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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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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.

Dec 28, 2018

The 3rd most popular episode of Sparta Chicks Radio in 2018 was my conversation with Nicole Bunyon on fear, self-talk and Running Mum’s Australia (RMA).

Nicole founded RMA in 2013. It’s an Australian wide network and community for mums who love to, or are interested in, running.

While RMA shares many women’s stories, I wanted to turn the tables (and microphone) and Nicole and share her story.

She joined me on the podcast in June to discuss:

- how she started running as a child and why it appealed to her at that age,

- her first marathon,

- how being diagnosed with a melanoma (skin cancer) in 2016 changed her perspective and why it’s so important to trust your gut instinct.

Nicole is also an ambassador for several running events including Ultra Trail Australia so we discuss whether she feels the weight of expectation of others or pressure to perform as a result of her public profile in the sport.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Dec 27, 2018

These days, a Fitness and Sports Counsellor, and Body Positivity Advocate, Leah’s relationship with food and her body wasn't always so, well, positive.

A child who loved sport but who, because she was bigger than the other kids, was very self-conscious of her body. Leah openly admits that, as a result, she always limited the amount of effort she put into her sport (and therefore limited her potential).

It was only with the birth of her daughter in 2012 that Leah's relationship with food, exercise and her body began to shift.

Leah joined me back in February to discuss:

- her relationship with sports and her weight as a child,

- why she started running and how she then got into triathlons,

- how motherhood was a catalyst for her to change her relationship with food, exercise and her body,

- the surprising way her public role and advocacy work impacted on her running and why she stepped away from social media as a result, and

- why it's important for you to identify as and recognise that you are an athlete.

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Dec 26, 2018

The 5th most popular episode of Sparta Chicks Radio in 2018 was Steph Lowe, the Natural Nutritionist, on nutrition, performance and happy hormones.

Steph is a triathlete, Sports Nutritionist and the Founder of the Natural Nutritionist, a business based in Melbourne, Australia dedicated to teaching how easy real food living and performance can be.

The foundation of her approach is a whole foods, lower carb higher fat (or LCHF) lifestyle, which she also describes as JERF (just eat real food).

This conversation ties together with the previous conversations I’ve had with Katee Pedicini on the podcast as nutrition is one of Katee’s key recommendations for developing happy hormones.

In this conversation, we discuss:

- the profound impact removing gluten had on Steph’s physical and mental health,

- why food is medicine,

- the benefits of adopting an LCHF lifestyle (and whether you would experience the same benefits if you are not gluten intolerant),

- the most common tell-tale symptoms a person might have that would benefit from adopting an LCHF lifestyle (listen up if you have 3.30-itis, you get hangry or if you experience cravings),

- the impact of gut health on your hormonal cycle, PMS and immune system,

- the added benefits of adopting an LCHF lifestyle for athletes (including for those who struggle with weight loss despite heavy amounts of training),

- why carb-loading doesn’t make sense and why the intensity of your training should dictate your carb intake (not what stage of training you’re in),

- how to make the transition to an LCHF lifestyle and the ideal time to do it, and

- the benefits of fasting (and how to capitalise on what you’re already doing).

Get the full show notes for the episode here.

Dec 16, 2018

Caroline Buchanan's cycling bio is quite extraordinary.

Not just because she's an 8x World Champion, but also because she has achieved those titles across 2 multiple disciplines within the sport of cycling (3x in BMX and 5x in mountain biking).

She is a 2x Olympian (London in 2012 and Rio in 2016) and has now competed at the World Championships in 4 different cycling events.

Off the bike, Caroline is committed to the next generation of cyclists and to encouraging more girls to get into the sport, including through her latest venture; a children's book series called 'Girls Can B'.

Needless to say, she's a woman of many talents - both on and off the bike!

We could have spent the hour just talking about her cycling career, but I wanted to go deeper than that -- to discover the mindset and mental strategies she uses to manage her fear (in a risky and potentially dangerous sport) so she can perform on the world stage at her best.

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 Caroline on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbuchanan68 

Dec 9, 2018

Lucy was my guest on the podcast back in January, 2018 (episode 45).

In that episode, Lucy shared her background; how she first started running as a way to spend time with her Dad, her first 100km race at 16 through to her victory in 2017 at the 100km Ultra Trail Australia race (also her 21st birthday).

