…when your goals keep changing Written by: bianca drieberg, about that trip

By now we’re used to plans changing. No one likes it, but we’ve all had some practise in this area over the past year.

The challenge we have as runners is how do you then train for an event when the goal posts keep changing? It’s an interesting question, and probably a tell-tale sign that distance and time are your main measures of success. This could be based on previous race experiences or just a number you want to beat or even ticking off the race destination itself. These are patterns that have become engrained in runners and we have an opportunity now to try something new and see how it fits!

We’ve all been there and learned the hard lesson of “good days and bad days” when it comes to running, and if you change the goal of what you are running for, uncertain times, conditions and situations can be easier to manage.

Let’s take external factors, for example. If you train for changing conditions, you’ll end up committing to hot or wet weather, or hilly terrain over the standard flat road race. So, the skills you need to develop for that goal are different – perhaps more challenging, and arguably more rewarding when you train to conquer them. Who knows, it might even open new doors for races you may not have considered before. Maybe you were busy chasing international goals before that you hadn’t noticed equally challenging races like Great Ocean Road marathon and half marathon, right here in your own backyard of Victoria. It’s a perfect combo of hills, scenery, unpredictable May weather and town to town distances rather than perfectly sign posted kilometre marks with huge crowd support. It has a community feel and it’s pretty grounding to let go of the numbers and just run for the experience you’ve trained for.

Or maybe, just maybe, God forbid, you decide to run a shorter distance for speed instead of distance, and speed work, cross training and mobility become your next focus? Very few of us can say we expected to see what was coming in recent times, so maybe now is the perfect time to take control and shake things up ourselves – starting with being open to changing your running goals.

If you’re looking for what’s next – the Australian Outback Marathon – held on the last Saturday of July every year – and there’s something for everyone!

And having a marathon mindset.
Written by: bianca drieberg, about that trip

Hey, good news! The new year is the perfect time to restart. We get to shake off the last year, even previous habits, and start fresh

For experienced runners, albeit potentially void of races in more recent times, it’s important to remember the long-term mindset that you have as a runner. Distance runners have this in spades.

42.2kms doesn’t come easily – neither does 10km, for that matter! And both types of runners know that their goal isn’t going to happen all at once. They need to break down their large goals into bite sized chunks. And it starts with training – for the burn in the legs. The increase in heart rate. It’s a practice! And one you can start today, even if you don’t have a race picked out for the year yet.

And here’s your reminder – you already have the mental endurance required for starting early and navigating whatever pops up. Arguably more so after the year that was. Here’s to tapping back into running for a reason that renews your motivation this year.
Think about what is most important to you right now and why.

Be honest with yourself because a good goal is one that will motivate you. Set a goal that you know you’ll pursue relentlessly because you want to. Also, make sure that your goal is personal, with an emotional connection that will help sustain you when the going gets tough. Because inevitably it will, but there’s always the glory of what’s on the other side of it.

Travelling Fit are delighted to announce that we are the official travel company for the great ocean road running festival.

Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, a beautiful and unique area of Victoria, Australia on the Southern Ocean, is home to one of the world’s most visually spectacular running events, the Great Ocean Road Running Festival

Travelling Fit, as the Official Travel Partner for this amazing event, has been able to secure some of the very best accommodation for the event, right at the start line in beautiful Lorne. Our packages include your race entry so everything you need is taken care of.

You can check out the various options by clicking on the appropriate link at the bottom of this article

Each year that this event has been conducted, it has attracted many athletes from around the world, all eager to participate in this challenging and pristine environment.

The Great Ocean Road is an icon in Australia and is renowned throughout the world for its beauty and panoramic views of the Southern Ocean. It has a colourful history surrounding its construction and ultimate destinations along the coastline.

Anyone travelling along this road by car would not be able to experience the absolute serenity and at times the wilderness experience that you as a runner can. As you run along this course, with no traffic at all, you can almost hear the waves calling your name.

The only sound you will hear is the soft thud of footsteps from your fellow competitors.

Starting in Lorne, a seaside town on Louttit Bay in Victoria, the Marathon course winds its way along the Great Ocean Road to the finishing line in Apollo Bay.

With 7 different events to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone

60km Ultra Marathon
44km Marathon
23km Half Marathon
14km Paradise Run
6km Fun Run
1.5km Kids Gallop
Great Ocean Road Walk

Last weekend’s Marathon Des Sables training camp, set up by Travelling Fit, was certainly an eye opener and a valuable experience for those running in this year’s event which is just over 12 weeks away.

