Hello Kelly, thanks very much for taking the time to talk with the Runner’s Tribe. It’s currently 44 degree’s in Melbourne, how are you currently handling this heat when it comes to training?
Kelly Hetherington: Yes, it is so extremely hot in Melbourne at the moment. I can’t complain however as I have been wishing for a Melbourne “summer” for months. I must say however I did not respect this heat enough and my squad and I decided to train Tuesday night at 5:30pm in 44 degrees. Fair to say that was not my best session. Lesson has been learnt and these past few days we have been up nice and early starting our sessions at 7am to beat the heat (or try to beat the heat).
(Q): Very nice, what session did you have to endure in the 44 degrees on Tuesday?
(A): I had 2x600m, 2×400 and 4×200 all at 1500m pace- last bit of preparation before the Hunter Classic on Saturday.
(Q): Okay and how did the workout go? Are you ready to go for Hunter?
(A): Yes the workout was very tough in the heat but another good session to get ticked off. I am really looking forward to Hunter. It will be a great indicator of where I am at in my training as it’s the first race back since Moscow. It will be great to see what I need to improve in my training before Nationals in April. (Editor’s note: Kelly finished 4th in the 1500m at the Hunter Track Classic with a time of 4:14.11.
(Q): Speaking of Moscow and the lead up to it… you had a very strong and consistent season last year, especially in Europe. It would be awesome to hear your summary on the 2013 European season, from the start to the end. Maybe the highlights and lessons learnt.
(A): The 2013 European Season was a real eye opener for me. I think I went to Europe with a big learner plate on my back and I hope when I return to Europe for the 2014 I will at least have my P Plates. I was lucky enough to race in many countries including Germany, Belgium, Ireland, England and Russia. The real highlight, although one of my worst races, was the London Anniversary Diamond League. It was in front of a sold out crowd of 90,000 people in the Olympic Stadium- the experience was so surreal.
I was pretty disappointed with my results over in Europe as I wasn’t able to lower my PB which I hoped to do over there however the lessons on race tactics and bettering myself as an athlete have just been so invaluable.
-Race tactics and not to use up all my energy in the first 150m of a race.
-The need to try to run your own race and stick to your game plan.
-The importance of recovery after every session in regards to ice bath, massage, nutrition.
-The utmost importance of mental preparation and how I can improve on that.
(Q): Do you feel you were actually in better shape physically in Europe than when you ran your personal best to win the National Championships in April?
(A): Yes I really did think I was in better shape however it wasn’t until I returned back to Melbourne that I realised I had spent a lot of energy trying to qualify in Australia and that maybe when I got to Europe I was already a bit tired. It was my first International season so I don’t want to focus on the negatives too much and feel the experience and lessons learnt definitely were invaluable to help me improve as an athlete.
(Q): Elaborate a little on the mental preparation lesson you mentioned above…
(A): Yes we had a sports psychologist, Brian Miller, travel with the Australian Team. Brain taught me the importance of positive self-talk and visualisation. I had already practiced these however Brain really showed me how to use these important tools correctly. I have already found they have made such a difference to my performance and training.
(Q): Sounds interesting. Hopefully we will see some fast results this coming season. What are the goals for 2014?
(A): Yes I really hope so too!!! Goals for this year are to firstly win my second national title in the 800m and I am aiming to qualify for both the 800m and 1500m for Glasgow. I also aim to reduce both my 800m and 1500 PB and hopefully dip under the 2 minute for the 800m.
(Q): I think a dip under the 2min mark is certainly in the pipeline. Who coaches you, who do you train with and who supports you at the moment?
(A): I am currently in the transition of finding a new coach. Georgie Clarke, my training partner and mentor, has been managing my program along with guidance from Danny for the past year. I have a great training group that I train with 3 times a week for my main sessions. My boyfriend, Luke, does some easy runs with me and occasionally we work in with other elite athletes like Kalia McKnight when it works.
Athletics Australia are working on the coaching situation and hopefully there will be a solution soon but for now it is working really well and I am loving training.
(Q): To some extent it would be good to have some flexibility in your training; I mean it sounds like you’re enjoying what you’re doing now. What does your training currently look like?
(A): Current week is usually:
-Monday: weights at the VIS and 45 min run with a threshold aspect in the run.
-Am- 30 min run
-Pm- Track session. This is usually the hardest session of the week. Generally shorter and faster work. e.g. 5×400 or 6×300
-Am- 50 min run
-Am- 30 min run
-Pm- Track. Usually a longer more 1500m type session e.g. 300,300,200 with short recovery and a few sets or 600-1km reps.
-Am- 45 min jog
-Pm: Weights at VIS
-Saturday: longer and short hills at skipping girl or black rock
-Sunday: 70-75 min run
(Q): Thanks for the detailed training schedule. Outside of the running, are you working or studying? Or is it full time Athletics for now?
(A): I was lucky to nearly finish my university degree before I started running seriously. It is pretty much the life of a full time now athlete with a little bit of work on the side. I take a running group weekly which I love. I also work casually at a crèche for a few hours a week which is fun.
(RT): It sounds like everything is going very well for you and we look forward to seeing some Sub 2’s this year! Thanks for the chat Kelly.