Meet triathlete mum Kate! A busy Mum that seems to ‘fit it all in’. How does she do it? Find out as she shares with us her inspiring story.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a mum of two busy kids – Alex and Adele (4 and almost 3), married to a great husband Mikey. I work full time as a Physio in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. My passion is healthy lifestyle for family, and I love the beach and our National park. I love a bit of competition and definitely love a challenge! I like to pack a lot in to life! And I really enjoy getting out and about in nature with the kids and my hubby Mike.
Can you give us a brief overview of your sporting career?
I was always an active kid growing up playing netball and in swimming club from the age of 6. My sister and I were super competitive and pushed each other along through adolescence although she was always a bit faster than me! I played representative netball, water polo, rowing, nippers – basically whatever I could fit in, I would do.
Looking back, my parents were amazing driving me everywhere for trainings and carnivals. After finishing up uni and moving to Townsville for work I took up running for fitness for netball, and weight loss and I got hooked! Within a few months I felt much healthier and happier and had raced 5ks and 10ks for fun and needed a new goal. So I set about training for a half marathon, which I think is still my favourite distance. Along the way I decided to do some cross training to combat a few over use injuries and quickly got hooked on the idea of triathlons, competing in a sprint event and winning my first ever race.
I have since competed in many sprint and Olympic distance tris, run a dozen or more half marathons and 4 full marathons.
What do you think is the biggest benefit that you get from regular training/exercise and racing?
The biggest benefits from training and regular exercise are the ‘feel good’, calming endorphins which help to give me extra energy and patience in life with my kids and work. I find that I am more organised and efficient in general tasks about the house and work and my thinking is much clearer and always optimistic with a good sweat session to start the day. I feel like I can tackle any problem in life after a good work out and if my kids aren’t in the best mood I am in a great head space to help them through their day.
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Do you think your children have noticed how amazing mum is? Do you think that your lifestyle has had an impact on their understanding of general health an wellbeing at this early age?
I think my kids definitely understand that exercise is ‘the way of life’ in our house and they have always been a part of it since birth. They come to netball games and cheer on at tris and my favourite part is getting their high fives along the run course in tris and long distance events.
Alex competed in a 2k fun run with my husband last year and had a ball even though he got carried part of the way!! I think they think it’s just a normal part of life which is awesome and will hopefully set them up with healthy habits as they grow.
What has changed for you since having children regarding your training / racing regime?
Since having kids I have definitely altered my training work load a lot! The year before I fell pregnant I was ready to race a half ironman and was loving the long weekend 100k plus rides and brick sessions.
It was a bit of a shock to the system knowing I would have a break from competing for a while. I stayed active while pregnant, jogging gently and did lots of yoga and walking through the last trimester. I even did the odd spin class till I couldn’t reach the handle bars on the bike!
My birth plans were not as expected. I had two c-sections – both unplanned! 48 hours of labour with my little Alex and I was hopeful for a VBAC with Adele, but the labour went much the same way from the get go so I opted out earlier the second time around. I was really worried about my recovery initially thinking I would take extra time to heal, but I learnt patience and got back into gentle walking in the mornings pushing the pram and eased my way back into jogging eventually.
I still do daily pelvic floor exercises – whenever it pops in to my head! And I often find myself on the floor in the evenings stretching and doing some gentle core work and body weight exercises. If I slacken off I definitely notice the difference!!
What are some unique ways you have discovered to fit your training in?
My husband and I both enjoy running and tris so we often ‘tag team’ our sessions. We support each other however we can to be active and are a very lucky to be like minded in this way.
I have a great double pram which has done hundreds of kilometres over the last few years – I honestly love it and am so grateful for it as it has allowed me to continue my training whilst the kids happily nap or eat a snack and have a chill out.
Training for my first marathon after having the kids involved jogging with the double pram for a couple of hours. Usually during their joint sleep time at about 12-2.30 or 3. I would load up the underneath with snacks, nappies, towels, drinks and a change of clothes, and stick my headphones in. And sometimes I would specifically park at the shops or beach so we could finish up there and maximise our time.
I loved this time and I look back now and wish I could still have this every day! – it was great as I often would struggle to get Alex and Adele to sleep in their beds, and would then be getting frustrated and stuck inside. We would finish up at the beach or park and the kids would wake and be happy and energised for a play and I would have had my hit of good tunes, fresh air and endorphins! Win win!!
Being back at work full time has made it even more challenging fitting in the training sessions I want to. But I really make sure that I get a quality session every time I get the chance. Gone are the long rides, and in with the wind trainer in the lounge room, with an iPad propped on the tri bars 🙂
Weekend trips to the beach now involve caps and goggles and laps of the bay. Sprint relays on the beach with the kids helps incorporate a speed session here and there.
Mike and I often load the kids into the pram for a starry night run together at the kids bed time. They usually drop off in a few minutes and it’s a great way to have some quality time together to catch up on the day and a bonus work out! It beats getting stuck on the couch for the night! I’m so lucky I have a supportive husband in Mike and have just spent a weekend away playing netball at the country championships – my longest time ever away from the kids.
What are your next goals?
My goals for the next 6 months include a half marathon in a couple of weeks, racing a few sprint distance tris between now and March…. And a half ironman for 2017 could be on the cards. The more the better I say!
Do you have any tips for new mums wanting to start or continue in their chosen sport?
An active mum is a happy healthy mum who will have lots of energy for her kids to help them through the days. I would encourage any mum who is keen on picking up a sport to go for it! Set yourself some short term goals – enter an event and work towards it gradually. Find some other cool mums who love the outdoors too and get out there and get moving!
If you want an extra push along, join a club or group! For me I have a great group of strong active women around me in my netball team and representative association. We help each other on and off the court and a couple of us also do triathlons together!
Create a network of positive vibes around you and you’ll be uplifted! Always be kind to yourself and listen to your body and by putting yourself first and making sure you get what you need for the day, you will be able to help everyone else to be the best they can be too!
Thanks to Katie for this very enjoyable read. With such a positive outlook on life, Katie is a true inspiration to her family, friends and anyone who is lucky enough to meet her. Want to join a team of inspirational Mums. Join our Facebook Group today!