At the time of that episode, Lucy was still getting her head around the news she had secured an entry to the Western States Endurance Run (WSER); not only one of the world’s most prestigious 100mi/160km races, but it would also be Lucy’s first attempt at that distance.

So Lucy returns to Sparta Chicks Radio this week to share how the race, and 2018, unfolded for her — including why she labelled her blog post about the race ‘Show Up, Blow Up, Grow Up’.

Here’s a #spoileralert - Lucy finished 3rd at WSER this year; an extraordinary performance for someone so young, and racing that distance for the first time, against the best in the world.

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/lucy_bartholomew 

Dec 2, 2018

Mel was born into an extremely violent home. Her father was physically abusive towards not only her mother but also to Mel and her sister as well.

Despite her mum eventually leaving her father when she was around 12, Mel was firmly trapped in a cycle of violence.

At High School, Mel found herself the victim of bullying, but also at times an instigator of it.

This continued into her romantic relationships too, where she found herself in several abusive relationships.

That was until, at the age of 18, when she met (as she describes him) ‘one of the good guys’ who introduced her to martial arts, which changed the course of her life.

Mel is now the founder and CEO of the KYUP! Project, a revolutionary self-worth and self-protection program created to break the cycle of violence against women and children.

She has worked with more than 10,000 students and young women around the country and is on a mission to change the devastating statistic that 40% of women over the age of 15 have been affected by domestic or family violence.

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/kyupproject

Nov 25, 2018

In 2011, a doctor told Tania - then aged 42 - that she wouldn’t live to see grandchildren if she didn’t stop smoking and drinking.

That distressing doctor’s visit 7 years ago started a chain reaction of events that has led Tania to become the first woman to run the length of the Hume and Hovell Track - a 453km track from Yass to Albury in regional NSW.

Her time of 8 days, 12 hours and 39 minutes is now recognised as the ‘fastest known time’ (FKT) for a woman over the Hume and Hovell.

So how does a mother and grandmother who only started running a few years ago become an FKT record holder in just 7 years?

That’s what we explore in this 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 Tania on Facebook: Female FKT Hume & Hovell Adventure

Nov 18, 2018

Tanya Geisler is a Leadership Coach from Canada who specialises in working with women regarding their experience with the Imposter Complex.

Tanya was one of my first guests on the podcast; episode #007 back in April 2017.

That conversation was not only one of the most popular episodes from 2017, but it is also the most profoundly impactful episodes.

If you haven't listened to that episode, I'd encourage you to press 'pause' and go back and listen to that episode first (you can find it here). 

Since that episode was published, I have lost count of the times someone has said to me (after listening to that conversation) words to the effect of: “I didn’t know that was a condition I could have”.

Over the last 18 months, Tanya has explored what is on the other side of the Imposter Complex.

Her answer: ‘unshakeable confidence'.

So what does it mean to be ‘unshakeably confident’?

That’s what I ask Tanya in this episode.

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 Tanya on Instagram: instagram.com/tanyageisler/ 

Nov 11, 2018

Jo joined me on the podcast back in episode #38 in November 2017.

In that conversation, we discussed Jo’s background and history, why she started running at 35 and the way in which she’s struggled with comparison, feeling like an imposter as well as how it took years for Jo to call herself an ‘athlete’ and mean it.

If you haven’t listened to that episode, I’d encourage you to listen to episode 38 first.

Almost one year to the day later, Jo and I pick up where we left off and cover the events, and lessons, of the last 12 months.

Since we last spoke, Jo has finished her 1st 100mi (160km) race.

Then, in January this year, Jo discovered she’d won a lottery spot to enter one of the world’s most famous ultramarathons; Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (or UTMB), an incredible 100mi / 160km race that passes through France, Italy and Switzerland as you run around the Mont Blanc massif (yes, you literally run around the mountain!)

Sadly, Jo’s race at UTMB didn’t turn out the way she wanted after she missed a cut-off around the 100km mark.

So what happens when your biggest fear comes true?

That’s what I explore with Jo in this 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 Jo on Instagram: instagram.com/runjojo/

Nov 4, 2018

Kate is a psychologist, mountaineer and ‘free spirit at heart’.

A rock climber and mountaineer (who also served in the Army for 10 years), Kate has a unique perspective on how to manage fear, the thoughts we believe and the stories we tell ourselves.