On Saturday we hit the beach sand for 32kms from Stockton Beach to Anna Bay, NSW. The highest tide was at 2pm which for some was smack bang in the middle of the run in the heat of the day, where they were forced to move up the beach and run on soft sand for several kms. We then backed it up the following day with 8kms of huge sand dunes and a gentle jog back along the beach before a well-earned splash in the ocean.

Those who attended were educated on how to manage food, water and mental state out in the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Freeze dried food was cooked and trialled over a miniature stove… an interesting experience in itself!

There is no doubt that those about to challenge themselves to the Marathon des Sables will return with many incredible stories and inspire so many around them. Enjoy the Journey!

The Story of Travelling Fit

Running marathons takes guts and tenacity and a strong belief in yourself – or the encouragement of someone who has done it, and knows that you can too. Mari-Mar Walton, founder and managing director of Travelling Fit, is one of those people but at 19 she wasn’t ‘travelling fit’ and she had no idea what was involved in running distances when a friend suggested they enter the Sydney City to Surf run.

“I finished but I had no training and it took three months before I could walk properly,” she laughed.

Something attracted her though because when she saw ads for the next City to Surf encouraging people to train and get ready, she pulled on her Asics shoes and got into it. She’s been running ever since, with more than 30 marathons and ultra races, plus a sprinkling of triathlons and ironman competitions just for good measure. Running became a passion alongside her other love, travelling.

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The Second Year we sold Packages to the Great Wall Marathon, 2002

“I find running a natural endorphin stimulator. I think clearer and feel better.”

Travelling Fit was still an ungerminated seed though. She worked in a travel agency for a long time before deciding that personal training was going to be her career. She graduated and ran her own business training others but still loved the travel side so: “kind of put the two together.”

“I had a gut feeling it was going to work. It started with me being stubborn and knowing it was going to work.”

But it wasn’t until a couple of years down the track of Travelling Fit being a ‘hobby’ side-line run from a bedroom at home, to her personal training, that she got serious. Personal training wasn’t where she wanted to be, so she jumped in, Asics and all.

She laughs when she looks back at the early days from 2001 when her running/travel package client list for the year was handwritten on one page. One of her early year objectives was to take 100 clients on overseas Travelling Fit marathon packages. They now take thousands. “We have grown way beyond our expectations,” Mari-Mar said. She now runs the business with husband, Michael who is also race director of the Australian Outback Marathon, and 10 staff.

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Very Early in Business

“It was never about money though.”

In the very early days they lost money but Mari-Mar’s ‘gut feeling’ that it would work, carried her through.

“It was all about passion; it came from the heart and understanding the needs of our clients.”

And the business has not only grown, but grown up to be a market force in the world of marathon running and travel.

Travelling Fit is now focusing on the finer details of creating even better service for clients; communicating with them every step of the process and at many of the events, meeting them in person and giving them personal encouragement. They are also planning to offer more flights and tours.
Mari-Mar likes to stay grounded and there for the people who are sometimes facing the biggest challenge and goals of their lives. She has run the 250km Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara in southern Morocco three times but will be running it again this year to be in tune with her clients.

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Expo’s Continue to Keep us in the game

“The best thing is to see everyone cross the finish line each day.”

She has been able to personally encourage people to keep going when they don’t feel they have what it takes, and to see the result when they finally achieve what they thought wasn’t possible, is something that keeps fueling her work at Travelling Fit.

“You push the running barriers and I relate that to life in general. Don’t give up. It is life changing.”

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Encouraging people to reach their goals is something Mari-Mar does from her own experience

One of the most satisfying aspects of having started Travelling Fit for Mari-Mar is seeing the inspiration to live more healthily generated in the staff. They need to be motivated and energetic to be employed by the company but as they catch the passion, they get inspired and even more involved in exercise and sport.

She deliberately chose offices for the New South Wales-based business opposite the beach even though they were more expensive, because having access to the outdoors and an active lifestyle was part of the business.

Travelling Fit sells marathon packages to about 30 events worldwide on all the continents including Antarctica.

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Inspired by the energy of Travelling Fit and the beach across from the office.

“Creating dreams for people really touches me. We are creating that ‘wow’ factor and we aim to give service above and beyond.”

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