What Pavlova Can Teach You About Your Training


A delectable & irresistible Australian dessert consisting of a light fluffy meringue base, topped with cream, fruit and chocolate.

(And before anyone from New Zealand says it, yes like everything good to come out of New Zealand, we Australians have claimed it as our own!  )

Happiness in a spoon if you ask me.

Now imagine eating a pavlova without the cream, fruit and chocolate. Just the meringue base.

Blah. Just a mouthful of dry & dull meringue.

Like a cake without the icing. A meat pie without the sauce. Nuts & bolts without the salt (for the Canadians). Or the pumpkin pie without the whipped cream (for the Americans).

It’s not just right. It’s a dry, dull, one-sided & unbalanced affair.

How does this relate to you?

The same analogy applies if you are runner or triathlete whose training only consists of the key elements of your sport (swim, bike and/or run) and other (important) elements of your preparation are missing.

These (often missing) elements of your training – core stability, functional hip strength, flexibility, strength, nutrition, hydration, ice baths, sleep, fixing your weaknesses – are like the icing on the cake.

They are what gives you, your training & ultimately your performance the edge over your competitors. They change you into a better, more balanced & faster athlete than the athlete you were last season.

If you aren’t doing any of those things now, you are probably looking at that list of ‘extras’, feeling daunted & thinking to yourself that there is no possible way to squeeze more training time into your (already busy) week.

But, just like making a pavlova, start with one element at a time.

This week commit to turning off the television or computer & getting to bed 30 minutes earlier each night. That adds up to a whooping 3 ½ hours more sleep each week & 14 hours of extra sleep each month. How much better would you feel with that much extra sleep?  Ready to take on the world I imagine.

Next week, commit to making sure you are drinking enough water each day & are fully hydrated every day. If you are like me, you probably drink less on the days that you don’t exercise or the weather is colder.

On week 3, add some core exercises. Just 15 minutes 2-3 times each week is more than enough to make huge improvements in terms of how well your body adapts to your training & grows faster, stronger & fitter. Consistency in training is the key to improvement & injury is often the problem that stands between you & your next outstanding performance.

Layer upon layer, as you add each element (even in a small amount), you will slowly but surely create something truly special.

And then you can have your cake & eat it too 😉

(c) S Kennedy-Gipslis, 2011