Kiah Fry – My Story
- Age: 33
- Blairgowrie, VIC
- Coach – Peter Schuwalow
- Squad – Zenith Running
My first coach Robbie Morgan-Morris once said, “Just make sure you keep running and you will run for life.” So far he’s been pretty much on the mark, as they say, once a runner, always a runner.
Despite parting ways with the competitive side of the sport after juniors, I’ve always kept up my running for fitness, health and a positive sense of wellbeing. A competitive person, it was only a matter of time until I had the urge to race and compete again. I entered some local fun runs and the occasional track race – it was enough to kick things back into gear and when I hit my early 30s I realised if I wanted to give this running thing another crack I’d better find myself a coach, club and team… And that I did when I contacted Zenith Running. I haven’t looked back since.
Operated by Peter and Serena Schuwalow, Zenith has been the perfect springboard to launch me back into running at a competitive level. We are a relatively small, yet strong squad who can be found training in a variety of locations on the Mornington Peninsula. ZR caters for a range of abilities and distances, and despite our differences Pete ensures our individual needs are met and challenged. We are a tightknit and supportive group with enough banter and shenanigans to keep things light and enjoyable during our training sessions.
Over the past couple of seasons I’ve learnt the importance of consistency, mindset, balance and the value of teammates. Distance running is perceived to be a self-centered sport but I can honestly say that I (like most) wouldn’t have gotten this far without our squad, coach and support network.
Women’s distance running in Australia is going from strength to strength and I’m constantly inspired by our elite female athletes – especially those who have managed to juggle full time work, a family, and a successful running career.
Even though I am not the most naturally gifted athlete, the last few years have shown me that with consistency, hard work, and dedication, improvements can be made and personal goals achieved. I still have more to give, so for the time being I will keep enjoying the process and the races that come along with it.
- 2018 Athletics Victoria Open Winter Champion
- 3rd place – Victorian Cross Country Championships
- 1st place – Victorian Open Cross Country 12km
- Top 10 – 2017 & 2018 National Cross Country Championships
- Competitor – 2017 & 2018 Zatopek 10,000m National Championships
Our Key Sessions
On a Tuesday you will find us either hitting the hills in Mt Eliza or winding our way through dirt tracks for a fartlek workout depending on the season. A typical hill session will involve a decent warm up followed by 5-6x 70-second efforts up a relatively steep hill. As a keen cross-country runner I believe this session builds our strength and grit in preparation for the XCR races dotted around Victoria. Fartlek varies between Mona’s and Pete’s version of 30, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 30 efforts or 3-minute reps. I enjoy these sessions as speed is something I need to work on and it’s helpful when you’re surrounded by training mates keeping you honest!
Track Thursday is another staple of ours. In winter we typically stick to 8x400m with a 200m float or jog, whereas summer varies depending on upcoming race distances. Some examples include; pyramid style workouts, mile reps and shorter speed sessions. I really do believe teamwork comes into play on this day, as we will often alternate the lead on each rep or carry each other around when someone may be falling off the back.
Every Saturday we venture to Mornington to run the gravel trail, which hugs the shore of Port Phillip Bay. This session alters from week to week, so it keeps things interesting. After a 25 min warm up we make our way back with efforts thrown into the mix such as 3x6min or 1×10 & 2x5min with recovery generally being half the time of the effort. I feel that these sessions closely mimic a race and are a great confidence booster when leading up to an event.
It isn’t a Sunday without a long run and generally this will take place with fellow Zenith buddies at Ferny Creek. The time flies as we chat away and enjoy the natural surrounds of the Dandenong Ranges. On most occasions I will run for 100 minutes at an easy pace, although if anyone is familiar with Ferny they will understand that the hill climbs aren’t considered so easy! This run for the week is fundamental to our training as it builds strength, endurance and camaraderie amongst the group.
Thank you Runner’s Tribe for offering me the chance to contribute to your blog. As an athlete who has returned to the sport in an older age bracket I hope I can inspire others to do the same, it’s never too late!