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Sparta Chicks Radio: Mindset | Confidence | Sport | Women

Jen Brown - Running and Triathlon Coach, Author and Mindset Coach for Women SpartaChicks Radio brings inspiring stories coupled with practical, tried-and-tested-in-the-real-world advice from successful women in sport, business and life. Jen Brown from Sparta Chicks Radio is a Running and Triathlon Coach and Writer. The goal of Sparta Chicks Radio is to share inspiring stories coupled with practical, tried-and-tested-in-the-real-world advice from successful women in all walks of life about the realities of fear, self-doubt, courage, bravery, success and living life on your terms. From world class athletes, brilliant business minds to everyday women undertaking epic adventures, Sparta Chicks Radio will help you tap into your inner strength, courage, bravery and determination so you can chase your dreams and live a more fulfilling life on your terms. Find out more at www.spartachicks.com
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Sparta Chicks Radio: Mindset | Confidence | Sport | Women
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Jun 16, 2019

Karen Barrett has a remarkable story which reinforces for me of the power of choice and the power of self-belief.

A talented runner as a child, Karen had an offer to train at the Australian Institute of Sport. But was forced to turn it down due to her difficult family circumstances.

Fast forward a few years and she had become “virtually homeless” and had developed a 2-pack-a day (and more on the weekends) smoking habit.

Then in her early 40s, she decided it was time to quit. She started walking her dogs daily and built up to running 5km - in her steel capped work boots no less - before she discovered and bought her first pair of running shoes as an adult.

That transformation started in 2009, and she hasn’t looked back.

Since then she’s gone onto win and set the women’s course record for the Buffalo Stampede Grand Slam (a series of races in the Victorian Alps over 3 days) and this year, in 2019 she became the first woman ever to finish the Down Under 135, a 135mi/217km race described as Australia’s “gnarliest” foot race.

Oh and I should mention - she was 3rd overall too!

In this conversation Karen shares why trail running is so important to her, why she sets out to win any race she enters (and where that confidence comes from), the extensive mental preparation she puts into her races, and how much sleep she got during the 49 hours it took her to finish the Down Under 135 (you’ll be amazed!)

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Karen on Instagram: instagram.com/karen_barrett_tail.runner/

Jun 9, 2019

Settle in and buckle up; this is a fun, deep, long and laughter filled episode of Sparta Chicks Radio.

Tiffany Winchester is an ultra-endurance cyclist, with a love of doughnuts, who is currently preparing to ride the Paris-Brest-Paris; an iconic 1,200km endurance cycling event in France later this year.

Tiff finished her first bike race as a child and then took a “25 year rest week” from almost all forms of exercise.

It wasn’t until her 30s that she started walking and “procrasta-hiking” (as she calls it) as a way to clear her head and clarify her thoughts while working on her PhD.

After a brief (yet deep) love affair with trail running, Tiff was introduced to the world of cycling 3 years ago - and hated it at first!

Ultimately, she has since found her ‘happy place’ in the incredibly gruelling world of ultra-endurance cycling.

In this conversation, Tiff and I discuss:

- why she had to stop racing for mental health reasons,

- why she didn’t consider herself a ‘cyclist’ until after her first 1,200km ride, and

- the impact social media had on her perception of herself as a cyclist and how it fed her sense of feeling like an Imposter.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Tiff on Instagram: Instagram.com/tiffo012

Jun 2, 2019

I could fill a page just listing Samantha Gash’s achievements.

In 2010, and in her first ultramarathon, Sam became the first female and youngest person to complete the Racing the Planet 4 Deserts Grand Slam, running 4 ultra marathons across the driest, windiest, hottest and coldest deserts on Earth.

That was followed in 2011 by a 222km non-stop race through the Indian Himalayas.

It was during that run across the Himalayas that Sam decided to use her running for a greater purpose.

Since then, she’s run 379km solo, non-stop across the Simpson Desert in Australia as well as the length of South Africa’s Freedom Trail (almost 2,000km) to raise funds and awareness for the work of Save the Children.

Then in 2016, as an ambassador for World Vision, Sam set out on her most ambitious project to date; running across India.

