How to nail racing overseas

“Wooohooo BOOM I did it coach! 1.28.56 (50 second PB) And a podium  to top it off. So happy thank you coach you got me the goal we were searching for!!” ~Athlete Andy Rogers

Now this is the kind of message you like to read on waking up on a Monday morning! Andy executed his race plan to a tee, and his hard work paid off.


There’s nothing quite like a race in a different country / city you have never visited before. The excitement of deciding what to pack, the nerves of travel, the research, the sightseeing when you arrive. Preparing for a race in a different time zone is not only exciting it is also more challenging in managing the long haul travel, the stop overs, the and the jet lag. Ensuring an athlete is able to recover from the travel and feel fresh and ready on race day can be the most challenging part of an overseas travel prep. Last week, we had not one, but two athletes head over for the San Fransisco Half Marathon, and they not only nailed their preparation, they nailed the travel AND their races. Three from three! Read on to find out how their races went….

ANDY ROGERS: 1:28.56, PODIUM –  3RD M45-49!

CPC: Tell us, what was the San Fransisco Half Marathon like? One word – AMAZING! It’s such an incredible city and we had an amazing time. I love being able to incorporate our love for travel with our love for fitness and racing.

A 6.15am start made for our first race starting in the dark, but when you are doing it in a city such as San Fran, it is actually truly spectacular. 6000 Men and Women all with their own stories to why they were led to a very exciting start line in San Francisco. For me, it was about two things: my own achievement and trying to reach my own goals, but also celebrating an event with our overseas family (I’m from the UK but now live in AUS). The 6 all entered the race, and all had our own journeys to get to this day, and it was very emotional and for us to be able to stand together at the end of the race with our medals. It was the greatest feeling ever and something that we all will never forget.

Course highlights:

  • The Golden Gate Bridge – running over this iconic bridge was something!
  • Flaghill – where soldiers held flags every 10 meters cheering you up the very steep hill, gave you goosebumps.
  • The 190mt downhill finish line with 100’s of spectators cheering you home was simply incredible!

CPC: SOOO: Tell us, how does it feel to PB and podium in the same race, seems you nailed it?! 

On a personal front, I ran a pretty much perfect race plan from start to finish. Sticking to a plan and never losing sight of it, even with some very testing hills to challenge me on the course. I went in searching for a PB and PB is what I got! 1.28.54 (50 second PB) 3rd age group, 50th overall. 🙂

As much as being able to achieve your own goals is amazing, being able to share these kinds of experiences with loved ones is simply incredible.


CPC: As an athlete that isn’t getting any younger, you still seem to manage to be improving. What do you think has been the biggest contributor to this?  And how has having a coach helped with your achievement?

ANDY: There are a number of factors, including my diet – nutrition plays a big part in being able to fuel your body correctly and recover  well to gain maximum performance. My training program (although I had to manage an injury late on) has been perfect. Low k’s generally looking after my (older) body and listening too it. Not been afraid to call a rest day or to cut a session short.

Practicing my race day nutrition in training sessions and setting out a detailed race nutrition plan was important to ensure I had dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. Like I said before my race was THE PERFECT RACE, I don’t think you get a whole load of these in your life, but it really was spot on, and I can thank my coach for that!

Having a coach on TAP has just been amazing and crucial to my continued performance. Without a coach I wouldn’t have been able to make adjustments to my plan with my knowledge, so having a coach has just made it so easy. To be able to drop a text or a quick phone call to ask a few questions which is then discussed and an answer to a question quickly resolved.

The last 3 weeks was very testing with the onset of a niggling injury, but there is no way I could have made it to the start line in the shape I did and made the wise choices I made without the support of Sarah. Just like my IM achievement under her guidance, ‘WE’ achieved this PB. Thanks so much Coach for your continual support, you are amazing and know exactly how to get the best out of me and I cant wait to set and achieve my next goal with you!

LISA GROVE 2:28.11, sub 2:30 goal achieved, along with loosing 13kg! 

CPC: Just a few short months ago you weren’t able to run 5km without stopping, and now you’ve just smashed a half marathon! How did you find the training, and the race itself? 

LISA: I’m not going to hide the fact that I didn’t particularly enjoy running, I found it a tough slog. But since I decided to do the San Fran half marathon I’ve had no regrets, and dare I say now enjoy running?! 🙂

During my training plan with Sarah, I’ve shredded 13 kilos and over 55cm in my measurements. This has helped make running a lot easier that’s for sure! Not having ran for years apart from run / walk park run, there was only one place to start. 5k run walking we continued to gradually build on that each week until two weeks out from race-day I ran a 19km training run and knew I was ready! The thought of that extra 2.1k didn’t worrying me at all, but the hills I knew I had to tackle did. I had to mentally prepare myself for what was going to be a hilly course and this was the only thing that was going to stop me in my goal chase. But it was never going to happen my mind was in the right place my pre race build was perfect and we were ready to do it come the gun.