We dive deep into the topic of fear on this episode and discuss:

- why spending time in nature is such a powerful source of confidence for women (hint: it’s about the facades we carry in our everyday life),

- why fear is actually a good thing, and being fearless is bad,

- the physiological response that occurs in your body when you feel fear - whether that fear is real/immediate or perceived,

- why you can’t think straight when you feel anxious, and tactics you can use to calm your anxiety and get your brain functioning again (I’ll vouch for the 4 second breathing exercise she mentions; I’ve been using it a lot in the last week or two),

- why mantras and affirmations work and why you should ‘let the body climb’ (or swim or run or ride or whatever it is you love to do), and

- how you get to choose which thoughts you believe (and it is a choice).

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/drkatebaecher 

Oct 28, 2018

Hearing Pip Candrick share her love of trail running, it’s hard to believe she only took up the sport in her late 40s after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

To regain her health after treatment, Pip joined a gym that challenged her to set a goal.

She picked running a Half Marathon which, she says, ‘…was just ridiculous. I don’t know why it came out of my mouth’.

Pip quickly fell in the love with the sport, and discovered a surprising side effect of her long runs.

During a long run one day in preparation for her first Half Marathon, she suddenly had memories (she didn’t realise she’d lost) come flooding back. She credits her long runs with ‘restoring her brain’.

Since then, Pip’s gone onto finish multiple races including the 100km race at Ultra Trail Australia as well as the Husky Long Course triathlon (a Half Ironman/70.3 distance race).

Of course, her recovery and life haven’t been without challenges.

Pip experiences seizures and hasn’t (until only recently) been able to head out the door for a run by herself.

It’s a freedom she desperately misses. And I can’t help but think it’s something the rest of us - myself included - take for granted.

Pip’s story reminds me of the importance of not taking life for granted, of trusting your gut instinct and the power of sports as a vehicle for healing (physically, mentally and emotionally).

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 Pip on Facebook: facebook.com/pipsjourney/

Oct 21, 2018

Elly is a marathon runner and nutritionist who works with Steph Lowe (episode 69) at The Natural Nutritionist.

Elly first explored an LCHF (lower carb, healthy fat) protocol after various health issues caused her to question the traditional approach to nutrition she’d been taught at University (including the (in)famous food pyramid).

After working in the United States, Elly decided to adopt a vegan diet.

But soon found that it wasn’t conducive for her to thrive as a marathon runner.

Now Elly’s the first to admit many athletes thrive using a vegan or vegetarian protocol, but she realised she isn’t one of them.

Elly’s experience is a great example of why it’s important to personalise your approach to training and nutrition, rather than simply adopting what’s popular or what your friends are doing.

In many ways, this episode is an extension of my conversation with Steph Lowe and previous episodes with Katee Pedicini in that we discuss nutrition, fat adaptation, hormones and an LCHF lifestyle.

I should also mention: I am neither vegan nor vegetarian!

But there’s no denying there are massive benefits (for us and for the environment) to be gained when we add more plant-based foods to our diet. So even if you are carnivorous like me, I know you’ll benefit from listening to this episode.

We begin by discussing how Elly’s love of nutrition developed in High School and how she discovered running in her early 20s.

After that, we dive into discuss specific considerations that vegan or vegetarian athletes need to consider.

Then in the second half, we explore broader issues that are relevant to all athletes, regardless of what diet you adopt.

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 Elly on Instagram: instagram.com/nutritionelly/

Oct 14, 2018

An age group mountain biker and mum of 3 in her 40s, Kate was scrolling through Instagram while breastfeeding her youngest daughter in 2017 when she saw a competition by Liv Cycling (an incredible women’s cycling brand) for a spot in their Trail Squad; the prize included a new bike and entry to a mountain bike stage race somewhere around the world.

Needing a goal or something for herself, she decided to enter the competition.

Then one Sunday, months later she opened her email to find out she had won and that she was off to the Cape Epic — one of the hardest mountain bikes races in the world.

Held in South Africa, the Cape Epic is considered the Tour de France of the mountain bike world.

It’s an 8 day stage race with 100km+ days in the saddle, in the heat, dust and dirt of South Africa with around 15,000m of climbing (that’s nearly 2x the height of Everest).

Kate’s first reaction was ‘I was honestly petrified. My first thought was: “there is no way I can do that”.’

Then she took a deep breath and said ‘yes’.

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/roscokate/ 

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