Over 76 days, she ran 3,253km from the west to the east of India and, in the process, raised close to $200,000 to fund 6 programs to improve access to education for children in India.

In this conversation, Sam and I discuss:

- the tipping point when Sam transitioned from running for herself to running for others,

- what inspired the ‘Run India’ project as well as the impact it had on her,

- why she cringes at the word 'inspiration’,

- her experience with the Imposter Complex,

- the power of (and what it means to be) truly committed to a goal.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Sam on Instagram: instagram.com/samanthagash/

May 26, 2019

Sarah Anne Evans and Pippa Lyon who are both members of the Veloroos; an Australian non-professional women’s cycling team.

This is Sarah Anne’s second time on the podcast. She joined me with her Veloroos teammate Julie Ann Hazlett in July 2017 to talk about winning their category at the 5,000km Race Across American in 2015 (you can find that conversation here).

In 2019, Sarah Anne and Julie Anne, together with a third team member, Pippa Lyon (who you’ll meet today on the podcast for the first time) are about to tackle their hardest challenge to date.

The ladies have joined an international women’s cycling team called the InternationElles for an ambitious project.

Together with a female women’s cycling team, the InternationElles will ride every stage of the 2019 Tour de France, one day ahead of the men’s professional race.

So basically, yes, they are riding the Tour de France!

It’s a journey of 3,640km over 21 stages, which works out at roughly 1200km of cycling per week - for 3 weeks!

And, if that’s not hard enough, the route chosen for this year’s Tour de France has been described as the mountainous in the 106 year history of the race!

The reason: to raise the profile of women in cycling and to fight for equality in the sport. The biggest cycling race in the world has no female representation. The InternationElles are hoping to be part of the push to change that!

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow the InternationElles on Instagram: instagram.com/lucy_bartholomew 

May 19, 2019

How does ocean surf ski paddling figure into one woman’s version of a mid-life crisis?

We ask Quona Ross Atkinson on Sparta Chicks Radio this week!

Quona grew up on a cattle station in North Queensland and started competing in rodeos, camp drafting and show riding from the time she was 3.

An extensive career in barrel racing followed before she took up adventure racing in her 40s.

Fast forward to 2019 and after just 5 years in the sport of ocean surf ski paddling, she’s about to compete in the famous 52km Molokai Challenge (considered the hardest ski paddle race in the world) as well representing Australia for the first time at the age of 51 at the Ocean Racing World Championships.

What’s incredible about Quona’s story is that she is a FIFO worker (‘fly in, fly out’), so for 2 weeks every month, she works 800km from the ocean!

Plus with 2 sons and a husband who is deployed overseas for 6 months at a time, she somehow manages to find the time to chase her extraordinary goals.

The secret: being truly committed to them!

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

May 5, 2019

Kelli Jackson was in her 40s and an “unassuming middle-aged overweight accountant who smoked” when, at a retreat in Bali, she blurted out that she wanted to ride a unicycle around the world.

That was in 2010, but it wasn’t until she “survived” 2015 that Kelli started pursuing her goal - which included:

  • learning to ride a unicycle (she didn’t know how when she set the goal!), and
  • getting a large tattoo of a unicycle and the date she planned to start her adventure.

Talk about being committed to your goals!

Since then, Kelli has ridden her unicycle the length of Taiwan (430km) and later this month will set out to ride the length of South Korea (635km) and hopefully become the first Westerner to unicycle inside North Korea!

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Kelli on Instagram: instagram.com/1wheelonly

Apr 28, 2019

With a background in social work and after losing her beloved Dad tragically to bowel cancer, it’s hardly surprising Annie Crawford decided she wanted to “make a difference” rather than returning to the paid workforce when she returned to Australia after living in the US for several years.

And she’s made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of Australians ever since.

Annie founded Can Too in 2005, a charity with the goal of creating a healthier and fitter community while also funding innovative cancer research.

To be honest, I always thought of Can Too as a cancer fundraising organisation first and foremost.

