[The] Journey — Pip Monti
Athlete — Pip Monti
Distance — 10km
I am 23 years old, am about to begin my final year of marketing at university and work part-time as a marketing coordinator. Other than running, I really enjoy strength and high intensity training. I write most of my own workouts and have developed quite a good set up in my home/garage ‘gym’. I love training both on my own and in groups, I often do a session with family, friends and even neighbours once a week and get mum and dad involved in a boxing session too, which is great for anyone’s pent up emotions! Other than that, I LOVE a Moon Dog fizzer (Lemon squeezy all the way) on the weekend, preferably in the sun and by the pool with friends and family. I really enjoy camping and traveling to new spots around Australia, but Byron Bay has my heart and am always dreaming of living there. I could live off acai bowls and Mayvers smooth peanut butter and be pretty damn happy.
What event are you training for at the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival?
The original plan was to train for the full marathon. I initially hesitant about this because I had never done that kind of distance before and frankly found it a ridiculous number of kilometres to run. But I was roped into it and was training alongside my good mate/brother’s girlfriend (hehe) Phoebe. This was great, as the distance never seemed to drag on, we would chat and laugh the whole way. It helped so much training with someone and I am super proud of the training that I did do, but don’t think I could have done it on my own!
Anyways, I was a little too ambitious committing to marathon training along with HIIT workouts and basically a lot of intensity and load. Ultimately, my body didn’t agree and I ended up with a stress reaction in my shin. This meant 5 weeks off running and a lot of frustration.
But I am back on the horse now and given the fast-approaching race day I have decided to take on the 10km and hopefully achieve a PB! I will be training with the support of Femmi, Lydia O’Donnell and Nike, and will be documenting my journey to race day.
Is this your first time tackling this distance or first time in an official race and do you have a certain time or goal in mind? Remembering that finishing is a goal in itself!
This isn’t my first time running the distance, no. I have run two half marathons, one last year which was my first and one earlier this year. I also completed a marathon at the end of 2020, however it was a virtual event, and something I didn’t even train for, I did it with a group as a bit of a spare of the moment decision.
I was originally training for the full marathon, however unfortunately got injured and have had to take some time off. Feeling great now and decided that a 10km PB was a safer distance and goal to strive for. I really hope that I can run a PB, that would mean beating my previous best time of 44:11, so anything under that would be amazing.
This will however be my first time in an official race. Each of ‘races’ I have completed have all had to be virtual due to COVID-19. I have heard great things about what the atmosphere of the event can do for you on race day, so I am pretty pumped to get to experience that.
Are you planning on training or do you currently run with a group/run crew. If so, what are some of the things you love about running with a group?
I was running with someone, and I loved it so much, mostly because we would talk and laugh the whole time. But also, it held me accountable to each session, there's no way I could have remained consistent with running training, without knowing someone was relying on me to meet them in the morning. Running with people is great, it has helped me through what has been a challenging year, being able to maintain that social aspect whilst achieving goals has been awesome.
In terms of the lead up to the Melbourne mara 10km, I will be training with a ‘virtual’ group. I am training alongside Femmi coaching, Lydia O’Donnell, and their community of runners. I will also be documenting the journey to race day as part of a blog series by Femmi and Nike.
What is your main reason or source of motivation for running at the festival or running in general?
It was pretty disappointing to get deep into training for the marathon and then get injured. I felt like all the work that I had done would be undone in a heartbeat, these feelings are tricky to manage when there is already plenty going on in your life. I did my best to maintain my fitness, found my passion for strength training again and I guess it was a good opportunity to regroup. The time off taught me not to take my ability to run for granted, this made me excited and determined to heel my leg and get back running.
Having a goal to work towards is something I find really exciting and the prospect of achieving that even more exciting, hopefully ending the year with a BANG.
Also, being given the opportunity to be coached by Lydia O’Donnell / Femmi with the support of Nike, is super exciting and I am really looking forward to the whole process and lead up, not just the race day itself.
What is your favourite Nike running shoe to clock-up your KMs in and why?
Definitely Nike Pegasus 38. I have a couple of pairs, they feel super supportive, and are insanely comfortable. I think especially coming back from an injury I was conscious of making sure I was wearing supportive shoes as I started stepping up the kilometres again. The Nike Pegasus 38 are a great all-rounder and my pick any day of the week.
You’re now halfway through your training program. How have you found everything so far? Is there anything that has surprised you for better or worse?
Feeling good, it has definitely flown by! I have enjoyed the slow return to running after my injury, I think it has taught me a lot. Primarily to slow down, listen to body and adapt my training as needed. This has been key for me in not letting my injury creep back in, placing emphasis on recovery and taking the rest rather pushing through as I might had done previously. So, I think I have surprised myself in that sense.
How is your body holding up to the rigours of training for a race? Have you been utilising many recovery modalities to help with the added load?
My body is holding up surprisingly well, I had developed a stress reaction in my shin as a result of training for the full marathon, but had to take 6 weeks off running, which was the reason I changed my race distance to 10km. I am happy that I made that decision. Having dealt with the frustrations of having an injury, I was conscious about not pushing myself and my body too much. This has been big for me during this training block, as I have learnt to be more aware of how my body is feeling and adjust my training as required. In terms of recovery, I have trying to do more stretching both at home and through yoga classes. As well as incorporating Pilates and weights training into my week to build strength
What has been the most enjoyable part of your journey so far?
I would have to say being so involved in the event in the lead up to race day. I have loved getting involved with Up There Athletics as they follow the journey of athletes. As well as having had the opportunity to document my journey with Nike, Femmi and Lydia O’Donnell in the form of a vlogging series. This has been something different for me, but a great thing to look back on. So, these types of involvements along with the general hype that can be felt around the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival has been exciting and enjoyable. I suspect that the next most enjoyable part will be experiencing the race day atmosphere… for the first time!
Have you been training alone or predominately with a group?
This training block has predominately been a solo one for me, which is something I haven’t done in a while. I think this has been a big challenge, in terms of motivation. I had gotten really used to training with someone, having someone that you had to get up for in the morning and someone to challenge you during the session. But in saying that, it has been a good experience in that it has taught me to be more disciplined with my personal training.
Has your original goal changed as you have progressed through your training journey?
Yes, it has. At the beginning I was really focused on achieving a PB for the 10km distance. This would be a huge effort for me, as when I achieved my previous PB I had been training hard and for a long time, I felt prepared and focused. This time is little different, having had an injury, pulling back my training in response to this, as well as having a lot go on in my personal life. So, although I know it is not impossible for me to achieve my original goal, I have shifted my mind set. Removing some of the pressure of this goal and focusing on a different aspect of race day. This will be the first organised race that I will have participated in, due to covid my previous events have been virtual. So, this is my focus, enjoying the atmosphere, the experience and doing the best that I can on the day, with less of the pressure associated with time.
What Nike shoe(s) have you been putting the most KMs in throughout your training journey?
Definitely my Pegasus 38’s. Best all-rounders, so comfortable and easy to run in. I have collected a couple of colour ways, so I mostly rotate through them!
Although I recently purchased some Nike Alphaflys, and these are great. I have been bouncing around in these more recently for my speed sessions. I think these will be my shoe of choice on race day!