What inspired you to partner with the HOKA FLY RUN event, and what do you hope participants will take away from the experience?
I'm a longtime HOKA wearer - I've been wearing their shoes for over 10 years. Anyone who has worn them [HOKA's], I don't think they would ever go back to a normal shoe because it's like running on clouds. I'm a massive fan of the shoe and I'm a big advocate for celebrating the joy in movement.
I found that when I teach mums how to run, there are all of these barriers that come up, especially for women. We think if we're not great at a sport, then we're not allowed to participate. So I really love that HOKA is kind of calling that out and embracing the joy of running.
HOKA's slogan is "why run when you can fly?" What does this slogan mean to you personally, and how does it align with your approach to running?
In my running programme, we talk a lot about finding the joy in it, finding the pleasure in the experience, and trying to savour the run. I find that we tend to always focus on just performance and it can have a really negative impact on our runs. So I guess to me, it means taking the pressure off yourself and leaning into the joy of running.
What advice would you give to someone who's never considered running but is interested in starting?
One of the biggest barriers is that people think they're not fit enough to run. We have a big misconception about what running is - sometimes running is running at a sprint and going as fast as Usain Bolt. But running can also be a really slow, five-minute shuffle. And it doesn't matter which one you are doing - it's still running.
How do you personally stay motivated to run, and what strategies would you recommend to others to maintain consistency in their running routine?
Motivation is a funny one, it's like a bad boyfriend - it's never around when you need it the most! I always use the five-minute rule. So go for a run. Just go have a go for five minutes. I think it's really effective because it removes that barrier of all-or-nothing thinking. We often think that you have to run five kilometres otherwise it's pointless, or I can only eat green food otherwise I've failed.
The five-minute rule is really good because I give myself permission to quit if, after five minutes, I'm not feeling it. Normally, what happens after five minutes is you're in flow and you're enjoying it and it feels good. But also what can happen is that if you're actually sick, you won't be enjoying it. And that's kind of your way of listening to your body and going back home and giving your body what it needs, which is just rest.
Running can be both physically and mentally challenging. What mental strategies or techniques do you use to push through tough moments during a run, and how can beginners develop a strong mental approach to running?
I think sometimes we don't we don't have to be pushing through. If you're training for the Olympics, sure you have to be mentally very resilient and very tough. But I think for the rest of us, you know, weekend warriors, it's okay to go slower. If things are tough you don't have to run as far as what you'd like to.
I also like to think about the things that I'm grateful for. Because the fact that you know, we're talking about running, that I'm doing the Hoka fly run event, The fact that we live in a country where we have the privilege of being able to run outside and have bodies that allow us to participate in running, that our lungs breathe in oxygen and our heart pumps blood - I like to try and think about what I'm grateful for. If that doesn't work, I try and think about people in my life that I'm grateful for as well.
The HOKA FLY RUN takes place at Bennelong Lawn on September 23, with varying distances and start times to choose from starting at 7:30am to 9:30am and 3:30pm to 5:30pm.
For those not lacing up, there’s still a world of HOKA to explore at the HOKA experience zone (within a giant replica HOKA shoe box) including FREE masterclass sessions from HOKA athletes Craig Alexander and Owain Matthews and THE 440 Run Club - plus a talk from Turia Pitt herself. There’s also an interactive shoe trial experience, giveaways and much more. Learn more here.