But as Annie points out in this conversation, Can Too is dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing and encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone, by committing to an event - perhaps their first 7km, first marathon or first ocean swim - with the support of like-minded people and professional coaches, while raising funds for cancer research.

If you’re in Australia, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the ubiquitous orange singlets worn by runners at most events around the country these days.

Over the last 14 years, over 15,000 people have participated in Can Too programs and raised over $21m for cancer research.

While I was familiar with the work and programs run by Can Too, I wanted to know more about the woman with the vision behind the scenes, so I asked :)

We discuss:

* what inspired Annie to establish Can Too,

* the role running has played in managing her mental health,

* why you need to remember that you can’t die of fear (my new favourite quote!),

* her experience with the Imposter Complex,

And more.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Can Too on Facebook: facebook.com/CanTooRunSwim

Apr 21, 2019

Emily Duggan’s story is a perfect example of why it’s important to share the stories of women in sport.

When Emily was a little girl, she was watching TV one weekend and came across the Supercar motor racing series here in Australia and was instantly hooked.

However Emily, in that moment, also realised there were no women racing and thought it was a “boy’s sport” and put it to the back of her mind (as the saying goes, “you can’t be what you can’t see”).

Thankfully the voice that whispered to Emily that day never disappeared and as soon as she started working, she began saving for her first racing car - and hasn’t looked back since.

In 2016, Emily became the 1st female driver to race in the V8 Touring Car Series here in Australia and now in 2019 is racing in the Super3 series (which is the 3rd tier in the Supercar series here).

And sometime soon, I know we’ll see Emily line up on the start of the iconic Bathurst 1000 race (a race I’ve promised to watch, for the first time ever, when she does!).

Emily shares her story with me on Sparta Chicks Radio this week.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Emily on Instagram: instagram.com/emilyduggan1

Apr 14, 2019

In November 2013, Renee Kiley joined friends to watch the Noosa Triathlon. And life hasn’t been the same since.

At the time Renee was an overweight, unhealthy, pack-a-day smoker.

Yet the race reignited Renee’s childhood love of competitive sport. And despite not having ridden a bike or swum laps since she was a kid, Renee set a goal to compete in the Noosa Triathlon the following year.

She did that, and more.

In March 2014, Renee lined up at the start of her very first triathlon; a Sprint distance triathlon.

And less than 3 1/2 years later, Renee raced for the first time as a professional triathlete. 

Many people involved in endurance sports have undergone dramatic transformations; from losing weight, quitting smoking and overcoming major health issues.

But I was curious how Renee was able to take her performance and achievements to the next level and became a professional athlete in a sport she didn’t know even existed only a few years ago.

So I asked :)

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks

Follow Renee on Instagram: instagram.com/reneekiley_/

Apr 7, 2019

If there is one woman who has had an up-close-and-personal relationship with fear, it’s Kristen Ulmer.

At 20, Kristen was skiing for the love of it and in jeans.

By 23, she was on the US moguls ski team, starred in the first of 20 extreme skiing movies and was named the ski media as best woman big mountain extreme skier in the world (a ‘title’ she held for 12 years).

This is a woman who came face to face with fear, in life-and-death situations, regularly and she developed a very intimate relationship with it.

However it was only towards the end of her career, as injuries, illness and PTSD took their toll, she began to realise her relationship with fear wasn’t healthy and that it has caused or contributed to many of these problems.

And so she began an in-depth study and obsession with fear.

Fast forward to now and she’s the author of a book called 'The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What To Do Instead'.

The premise behind it is that conquering, mastering, and trying to overcome fear doesn’t work and instead, we need to learn to embrace our fear and listen to it (rather than trying to ignore it or quieten it down).

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Kristen on Instagram: instagram.com/kristen.ulmer/

Mar 31, 2019

I first spoke with Michelle Lee back in July, 2017 when she shared her goal to complete the world’s toughest nautical challenge; the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

A 5,300km / 2900 nautical mile solo, unassisted and self-supported ocean rowing event across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain all the way to Antigua in the Caribbean.

(You can find that conversation here).

In February 2019, Michelle achieved her goal and, in the process, became the first Australian woman to row across an ocean.

