just focusing on the outcome. This means having a sound PROCESS in place, focusing on your own personal performance – and not that of other competitors, and controlling what you CAN control – your self-control and your own mental discipline. And simply give 100% of what you have on that day. Do this, and you will give yourself the best possible chance to have a well-executed and enjoyable race day. (you can read more on our race day mentality strategies here)

Trav Hore: 35:33 swim, 2:34 bike, 1:59 run, 5:18:08 overall.
With a 15min PB from this course last year, and 7min PB overall. And a goal of a sub 2hour run. You couldn’t have asked for a better executed race. Trav is well on his way to a good showing at his next Ironman coming up! A strong all round performance and great confidence booster.

Ollie McNulty: 40:39 swim, 3:05 bike, 2:30 run, 6:27:57 overall.
We went in this race with one goal in mind. To have a nice consistent race as part of his training for his first FULL and get some take aways to assist us with the remainder of his IM build. And goal was achieved!

Caroline Houston: 54:08 swim, 3:36 bike, 2:25 run, 7:08 overall. 2nd F65-69
A longer day on course than planned, but in the same token, this race was thrown into the mix only a month or so ago. Why not! We said, with last years races wiped off the calendar, why not race 2 halves within a couple of months. 😉 And although she didn’t want recognition for her 2nd place finish – recognition is being given! Out yourself on the start line, no matter how many in your age group, and you are entitled to bask in your glory! 🙂 Well done C on a positive attitude and your discipline to training and racing as always.

Esther Toh: 36:24 swim, 3:09 bike, 2:24 run, 6:17:46 overall.
What a fantastic video wrap up Esther posted in our private FB group. Goes to show her attitude and outlook on racing. The main message? She ENJOYED racing the Half IM again. She did her first (and only other) HIM in 2013 prior to starting coaching with CPC last year and she didn’t enjoy herself. She didn’t think she would actually do another one again. But alas, here she is, 8 years later. She put in tremendous amount of discipline and work to fit her training around her family and work commitments, and is a testament to ‘getting the job done’. A solid race. WELL DONE.

Darren McKemmish: 38:54 swim, 2:56 bike, 2:01 run, 5:47 overall
Always with a smile, he started and finished in that fashion! Darren went into this as a training race – for bigger fish to fry in the coming months as he prepares for his first Ironman. We set a solid race plan leading in, and our goals were pretty much smack on! A great confidence boosting race, with a solid ‘training race under his belt, as well as some key takeaways that will lead him in good stead over the coming weeks.

CLICK HERE for Geelong 70.3 Race results


Elise Fookes put her runners back on after focusing on cycling for the past few years. Without us preparing specifically for this event, we thought ‘why not’! Go out. Have fun, and enjoying being back out on the start line of a triathlon again! The plan? Letting go of any expectations, and simply racing to feel and for fun! The result? “the half distance I did 3years ago almost felt easier than the sprint!” 😂 We had a great chuckle at this – as short course racing does NOT mean easy racing. Well done Elise for putting yourself out there even when not ‘race ready‘.

A tough 22km trail run from Mt Buller Village, Mt Stirling to Mt Buller Summit and return to Mt Buller Village, covering 1200+mtrs of elevation

Louise Organ: A solid performance with a podium finish! 2nd Female over the 22km distance. Louise summed up her race afterwards: “Pretty brutal climbing up Mt Stirling and Mt Buller. Awful weather the day before, and training with a broken toe foe a month. Ready for a wine and a shower!”. A well deserved break now Lou, great work!

Race Day Mentality

As you start to lead into a key race, it is important to go back and reflect on your training, to review the goals you had written down for your race and how well you have prepared for them. How has your race build gone? Has it gone to plan? How are you feeling about race day?

But at the same time, it is important to remind yourself that goals are OUTCOMES, and as you head into your race, you can actually be better served to focus on the PROCESS when it comes to race day, rather than the outcome (the result).

Regardless of what your race day goals are, your RACE PLAN should be your ultimate focus. Those individual tasks throughout the race that are in your control. That is your plan and focus. If you can keep your focus on these, the outcome will almost always take care of itself.

Your goal – is your desired outcome. What you want to achieve.
Your system/process – is what will get you there.

It is important to be aware of what is going on around you, including your fellow competitors, but at the same time not be distracted from your own effort and strategy. Remember – your race should always be about personal performance, and not the competition. Self-control and your own mental discipline is what you can focus on and what you can control. When you are in control, you will be calmer, have ease of mind, and make better decisions.

