top of page

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

That was the story of the weekend and the week of training..... From a difficult climb on the Thursday to adventures out at Congewai and the Newcastle Cross Country race - King of the Mountain !!

Challenging route that was conquered, it's basically 4.5km straight up from the start all the way to the comes tower, and then another 4km along a firetrail that rolls up and down, more difficult on the loop back. Some had poles which helped, but there are a few switch backs as you climb up so trying to simulate what we may come across in France.

Continue to try and find challenging routes that are not to far from us to help build some strength climbing and descending. Excited for Mount Royal next weekend !!


  • Stacey Levin


  • Tom Barton - 6:23 - EccTrail Sweden


  • Melissa Ralph - 2:30 - 2nd (24km)

  • Linda Minter - 3:07 - 13th (24km)

  • Craig sandy - 2:30 (16km) 24km

  • Deb Alterator - 1:01 - 13th (10km)

  • Jeremey Campbell - 22:57 - 10th (5km)

  • Ally Campbell - 3:38 - 16th (24km)


  • Lakes 100

  • Brisbane Trail Ultra

  • The Guzzler Ultra

  • Elephant Trail Race

  • UTMB


  • Melissa Ralph


What went well?

- Being my first half marathon, it was great to prove to myself that I could maintain a solid pace over that distance. I'm very much looking forward to my first full marathon now!

What didn't work or went bad?

- Pre-race prep hadn't been ideal. Life got in the way of a proper nutrition and sleep plan in the week leading up, so I went into the race pretty tired, at less than my best.

How did you overcome the challenge?

- I made sure to keep everything consistent throughout the race - cadence, pace and breathing - this made sure there were no blow-ups that a tired body wouldn't have been able to overcome. Running with a good pacer was a huge help.

What was the best part of the event?

- A great social event. Lots of great people and chats in a beautiful location (the water views at dawn were pretty spectacular!).

Did you celebrate?

- Of course! Had a great breakfast catch up with our group straight after the run to share the post-run good vibes



What went well?

Overall the run went relatively smoothly, I felt strong and in control the whole way where I could maintain a good pace to help Mel keeping her in good spirits.

What didn't work or went bad?

My pre-race nerves still hit me! I’ve never been able to overcome them, even if it isn’t my “A” grade race.

How did you overcome the challenge?

By touching base with Mel regularly enough while mixing a few things up to see what might help her. I turned music on at the 14km point to see if that’ll help her but noticed almost immediately it was a nuisance so I turned it off and reverted back to chatting.

What was the best part of the event?

Crossing the finish line together and seeing the excitement in Mel’s eyes

Did you celebrate?

Absolutely, caught up with other running friends over morning tea, coffee and lunch with friends.



Yeah it was a fun event.

I was hoping for under 6 hours. But it was so strange to start a race at 10.30am. It’s was also hot. High 20s, plenty of sun.

I was happy with my nutrition and hydration. I didn’t have too many issues keeping things down.

I struggled mentally from 30km. I think this is something that I struggle with in that when it gets hard I struggle to stay on track and maintain momentum, I feel like I’m just trudging along to the finish line. But I picked up a bit about 3km from the finish line. I had also been struggling with the time difference so would get to 3pm most days and hit a bit of a wall so I don’t think that helped during the race either.

Everyone was really nice and I had some great chats to people put on course.

There was free alcohol free beers and food at the finish line.

I had to travel about 90mins back to the town I was staying in with Jen so was pretty tired by the time I got home.

We went to a nice restaurant to celebrate me finishing and Jens conference finishing.


  • Mt Royal - Sunday 2nd July

  • Barrington Top - Sunday 16th July



  • Sunday Runs - All welcome (Mount Royal)

  • UTMB Training Sessions


Question/s for a future pod - focusing on the gym; can you explain the purpose of the different types of workouts and exercises? i.e. Mondays are different to Wednesday's sessions and the sessions are broken down into different focusses.