Now there’s one key piece of information you need to know; Michelle did not come from a rowing background.

At the time she set the goal, she had never pulled an oar through the water.

In fact, when Michelle pulled out of the dock at the start of the race, she had never rowed in the open ocean (all her training had been confined to inside Sydney Heads). Wow!

So in this week’s episode of Sparta Chicks Radio, Michelle rejoins me to share what’s happened in the last 18 months since we first spoke, as well as how this incredible race unfolded for her.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Michelle on Facebook: facebook.com/FirstAustralianFemale/

Mar 24, 2019

Dr Stacy Sims is an environmental exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist at the University of Waikato in NZ.

She’s an incredible athlete in her own right too, having competed at the Hawaii Ironman in Kona as well as the Xterra (Off-Road Triathlon) World Championships in Maui.

And she’s the author of an important book called Roar. It is a profound book that will challenge everything you thought you knew about training, nutrition, racing and recovery.

At the core of Stacy’s work is the concept that women are not small men.

It seems obvious, I know!

However the majority of sports science research - and a result, the majority of what we understand about the best way to train, eat, drink, race and recover - has been done on men.

Even the common training program structure of 3 weeks of training followed by 1 week of recovery is - you guessed it! - based on research done on men, without any regard for the hormonal changes experienced by women each and every month.

Yet given that every system in our body changes across the month (not just our hormones), it’s hard and frustrating to believe this “shrink it and pink it” approach has also been applied to sports science.

But unfortunately, it has! We’ve been taught to train, eat, drink, race and recover the same way as men!

Stacy and I bust some common myths about how women should train, race, eat and recover in this in-depth conversation.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Stacy on Instagram: instagram.com/drstacysims

Mar 17, 2019

3 months after finishing High School at the age of 18, Jess Fox qualified for the 2012 London Olympics.

She left those Games with a Silver medal and, in hindsight, admits she felt the need to prove herself and to show that her result in London wasn’t a fluke.

Of course, it wasn’t a fluke - in fact, it was just the start of an incredible career!

A 2 x Olympic medalist (Jess won Bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics), Jess has also won 7 World Titles (and counting!) making her the most successful canoe slalom paddler - male or female - in the history of the sport.

And she’s on Sparta Chicks Radio this week!

We discuss:

- how Jess got into the sport (given she initially thought it was “uncool”)

- the power of writing down your goals and seeing them on a daily basis,

- why you should welcome conditions that aren’t ideal in training, and

- her experience with the Imposter Complex, especially after the London Olympics

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Jess on Instagram: instagram.com/jessfox94

Mar 10, 2019

Lucy Gossage finished last in a cross country race when she was 13 or 14.

And while she didn’t realise it at the time, she now recognises that a fear of failure held her back from participating in any competitive sport until she was talked into doing her 1st triathlon at the age of 26.

Fast forward a few years, she’s now an oncology doctor and former professional triathlete who won 13 x Ironman Championships throughout her career.

Lucy has now returned to working as an oncology doctor part-time while using her available time to chase new experiences outside her comfort zone (like her recent race at Patagonman) while using her platform to drive exercise-related initiatives for cancer patients and thrivers.

In this conversation, we discuss the fear of failure, how suffering is a choice for athletes and the Imposter Complex.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Lucy on Instagram: instagram.com/lucygossage/

Mar 3, 2019

Mel joined me on the podcast way back in episode 14 to share her experience of becoming only the 2nd woman ever to complete the Epic 5 - a race consisting of 5 Ironman-distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 5 days (you can find that conversation here).

This week, Mel returns to the podcast to share her experience of competing at the Ultraman World Championships on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018.

Ultraman is a 3 day triathlon, consisting of a 10km swim, 420km riding and an 84km run.

#spoileralert Mel missed the cut-off on Day 2 by 8 minutes (after 12 hours of racing).

Some in the same situation might describe this DNF as a ‘failure’. However, Mel views it as a battle she lost, rather than a ‘failure’.