So here are some of the areas that you can focus on and work on executing well:

– Race preparation – including the week leading in and the night prior
– Your warm up – allow time and focus
– Your race equipment – be prepared and organised
– Race fueling and hydration plan – and following through with it
– Your pacing and effort – what you have trained for
– Your form and posture – as fatigue kicks in, form can slip, so bring your focus back
– Mental mindset / mental fortitude – how you stay focused, in control and positive, even if things aren’t going to plan

If you give 100% of what you have on that day – how can you loose?

The work has been done to up to this point. All that is left now is show up to your race fresh both physically and mentally, and do as many things as possible in your control; as well as possible and then let the result take care of itself.

So it’s time to get out of your own way. Commit to focus on yourself, and what you can control, and you will give yourself the best possible chance to have a well-executed and enjoyable race day.

The Festive 5 Challenge

The final wrap up to our 2020 build / season / year is our Festive 5 ! 
A take on the well known ‘Rapha Festive 500’, but ours with a twist to help ensure everyone can gain the most from the challenge, and make it applicable to you and your goals. Ultimately the purpose behind the challenge is to add a little focus and a training spike over the Xmas/NY period when a lot of people tend to have some extra time up their sleeves.


Commences: Xmas Eve – Thursday 24 December, 
Concludes: New Years Eve – Thursday 31st December (8 days inclusive)
The Challenge: Complete YOUR challenge over the duration of the 8 festive days, as you see fit. Indoors or out. Poor or OW. Trails or road. You choose!

Here are some challenge options you could take on: 

The Ultimate
Ride 500km over the 8 days.
The Consistent:
Ride 50km a day on 5 or more days
The Half:
Ride 250km over the 8 days
The Conservative:
Ride 50min/day over 5 or more days

The Ultimate:

Run/walk 50km over the 8 days
The Consistent:
Run/walk 5km/or 50min day on 5 or more days
The Half:
Run/walk 25km over the 8 days

Swim/ride/run your way over the 8 days:
The Ultimate: 500km riding, 50km running, 5km (or more) swimming over the 8 days
The Consistent: 50km riding, 5km running, 500m swimming / day on 5 or more days
The Half: 250km riding, 25km running, 2.5km (or more) swimming over the 8 days
The Conservative: 50min riding, 50min of run/walk, 50min swimming on 5 or more days

Or any other alternative that works for you! (and why not make up a name and share with us?!)

Follow along: 
More details will be realised and shared over the coming days and we’ll get the chatter started! 
FACEBOOK: All details, info, chatter and more will be shared in our FB group here
STRAVA: If you are on strava, why not follow us online here

CONFIRM: If you are joining in, and what challenge you are up for, as I will program accordingly and provide some guidance on how to tackle the challenge based on your goals.

Your biggest competition

It can often be the biggest challenge as a Coach, to help an athlete stay concentrated on their journey and not focused on what others are doing. Athletes can easily be lead, or swayed based on what another athlete is doing (or not doing).

Yet they seem to forget that every athlete has a different skill set. Every athlete has a different athletic ability, a different background, a different home life/dynamic and different goals.

By all means use others to push you when your session asks you to be pushed. Use others to help drive you, or stay focused, or help you get out of the bed in the morning. But when YOU need to go easy. Go easy. When YOUR session asks you to focus on YOUR aerobic endurance, focus on that. It is there for YOUR purpose and for YOUR progression.

And so this is why it is so important to not focus on others, but to look inwards. Remind yourself of your goals, your purpose, yourself… ‘Look in the mirror. That’s your competition…’

The key is CONSISTENCY over TIME – what you do in one particular session, or one particular week is not going to make or break your season / key race. BUT what you do week in, week out, CONSISTENLY, with PURPOSE, and PROGRESSION is what will help you get to your best performance potential come race day. And you can only do that when you are training for YOU.

So don’t worry about what others are doing. Don’t worry that you are doing less, or more, or different than them. Because you ARE different…. And that’s the amazing thing about you. 😉

Self Care Sunday

No matter who you are, what you do, what role/s you have in your life, you must take care of yourself – ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup’. Rest and self-care are so important for the mind, the body and the soul. Regardless on whether you are an athlete or not.

It is shown, women especially find it difficult to take time for themselves and to prioritise their our own self-care. It often takes an illness, an accident, an injury, burn out or simply ‘cracking’ under the pressure to remind us to give ourselves the time and care we need.

When we are stressed out, self-care is often the first thing we let go of – and I’ve seen it within a number of my athletes, so I can only assume that it is happening more broadly.

During stressful times such as many are currently experiencing, our brains can go into fight-or-flight mode and our perspective narrows. We can be so busy trying to solve problems that we are stuck in a “doing” mode and can become anxious and overwhelmed. And many may not have a ‘go to’ list of self care activities that they can lean on during these times so we simply don’t even go there. And this doesn’t mean you have to go away on a retreat (although how nice would that be right now?!) It can be as simple as taking 10 minutes to yourself – and NO, scrolling on social media doesn’t count!

