Cooloola Coast health workers ‘walk the talk’

Local physiotherapist, Sue Bennett and team member, Helen Window, ready themselves for a half-marathon!

Local physiotherapist, Sue Bennett and team member, Helen Window, ready themselves for a half-marathon!

Or run it!

Local physiotherapist Sue Bennett, and her daughter, podiatrist Rochelle Harling, are still smiling after completing a half marathon in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road Run.

“Rochelle did very well finishing 23 kms in two hours 25 minutes, and I was pretty chuffed with two hours 54 minutes,” said Sue.

“It was a brilliant weekend with over 7000 participants. There were four of us from the Cooloola Coast, Rochelle and myself, Helen Window (who also works in the practice), and Tori McIlroy.”

Encouraging clients to be active is part of the job,” Sue continued, “but for the allied health team it is a way of life – and they said our region offers the perfect combination of terrains to train for this sort of event.”

Sue believes training for this distance is best done 12 weeks in advance with each week stepping up in intensity.

“A combination of short and longer distance runs, cross training and rest days builds muscular strength and endurance as well as hastening recovery,” she explained, and stressed that pacing is equally important to muscular strength and endurance.

Both short and long runs in the early stages of training are done at a greatly reduced speed to develop pacing and Sue recommends maintaining a consistent slower speed for a longer period of time, then slowly increasing speed and duration of runs.

“This is key to making sure you can keep chipping away at the 23ks!” she smiled.

“For us, we focused on getting in four short runs on our own and got together for at least one long run each week.”

All smiles: Podiatrist, Rochelle Harling, local Tori McIlroy and friend Rhian at the Great Ocean Road Run

All smiles: Podiatrist, Rochelle Harling, local Tori McIlroy and friend Rhian at the Great Ocean Road Run

Often early Friday mornings Sue and Helen would come to Rainbow for a run through the National Park or hill session on the fire tracks. Or Wednesday nights they were out running laps around Tin Can Bay or Cooloola Cove.

If you need to manage fatigue, the extensive flat pathways of Tin Can and Cooloola are perfect for pacing work, while the undulating and at times challengingly steep hills of the National Park tracks, Carlo Sandblow and Poona Lake track are great for endurance and stamina building.

“The biggest piece of advice we can give is to enjoy the run,” said Sue. “Not every training session is going to feel good, some days it will just feel like hard work and you might think why am I doing this to myself?

“But if you settle into the experience, enjoy the feeling of putting one foot in front of the other and taking in everything as it goes past you, or putting in that little pepper of effort and coming over the crest of a hill, you really will get the most out of it.

“There truly is no feeling like it! It’s truly addictive and we find ourselves looking on to the next one!”

If you need advice on your training, or just some help with aches and pains – call the team on (07) 5488 0533, they are located across the coast.