In this fun conversation, we discuss:

- what her experience at the Epic 5 means to her now (almost 2 years down the track) and how it’s changed how she sees herself,

- her advice to women who struggle with their athletic identity and naming and claiming who and what they are,

- how she found her way through an intense period of experiencing the Imposter Complex in the lead-up to the World Championships,

- how the race at the Ultraman World Championships unfolded including the point at which she realised she may not make the cut-off on day 2,

- why she describes the race as a battle she lost (as opposed to a ‘failure’)

- the incredible event she’s decided to tackle next, and

- her experience of being on the Rich Roll podcast and whether her pesky Imposter showed up too.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Mel on Instagram: instagram.com/rangamel/

Feb 24, 2019

Katee Pedicini’s work around hormones and their impact on our health, happiness and performance has been pivotal for many women, myself included.

Katee is the founder of Holistic Endurance and is based in Melbourne. She’s a triathlon coach and self-confessed hormone nerd who specialises in managing fatigue, stress and hormones to achieve not only performance but optimal health and happiness.

And I can hand-on-heart say Katee and her work has changed my life.

Katee has been on the podcast in both 2017 and 2018.

And if you haven’t listened to either conversation (or perhaps you haven’t heard them recently) I’d encourage you to go back and listen to them first as this episode is the 3rd part of a series, and the first 2 conversations will lay the foundations for what we talk about today.

(You can find the previous episodes here and here).

This time, we dive into the importance of recovery and rejuvenation.

Now on the face of it, it may not seem a ‘sexy’ topic. But the importance of this can’t be understated.

You can’t have performance improvements - you can’t get fitter, faster or stronger - without recovery and rejuvenation.

And you certainly can’t have happy hormones, weight, mood and energy balance without it.

Katee has also developed a Rejuvenation Protocol  - which she shares in this conversation - which allows you to track and quantify, via a point score system, your recovery and rejuvenation (and give yourself some bragging rights in the process).

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Katee on Instagram: instagram.com/holisticendurance/

Feb 17, 2019

This week, Sparta Chicks Radio celebrates its 2nd birthday (or anniversary).

And there is no-one I’d rather share that celebration with than this week’s return guest, Lucy Barnard!

Lucy is attempting to become the 1st woman to walk the length of the world.

She set off in February 2017 from Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina to walk all the way to Barrow, Alaska; a journey of 30,000km /20,000mi across 15 countries that will take her about 5 years.

Yes, years.

Lucy was first on the podcast back in March, 2018 (you can find that episode here).

And in preparing to speak to Lucy for that episode, I realised we share a unique connection; we both started our respective journeys - Lucy started walking and I published the first podcast - on the very same day in 2017.

That conversation turned into our first anniversary/birthday celebration and we agreed to catch up for a yearly update throughout her expedition.

In this episode, we cover everything that has happened during the 2nd year of Lucy’s expedition, including her experience of crossing the Atacama Desert (the oldest, driest and hottest place on Earth).

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Lucy on Instagram: instagram.com/tanglesandtail/

Feb 10, 2019

Julie Howle is a talented triathlete and surgical oncologist.

She's currently the Head of the Melanoma and Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Groups at Westmead Hospital here in Sydney and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney.

Julie is also an Age Group World Champion triathlete, having won her AG at the ITU Long Distance World Championships in 2017. And she's a 2x finisher for the Hawaii Ironman in Kona (in 2017 and 2018).

Plus she’s someone who openly admits that her experience of changing degrees at University “laid the foundation for a lifetime of the imposter syndrome”.

Julie and I discuss:

- how being resilient and focusing on her goals has helped her navigate her experience with the Imposter Complex,

- how the words “World Champion” sit with her,

- why she took almost 10 years from her first triathlon to do her first Ironman,

- why being sick in the week leading up to her 1st Hawaii Ironman at Kona was a good thing,

- how she’s realised getting stuck in ‘comparison’ ruins her enjoyment of the sport,

- sow she (as a melanoma specialist living here in Australia, a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer) protects her skin from the sun while training and racing, and

- what you need to do to protect and monitor your skin.

Julie is such a softly spoken, humble and genuinely lovely woman. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here https://www.spartachicks.com/radio/

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks

Feb 3, 2019

Steph Lowe is a triathlete, Sports Nutritionist and the Founder of the Natural Nutritionist.