Here’s a simple list of some ways you can give back to YOU that don’t take much time at all, but the benefits can be wide ranging.

– Focus on sensations around you, sights, smells, sounds… these can help bring you to the present moment
– Go for a walk and breath in fresh air – leave the phone at home / in your pocket!
– Listen to running water / take yourself near water. t is one of the most soothing sounds and the energy from water can be drawn within.
– Take a hot shower / bath and play some relaxing music. Take your time. Don’t rush.
– Get creative, draw, journal, play some music, do a puzzle… These simple activities can bring your focus back.
– Get back to nature, do some gardening, go for a walk or sit and take in the sights, sounds and smell of nature. Nature is so healing.
– Turn the lights AND TV off, light a candle and read a book or listen to a meditation..
– CONNECT with others – it is so important while isolated. Call a friend (txt doesn’t count), facetime, zoom. OR meet at a park, go for a walk with them. Connection is key to our fundamental being.

So remember: self care is not self indulgence, it is self preservation. Take care of yourself – starting today. What will you choose? 🙂

A day on my plate… Coach Sarah

I was asked recently whether I’d be up for sharing what a day on my plate looked like. An athlete was interested in seeing what I eat pre/post training and for the remainder of the day to support my training, recovery and overall health and immunity. She suspected that she was a chronic ‘under eater’ and thought that maybe she wasn’t alone. So I thought i’d give you a look into a day on my plate (obviously every day is different, but give you an idea) and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

My Stats:
Age: 38 (yes! getting close to the big 40 now!) 😉
Height: 157cm (or 5foot1 if you prefer)
Weight: ~52kg.
I tend to not fluctuate much, my lightest race weight has been 47kg – which looking back now was probably a touch too low. I still raced well, but my mood and energy throughout the day wasn’t great plus my recovery post racing was HARD. It would take me 2 weeks to recover from a sprint, and 4-6weeks to recover from a half. (not ideal!) I find a good healthy happy medium for me is around 50kg. BUT in saying that I don’t stress over this, and certainly not right now am not focusing on it. I look at food as FUEL for my body, so it can support my training, my racing, my recovery and my health and immunity.


I firstly wanted to say – that, just like training, you need to do what works for YOU. Not just doing something because someone else does it. Yes of course, take away some general principles, some tips for good eating habits, ensuring you are fueling sufficiently for training, recovery and general health, but what works for ME doesn’t mean it is right for YOU. If nutrition is something you want to focus on a little more, then I recommend working with a naturopath or sports nutritionist. We have a number of specialist we work with in this area, and in particular for those who may have sensitivities, stomach issues or underlying health conditions. The most important part as always – is listening to your body. How does something make you FEEL when you eat it? How do you feel 1-2hours after? Do you have any symptoms? How are your energy levels throughout the day? Do you have regular bowel movements? If you think something isn’t right for you, then maybe it’s not..

And on a side note – just because as endurance athletes we train more than the average person, it doesn’t mean we can eat average. As a general principle: Eat a mostly wholefood diet filled with a variety and abundance of vegetables and fruits (think the colour of the rainbow!) include some supporting gut health including cooked and cooled sweet potato, fermented foods, bone broth etc, and don’t forget your good quality carbohydrates, quality protein and good sources of fats.

My food philosophy.

I’m not vegetarian. I’m not vegan. Nor am I paleo or low carb. I simply work on eating an all round nutrient dense whole foods, mostly plant based diet to support my health and my training. I supplement in areas I know I need to or have been tested for and I enjoy chocolate. 😉 So I eat lots of vegetables, and a sprinkling of fruits. I do my best to understand where our meat and animal products come from and I do what works for me and my family. So do your own research, and do what works for YOU, but I do believe we should all eat more plants, more often.


AM 1.5+hour strength + high intensity indoor training ride (hard session)
Day time walk with the kids + 30min strength/core
PM 1hr Endurance based resilience run

Pre AM Training Session:
Glass of water, just to wake me up!

During session: 1/2 – 1 banana + water with salt/lemon OR Koda Electrolytes Tablet
I’ll generally have a banana on hand to help fuel the session. This can depend sometimes on what (and when) I ate the night before. But given this sessions is longer in duration (1.5+hrs) plus includes intensity, I like to include some fueling during the session as I know my glycogen stores will start to become depleted. Given we aren’t near racing, I aim to consume whole foods rather than gels etc as I’m not working on training my gut / practicing race nutrition.
Another option here: my home made chocolate sweet potato brownie or a home made / quality bar, or some homemade banana bread etc. And don’t forget the hydration! With more indoor trainer session, there’s a lot of sweat going on !