Sarah talked me through some great strategies to try if things weren’t going my way on race day (luckily i didn’t need these) so I just focused on hitting each of my race day targets – to slowly run all the hills, then as got to come back over the bridge I could have a quick walk to reset (12km mark) then walk through the last couple of water stations where I needed.

CPC: What did you find the most challenging about your journey, along with the most rewarding?

LISA: The most challenging part of my journey was running at a weight that was uncomfortable but of course the most rewarding part of my journey was losing those kgs, beginning to enjoy running again and feeling great and comfortable. And being able to share this experience of training and running with my partner Andy and being able to make him proud of me and my sister/coach proud of me, makes all the blood sweat and tears worth it. Who knows one day I may just think about doing a full marathon…. but not on a hilly course lol.

CPC: And the result? !

LISA: Sub 2:30.!!! Get in there.!!! Far out the hills were nuts.!  1km in and a big hill climb, 6kms in and another big winding hill climb, a gradual hill up both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge plus another big hill 1km from the finish line! But the views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the San Francisco skyline for almost all of my run kept me going. The support along the course was brilliant and the support of Andy and his family at the end cheering me down the last hill got me to my sub 2:30 goal! Thanks heaps coach you’ve helped me 100% to get me to the start and finish line of this race. And hopefully many more to come. Thank-you so so much for all your help, support and guidance.

Full details and race results here. 

Athlete Profile: Faz Zamani

A self confessed endurance junkie, Fazzy / The Faz / Fazzo loves the outdoors and a good challenge !  Oh and not to mention a long lost Persian warrior Princess!! 

Name: Farinaz Zamani (Faz)

Nickname: I have so many! Fazzy, The Faz, Fazzo, Faztastic, Fazzles… you get the drift! 🙂

Lives: Brunswick, Victoria

Sports growing up: Swimming! My mum used to take me to swimming every week when I was really young and growing up in Iran. It was the only sport you could do really as a girl and only at private pools where no men were allowed and only female teachers could lead the class. Loved it and I’ve always had a soft spot for it 🙂

Chosen sport nowKind of two sports: Cycling – though not sure it’s a choice as much anymore. Secretly I would choose running over cycling, but don’t tell anyone! 🙂

Years in Sport: Running – about 4 years and cycling about 3. I dabbled in triathlons in between as well.

How did you get started in the sport: started running after I did a freakout entry into my first triathlon race! It was also part of massive weight loss campaign where I ended up losing close to 40kgs. In training for my first triathlon race I started to fall in love with running and went on to run four marathons (Melbourne, Paris, Berlin and Chicago). After a while I stated to really enjoy the cycling leg of triathlons as well and continued that into recreational road cycling.

Why I choose CPC: Because Sarah is the best! And also because she has coached me for a very long time and I have always found her guidance and support paramount in my ability to excel as an athlete and as a human 🙂

What is your ultimate goal? Ohhhh good question. I used to be very goal oriented when I first started becoming active. Not sure I concentrate on set goals as such anymore (e.g. races and PBs). To be honest my ultimate goal would be to enjoy an active and healthy life 🙂 Secretly I would love to one day run all five world major marathons – I have NYC, London and Boston to go.

Running / Cycling in 3 words: Running = freedom, solitude, endorphins! Cycling = mates, adventure, fun!

What couldn’t you live without: Oh god! Um … do I have to choose one thing? My family for sure! And maybe sparkling water 🙂

Biggest love: Travel! Even if it’s a quick weekend adventure. If I spend too long in one place I start going a little crazy. I have to get out and about and see/experience the world! #sagittarius

Pet peeve: People who speak during a movie in the cinemas. Not cool.

Guilty pleasure: This is a weird one and doesn’t tend to happen often but on a rare occasion when the planets align I get to do a workout early in the morning (running or cycling) and I come back to have enough time to shower and get back in my PJs and back into bed for a sleep in. DON’T JUDGE ME! ;-P

Interesting fact about meWhen I am super tired and sleepy I like to play with my ears. I know – I’m weird. Oh and apparently my great great great grandfather was a tribal leader of some sorts back in the day during the Persian Empire – so I think I’m some kind of Persian warrior princess! 

Shameless plus – how can we follow you?
IG: @fzashni – my gram is mostly cycling related but I have that same handle for my twitter account which is a lot more Human Rights oriented! Whatever floats your boat – would love to connect 🙂