  • Stability

  • Strength

  • Range of Motion

  • Activation

Loading Muscles differently

  • Activating tendons

  • Switching on muscles

  • Firing muscles differently - (Power - Speed) fast switch and (Aerobic) low switch

  • Overloading muscles differently

  • Loading muscles that simulate the same muscles you will be using when running

  • Specific to climbing - ascending and descending - stairs - sand - hiking

  • Repetitive use / patterns


  • Technique - How you do the exercises

  • Making sure your switching on the right muscles

  • Alignment - even loading

  • Posture - the whole body

When incorporating strength training into a runner's training program, it can be beneficial to structure it into different phases to address specific goals and periods of the training cycle. Here are different strength phases for runners:

  1. Foundation Phase:

    • Duration: 4-6 weeks (pre-season or early base training)

    • Focus: Establishing a foundation of overall strength and stability

    • Exercises: Full-body strength workouts that target major muscle groups, including squats, deadlifts, lunges, planks, and core exercises.

    • Goals: Enhance general strength, improve stability, and address muscle imbalances.

  1. Strength and Power Phase:

    • Duration: 4-6 weeks (mid to late base training)

    • Focus: Building strength, power, and explosiveness

    • Exercises: Incorporate more plyometric exercises, explosive movements, and exercises with increased resistance or weight, such as jump squats, box jumps, power cleans, kettlebell swings, and medicine ball throws.

    • Goals: Develop power, improve running economy, enhance neuromuscular coordination, and increase muscular strength.

  1. Specificity Phase:

    • Duration: 4-6 weeks (late base training to early race-specific phase)

    • Focus: Transferring strength gains to running-specific movements

    • Exercises: Implement exercises that mimic running-specific movements and target muscles used during running, such as single-leg squats, step-ups, calf raises, lateral lunges, and running-specific drills.

    • Goals: Improve running-specific strength, enhance muscular endurance, and reinforce proper running mechanics.

  1. Maintenance Phase:

    • Duration: Throughout the training cycle (maintenance phase or during heavy race training)

    • Focus: Maintaining strength gains while prioritizing running workouts

    • Exercises: Reduce the frequency or intensity of strength workouts but maintain some level of strength training with a focus on maintaining stability, mobility, and muscle balance.

    • Goals: Prevent strength loss, injury prevention, and support overall performance during the demanding race training period.

It's important to note that these phases are general guidelines, and the duration and timing of each phase can vary depending on the individual runner's goals, training cycle, and specific needs. It's recommended to work with a coach or a qualified strength and conditioning professional who can tailor a strength program to your specific needs and integrate it effectively into your overall training plan.

Remember to always prioritize proper form and technique, gradually progress the intensity and volume of the exercises, and listen to your body for optimal results.


  • Next week - post questions in Messenger or FB page

5 QF’s WITH BENN (quick facts) SHANE BOOBY

Favourite Race Experience?

1st Ultra - ETR50 in 2020

Huge learning experience……Pacing, Nutrition, Gear. Went out too hard early with all the excitement and energy of 1st ultra. Meant I wasn't getting enough fuel through and by the end of the 1st lap, I started to run out of energy. Made for a very slow climb back up the mountain on the 2nd lap. Another big lesson was be prepared for all outcomes. Went in thinking a time of 7-9hrs was very achievable. So didn’t contemplate running in the dark. Pulled the torch out with 5k to go and I must have left it on when checking pre-race…dead flat! No spare. Ran the last 5k by moonlight!

Race you want to do?

UTMB OCC in just over 2mths!

Lots on the list…Kunyani in Tassie. Love to do a multi-day like Larapinta or Cape Wrath Ultra in Scotland!

Best Learning and Running / Training Tip?

Slightly left field tip for feet management I picked up from our guide while doing Kokoda Trek. For general blister presentation and foot care. I apply a babies barrier cream like Bepanthan or Sudo-Crème to my feet. Worked on Kokoda and every Ultra! Also love my Injinji toe socks!!

Favourite Session of the Week? Anything on the trails!

Fun Fact / Something about you?

Whilst Ultra Trail running is my current sporting endeavor. While living in Dubai, I started to learn to play Gaelic Football & Hurling eventually representing the UAE and winning Gulf Championships for both sports. Great fun with a great community…..which is what I also enjoy about the trail running crew!

  • Thanks for joining me @ Beve with Benn

  • Stay tuned for updates

  • Post your questions and updates on racing

  • Stroke No Limits Coaching - stick to the mantra of my 3 D’s #desire #determination #discipline


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic
bottom of page