Post Session: Green Protein Smoothie OR Loaded Oats & Chia Porridge
My Green Protein Smoothie is my go to Smoothie, packed full of goodness including carbohydrates, protein and fats, and all round balanced post training fuel. I generally have this within half an hour of finishing my session – or when kids allow. 😉
But some days I don’t feel like a smoothie, or it’s a cold morning and there’s nothing like a big bowl of warm oats to warm you up and fill the belly after a big session. My loaded oats & chia porridge has all of that and more and keeps me full all morning.

~2-3hours post session/smoothie : Egg bowl / Omelette OR leftovers
Around 2-3 hours post smoothie (or a bit later if I had porridge) I’m ready for my next re-fuel. My favourite go-to is an egg bowl or omelette. Basically 3 eggs, tossed in with some pre roasted vegetables plus a handful of spinach, some goats fetta, a side of sauerkraut and a dollop of my Green Basil Veggie Pesto and/ or my Homemade Hommus and sprinkled with hemp seeds and nutritional yeast. And I don’t skimp on the salt or pepper either. 😉 (see here why food prep is king?!)
Omelette is basically the same, but it’s just whether I can be bothered / have the extra time to make the meal into an omelette. You can also add a quality bread or sourdough to boost up the carbs if you don’t have many root vegetables included. If you aren’t working from home / don’t have the time to whip something like this up, part of your meal prep could be a delicious frittata filled with roasted vegetables and simply add the rest as a side. But really anything goes with eggs! Just make sure there are plenty of greens and a variety of colour.
If i’m not vibing eggs that day, and I have left overs from the previous nights dinner, then leftovers it is for lunch!

Mid-Afternoon Snack: Once lunch has settles, kids are asleep, some work has been done, I’ll generally do a mid-day strength/core and/or mobility session. After this I’m looking for a light top up for my PM run session. Given on this day my PM run session isn’t a key / long or intense session, I’m just looking for some additional fuel for my day, rather than to fuel the session itself. Generally around 1-2hours before my PMsession I’ll have something like a small bowl of berries with Greek/Coconut yogurt topped with nuts and seeds, or a slice (or two!) of home made banana bread with yogurt/berries on top, a sliced up apple with peanut butter, or if I’m looking for something a bit sweeter, my chocolate peanut butter slice or No Bake Choc Bites ! An afternoon tea goes down nicely here too! 😉 Anything here goes really and it can really depend on how I feel, but I’ll always have something. OH – and that reminds me, I don’t drink coffee… In case you were wondering. Not for performance or health reasons, simply because I can’t stand the smell let alone the taste! (yes – go ahead and judge me!) haha

Dinner: Mexican Burrito Bowl
I could pick any of my dinner favourites to add here for dinner, but one of my favourite things for dinner is to have a dinner ‘bowl’. Basically a lot of different veggies, combined with some protein and carbs and you have a bowl full of goodness. Here I share my Mexican Burrito Bowl. I aim to have a lot of my dinner prep already done before I head out for my PM session so it’s easy to whip together once I get back (and especially with kids, you need to be organised for dinner time!)

Post Dinner: I’ve got into a habit of enjoying a nice little sweet treat post dinner alongside a sleep time tea. My favourite pre dinner tea at the moment is Pukka Night Time Tea.
My favourite store bought dark chocolate at the moment is Green & Black Organic Dark Chocolate, Loving Earth, and Pana Organic (dairy free). Also when I get around to it, I love to make my own Raw Chocolate – if you have never made your own chocolate before, give it a go!

Supplements: Currently I am supplementing with a Womens multi with Activated B’s, Magnesium, Vitamic C and Zinc. And I don’t skimp on quality. (ie practitioner only brands) I don’t always have all of these all year round, and sometimes I need to add in others based on blood work (which I recommend all athletes get on a bi-annually or annually basis) and top up in other areas as needed / i’m deficient in so I’m not just chugging down tablets or wasting money. Remember though, we as athletes are generally training longer, harder (or both) than the general population, so ensuring your body is getting all the vitamins and minirals it needs for not just optimal performance, but optimal function is so important. And sometimes we simply can’t get enough from the foods we eat and/or additional can help with better recovery.

So there you have it – it’s always hard to choose just one day to share, as each day for me is very different, and I try to eat a variety of foods daily – not to get stuck into a ‘food routine’, but instead have a suit of meals and snacks that you can draw on to create diversity.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

Sarah is the Director & Head Coach at Complete Per4mance Coaching. Born out of the desire and passion to not just coach but to educate athletes, Sarah shares her 10+ years of coaching and racing experience, knowledge and education with athletes of all levels to help them achieve their optimal performance while maintaining a balanced, happy and healthy life.

Contact Sarah to discuss training options for you.