Steph was first on the podcast in August, 2018 (episode #69) where we had a wide-ranging discussion about nutrition - specifically the benefits of adopting an LCHF lifestyle on everything from your hormones, weight, PMS, mood, immune system, gut health and even 3:30itis.

I asked Steph to return to the show so we could ‘deep dive’ into one specific health issue that affects millions of women; Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and the impact your diet and nutrition can have (both in contributing to the disease and reversing it).

If you don’t have PCOS, I'd encourage you to keep listening.

Our discussion around PCOS is really part of a broader discussion around the topics of hormones and menstrual cycles and the impact of nutrition, stress, exercise, supplements, the contraceptive pill (amongst other things) on it.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Steph on Instagram: instagram.com/thenaturalnutritionist/ 

Jan 27, 2019

Alyssa Godesky is most well-known these days for being a professional triathlete and the co-host of the popular Ironwomen podcast.

What isn’t well known is that she was an ultra marathon runner and trail runner, long before she moved into the world of triathlons.

In 2018, Alyssa returned to her trail running roots and set out on a mission to break the Fastest Known Time (or FKT) on the Vermont Long Trail in the United States, a 273mi / 440km trail which traverses the State of Vermont from north to south.

Now if you saw the film ‘Finding Traction’ on Netflix last year, you know more about the Vermont Long Trail than you might think...

That film follows legendary trail runner, Nikki Kimball, on her attempt to break the (men’s) record on the Vermont Long Trail.

#spoileralert Nikki misses the men’s record but smashes the women’s record.

It turns out that watching ‘Finding Traction’ lit the spark in Alyssa to wonder if she could do it.

Fast forward a few years and in 2018 (#spoileralert), Alyssa set a new women’s record of 5 days, 2 hours & 37min, taking over 5 hours off Nikki’s record!

In this conversation we discuss:

- the self-doubt and fear of failure that nearly stopped the project before she’d even started,

- the strategies she used to avoid slipping into comparison with Nikki (who is, on paper, by far the more talented and experienced runner),

- the sleep deprivation she experienced (after having only 17 hours of sleep in 5 days), and

- the (surprising) impact the run (and the stress from it) had on her body, hormonally.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks

Follow Alyssa on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alyssagodesky/

Jan 20, 2019

At 20, Jana Pittman became the Commonwealth Games Champion in the gruelling 400m Hurdles event and, at 21, the World Champion.

By the end of her athletics career, she’d competed at 2 Olympic Games, won 2 x World Championships and 4 x Commonwealth Games Gold medals.

Then in a transition that surprised many people, she switched sports!

She took up the bobsled and represented Australia at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, becoming the 1st able-bodied Australian woman to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

Now, she’s finally pursuing her childhood ambition to become a doctor - not in sport’s medicine however but as a gynecologist (or “vagina doctor” to use her words).

In between all of that, she’s experienced and survived toxic relationships, a 13 year battle with bulimia and disordered eating, miscarriages, IVF, breast implants, struggles with breastfeeding and retirement as well as a cervical cancer scare - all of which is documented in her real, raw and vulnerable autobiography.

In this conversation, we discuss everything from how she started running as a way to spend time with her Dad, why she describes the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as one of the highlights of her career as well as busting stigmas around women’s health and the symptoms you should talk to your doctor about.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks

Follow Jana on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janapittman400/ 

Jan 13, 2019

An active, sporty child, it wasn’t until Kate was in her late 20s that she discovered mountain biking and quickly fell in love with both the physical demands of the sport, but also the strong technical and strategic elements of it.

In 2010, Kate lined up at the start of her first race on her entry level bike, complete with bell and reflectors; it also happened to be a mixed pairs team in a 24 hour mountain bike.

Her team won their category and a love affair with 24 hour racing was born.

She’s now the 2x Australian Champion and has competed at 5 World Championships, finishing inside the top 5 in every year since 2014.

