Amelia Tsikleas

YRF Event Distance: 10km

How did you become involved in the world of running:
I have always been involved in track and field from a young age yet in about grade 11 at school, I decided to become more invested in cross country and middle distance. I raced school level middle distance and track, I guess I fell in love with it from then onwards. Joining groups, training for races every now and then, you start to really love it. Wherever I travel, there is always a strava run buddy to find!

What drives your passion to keep running:
To be truly honest my complete love of pushing the boundaries on what the mind and body can do. I love to challenge my physical ability and mental space to keep pushing through a tough training session or race. I think I'm also driven by the runners around me who all push their personal limits too. Being a teacher, I cannot finish writing an answer to this question without mentioning the students I teach at RGS. They are constantly reminding me of why it is so important to have driven and purpose and I love when they ask me about anything running related or try to improve their own performance. I always walk away from a session or run and assess how I go. The drive lies in setting small and measurable goals and knocking them off slowly but surely with consistent training and prep.

What motivates you on those days that you just don’t want to run:
I think the biggest motivator for me is the feeling I get afterwards and the feeling of running with like minded people. I think its an important part of sport that mental health be looked after and getting out even for a short run always makes a stressful day seem just that little bit less stressful. I must admit that I have one statement from an old coach that rings in my head which goes “ do today what others aren’t willing to do, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t. I think statements like these always ring true. I think also the introduction to crosstraining and variety helps with the motivation immensely. Training out at VidaFit with the wonderful team out there helps me add enjoyable and fun cross training options daily! In finishing this little section..... if I was completely honest, there really isn’t a day where I don’t feel like running! Changing up sessions, different routes, paths, trails, training methods, all helps me stay super consistent.

How many kilometres have you covered in preparation for YRF:
Hmmm to date I have clocked just under 1,200km for the year in the hope I get 2017km in 2017! CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

What's your YRF race day goal:
10KM in 45:00 mins

What will be your race day choice of footwear (Make/Model):
I like to race 10km in the Brooks Neuro 2 flats. Fast, light..... which will get me the goal written above.

Any Pre-race ritual? And go to meal/nutrition before an event:
Ah, the good old what’s the plan? Question..... mine is simple....

Early to bed the night before, a filling home cooked meal of say spelt pasta and fresh veges and mince with tomato based sauce and the rest rest rest! Oh, and I never forget to drink to thirst and keep the fluids up the day before. I never go crazy in either the fuelling or hydrating game as I just keep it very much similar to other times I've raced 10km well. Morning off always starts with coffee and then normally toast and natural almond butter and fresh jam on toast at about 1hr prior to the race. Normally on the later starts, I would have something about 40 mins prior to race start but as it’s a 5:45 am start, an early breakfast should suffice. I keep the fluids up and only really drink when I'm thirsty.

Your number one tip for injury prevention:
I think the best thing is never to build your km’s to quickly. Let them come naturally as you get fitter, faster stronger and more adapted to the kms. I think also throwing in strength training work, gym work and some yoga really balances out the routine and on those easier days, make sure they are ACTUALLY EASY and include that silly foam roller or massage to compliment your running. It is very easy to neglect the dreaded “rest” (trust me) but it is a crucial part of any successful runner and running success.

Your “local” hero? Why:
To be honest there are so many wonderful influences but.....

I would have to say, Silvia Smith. Although she’s gone to the dark side of cycle town (cycling) haha Silvia is one of my best running buddies and she has helped me build some serious km's in 2017. We have run together a lot and she’s always up for helping me out, giving me tips on endurance running and is such a hilarious runner to train with. Sil and I have had some brilliant runs and the reason why she’s my local hero is that she has always backed my ability when I have not done so. Shes always willing and at the ready to help me improve and conquer whatever distance is laid out in front of me and I would not be where I am today without people like her. Oh, and she’s just finished 100k race recently and done multiple ultras so I guess I will be forever chasing that distance and all her segments on strava.

Favourite sporting quote:
I have two, “ Do today what others aren’t willing to do, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t." and “What you do in the dark of the morning with training, shows in the light of day racing”.
These two are significant because most runners and athletes would agree that it’s the behind the scenes stuff most don’t see us doing to get that elusive medal or prize. It's important to remember these two.

Best advice you’ve been given (Doesn’t have to be sports related):
The best advice I have been given in a “life” sense is that “you can do anything but not everything” meaning there is no limit to what one can achieve but we cannot just do it all perfectly and all the time. Priorities are important and it is very crucial to remember we can set any goal, any outcome we wish but it comes down to the question. Another piece of advice is “how bad do you really want it”? if you’re setting a goal and you aren’t all in, I strongly believe doubt may creep in and hinder that outcome. Be all in, its always always better that way.

Cheers Amelia and best of luck in the 10km from the entire YRF Team.