Over the past few years, distance running in Australia has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. We went from a period where we had the occasional shining light, without much in the way of depth, to now seeing unheralded competition for places in championship teams. This is no more evident than what can be observed in the current crop of Aussie women we see toeing the line in track and road races both here and abroad.
One of those leading the charge is Lisa Jane Weightman. This remarkable human is far more than an athlete. Somehow she manages to juggle a professional career, motherhood and training, doing all three incredibly well! We were lucky enough to interview Lisa in the lead up to tackling the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k. Incidentally, she won the 10km race in 2013 in a sizzling 32:13.
You’ve had a long and illustrious career as an athlete, mum and in your professional life, how do you balance the three?
With an amazing family. My parents take care of Pete while Lachlan and I are at the office and complete our mid week workouts. My sister and I take care of each other’s babies over the weekends and it works out with a very coordinated set of calendars!
There’s many a night in Winter where I’d prefer to go home and curl up under a blanket with Lac and Pete after a big day of work. But we have a little goal that’s unfinished so we get out and get our runs done together. We are also fortunate to have the company of a lovely friend and team mate Max, who joins us on the tough stuff too.
I yawn, shiver and screw up my face as we commence our warm up in the dark around 6:15pm on a Tuesday evening. But when the track session goes well which so far has been the case the last 5 weeks, it’s all worth it.
My wife and I just had a baby, so what tips do you have for running mums returning to training after childbirth?
Be patient, if you are breastfeeding it depletes the body and sometimes adding running can deplete the body further. Have faith that when you stop feeding your fitness will return really quickly.
I remember the first day I went for a 20min walk jog after having Pete. I felt like I’d abandoned him! Mother Nature perhaps! Mummy guilt doesn’t end – so do what’s right for you and your family and enjoy every moment as they grow up so fast!
You keep managing to churn out amazing times, year after year, how do you stay motivated?
I had an unfortunate Junior experience of continual injuries so I’m making the most of being fit and healthy now.
Running isn’t an addiction for me. It is all about being healthy and most importantly improving my performance. Now we are in the era of carbon plate shoes I want to know what times I can hit with the % efficiency gain they provide. No good ever comes from missing an opportunity.
Of all your running achievements, what’s been the highlight?
Finishing 5th in a PB at the London Marathon.
What does a normal week of training look like?
At the moment I’ve been running 10k/Half work and so my mileage is lower than in a marathon prep, which is nice.
I’ve been consistently running 150km per week and completing the usual track Tuesday, long efforts Thursday, km reps Saturday and long run Sunday.
Do you include strength and cross training?
Technically no but carrying my 4 year old up the stairs could be mistaken as strength training. We just finished building a new home and gym and soon that will be home to a spot to do some strength work at home. Hopefully we can put it to good use for Tokyo.
What’s your go to session to gauge fitness?
4x1600m on the track.
What are you hoping to run at the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k?
It’d be a dream come true to dip under 32:00.
The Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k and 5k is on Sunday 28 July. Entries are still available at: www.sydneyharbour10k.com.au