In this conversation, we discuss:

- the mind games and self-doubt that troubled her early career,

- her frustration at being ‘so close but so far’ after finishing in the Top 5 at the World Championships every year for the last 4 years,

- the constant struggle between worrying about things you can control vs things you can’t (and how when you wholeheartedly let go of concern over the things you can’t control, you can not only produce your best race but be deeply proud of it),

- why she relishes the challenge of proving people wrong,

- the power of choice and the importance of being aware of how you are directing your energy,

- her experience with the Imposter Complex, especially when wearing the green and gold Australian Champion jersey for the first time, and

- whether she has any sense of ‘unfinished business’ after her performance at the World Championship in Scotland in 2018.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Kate on Instagram: instagram.com/katepenglase_mtb/ 

Jan 6, 2019

Perhaps the most powerful question you can ask yourself is - what do I need?

There is no-one better equipped to help us answer that question than Kemi Nekvapil.

Kemi is, quite simply, a force of nature.

A pioneer in the raw food movement in Australia, Kemi is now an accredited executive and personal coach.

She’s committed to helping women like you and I change how we feel about ourselves and how we express ourselves, so we can set boundaries and pursue what we want from life, without guilt or apology.

She’s also a powerful speaker as those who attended Sparta Chicks Unleashed 2018 will attest.

Plus she’s a trail and ultra marathon runner. Kemi has completed 11 x marathon distances races, plus a 100km race, the Surf Coast Century, in 2016. So she ‘gets’ us!

Kemi was my ‘secret weapon’ during 2018.  She was my coach for 6 months throughout the year and I can hand-on-heart say Sparta Chicks Unleashed would not have happened if not for her support.

In this conversation we discuss:

- what an underwear shopping trip at 13 with her fifth set of foster parents taught her a powerful lesson about choice,

- how she was able to reach a point of having ‘presence’ and unshakeable confidence,

- the powerful realisation that led her into executive and personal coaching,

- how she discovered running and what trail running gives her,

- whether our difficulties with asking for help is the reason so many women (myself included) arrive in our 30s and 40s and realise we’ve lost a bit of ourselves and we don’t know who we are or what we like anymore,

- how setting boundaries and asking for what you need in a clean and clear way empowers other people to do the same,

- what Kemi would like you to do in 2019 in order to thrive (and also why you’re also allowed to pivot once you’ve decided).

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Visit the Sparta Chicks Radio website here 

Follow Sparta Chicks Radio on Facebook: facebook.com/SpartaChicks 

Follow Kemi on Instagram: instagram.com/keminekvapil/

Dec 30, 2018

The #1 most popular episode of Sparta Chicks Radio in 2018 was Rebecca Stone on chronic pain, mountain biking and motherhood.

Rebecca is a busy woman. She’s a midwife, a mum, and someone who loves racing her mountain bike for 24 hours - all while living with fibromyalgia.

In 2010, after 9 months of severe pain which ultimately left her unable to work, drive or walk for more than 5m, Rebecca was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

A chronic condition, fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and sensitivity throughout the body.

There’s no cure and it is difficult to treat.

Getting back on her beloved mountain bike plan was part of Rebecca’s initial treatment plan primarily for the mental health benefits.

In 2017 and 2018 she finished second at the Australian 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships.

And then in October 2018, Rebecca finished 6th at the World 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships in Scotland.

In this conversation, we discuss motherhood as well as living, training and racing with chronic pain. Plus she shares why she thinks she’s a better athlete because of it.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Dec 29, 2018

The 2nd most popular episode of Sparta Chicks Radio in 2018 was Katee Pedicini on structuring your training for hormonal health.

Kate Pedicini has a degree in Exercise Science who specialises in managing fatigue, stress and hormones in endurance athletes to achieve not only athletic performance but optimal health and happiness.

Kate first appeared on the podcast in 2017.

In May 2018 she returned and we dived deeply into two specific issues concerning women’s hormones and health;

- peri-menopause and menopause (and how they impact on your athletic ability, strength, training and racing) and

- why you should take advantage of your natural cycle by structuring your training program around it.

The more I speak with Katee, the more I learn and the more I wish I’d been exposed to this knowledge in my 20s and 30s.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

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