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What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Feeling fired up and full of life? Motivated and excited to be on a journey towards achieving something that you will be proud of…

For me it’s keeping myself in shape and having some audacious goals to aim for. More on that in a bit.

Firstly, I have to share with everyone this fact: I love running!

Running is my time-out, thinking time, breathing out time, escape-from-the-usual time, me time, and personal drug of choice.

Nick

As a husband, Dad to twins and business owner, I know exactly what it’s like juggling family life, work, social events, fitness, downtime and sleep.

Running (and regular exercise) truly helps me keep life in balance with a sense of perspective across each day and week.

The body is an unbelievable machine

The body is an unbelievable machine and we are designed to move every day, keeping bones strong, muscles toned, metabolism fired up, energy boosted and positive vibes flowing. That’s the key for me. I always feel so good after a run. Like I can do anything, achieve anything, walk tall and take on the world! Confidence runs through my veins, long after the sweat has dried.

Saying all this, I perform best with some clear goals to work towards. Something to focus on and keep me motivated, especially to get out of bed at 5am in the dark on a Sunday morning after a busy week of clients. The bigger and scarier the goal the better in fact!


This year, I have 4 main goals that are providing equal measures of motivation, excitement and what have I done moments:

  • Oxfam Trailwalker 100km team challenge – June 19-21
  • Pomona King of the Mountain hill climb – July 26
  • Weekly Parkrun with my family – each Saturday 7am
  • Blackall 50km or 100km Trail run – October 17 – still thinking about this one… to run either distance would be a massive personal goal and achievement… watch this space!

I am one quarter of Team No Chafe Neanderthals with Paul, Steve and Brent; together we are going for our 4th Oxfam finish, this year aiming for the truly audacious and frankly scary target of sub 20 hours. To beat our time from 2019, our strategy is simple: less rest and more running! I love this event for so many reasons – it’s a stunning course through the D’Aguilar National Park from Mt Glorious to Mt Coot-tha, the event is very well organised with a great Oxfam team and over 500 volunteers giving up their time to keep the 200 + teams of 4, hydrated, cheered on and safe for 48 continuous hours.

The team element of Oxfam Trailwalker is crucial and a powerful motivator; we train together and compete together, sharing the many highs and lows of such an intense physical and mental experience. These are bonds that will last forever.

My favourite short distance race on the calendar is definitely the Pomona KOM, a 4.2km climb to the summit of Mt Cooroora, a 439 m high volcanic plug in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. A unique event with just 100 places – starters are introduced with a 2 minute warm lap in front of the crowd, this one has really got under my skin. It’s a tough climb though and I normally regret having signed up soon after starting the super steep ascent. Always dreaming of joining the hallowed sub 30 min club, this year – my 6th go – will push me again to the limits of fitness and determination and (especially on the descent) nerves.

Parkrun is our new family bonding ritual.

Nick

Each Saturday at 7am, unless otherwise busy or if there is a storm (we have managed 5 weeks out of 8 so far in 2020), you will find the Ellson family gathered at our local parkrun course in Bunyaville (Brisbane), with around 100 other runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels. Parkrun events are free to sign up and take part and organised by local volunteers. The majority take place on local roads or pathways; this one, however, is definitely an off-road event, following a trail through the bush – and, with all the recent rain, there is even a creek crossing at around halfway as an extra test of resilience!

Although finishing at different times, we all return home from Parkrun with our own stories, feeling that great post-race buzz of energy, pride and achievement. Bea and Georgina – age 9 – even keep a record of their times up on the fridge and are determined to go quicker each week. With a current PB of 24:38 (and 5th out of 112 last week) my goal this year is 1st or 2nd place and to go under 22 mins. It’s definitely another audacious target, but one that will keep me focused and motivated to work hard each week.


Overall then, these events (I recommend signing up and paying as soon as you make the commitment) give me the focus and structure for the whole year ahead. Each weekend I aim for 1 long run (15-20km plus), a shorter and quicker 5-10km session mid-week, and a 30 minute all over (arms, legs and core) strength/ resistance workout once a week.

I am also mindful and motivated to eat a healthy wholefood diet, keep up my hydration levels and get to bed early whenever I can. Sleep is without doubt the golden chain and definitely one of nature’s best medicines. Daytime rest and down time is also super important to ensure we are not in a constant state of flight or fight.

So – I have set myself a super challenging routine this year, but I know it’s a realistic plan and one I can achieve with plenty of dedication and determination, support from my family, and accountability from my training buddies.

What about you?

What would you like to achieve in 2020?

Maybe you want to walk 5km in under 50 mins, run 5km without stopping, lose 10kgs (0.5 -1kg a week is realistic), improve your core strength, eat less takeaway food, sleep better?

Small steps really do make a big difference over weeks and months. It’s all about setting a realistic goal, following a simple plan, believing in yourself and smiling along the way!

Nick
park running

Whatever your goal, it’s never too late to start.


If I can help please do give me a shout.

Start TODAY with our 21 Day Reboot, a 3 week program that is simple, achievable and online.

To help you build an even more solid foundation this year, our next 12 Week Transformation program starts on Monday 30 March.  Be part of a supportive group with daily feedback, recipes, photos and group encouragement. 

Good luck and have fun!


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