Thursday, December 29, 2011

A good day at the office

Today was a pretty good training day. I started off with 3 PBs out of 4 events during shot put training this morning. I did another PB in overhead and underhand shot with 18.26m and 16.51m respectively. Then I did a PB standing shot put (which is a half shot put throw from the centre of the circle, rather than the full throw from the back (called a glide)) of 13.28m. It was only a 3cm PB but still awesome to be in PB form!

Then this afternoon I did some long jump, about 5.50m, well off my best of 5.95m but it was off a short run up and the main thing was that the foot was able to cope with running 100% on the long jump runway. Even better was that I did long jump two days after my first longer running session on Tuesday with 2x600m and the foot coped with that. So I am starting to be able to back up sessions, rather than do a session and then not be able to do anything for a week due to pain. In a two day event like heptathlon backing up is pretty important!

A great way to see out 2011 and look forward to 2012....yeah it's Olympic year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Merry Christmas?

I was just about to do a bit of a Merry Christmas post when I heard that there have been a couple of big earthquakes back in Christchurch this afternoon. I feel sick just thinking about what everyone at home is going through, and it bought the horrible memories flooding back for me...and I can only imagine that it is far worse actually being there. It seems so cruel just before Christmas when everyone was starting to relax a little and look forward to a new year and a fresh start. The images on TV of the liquefaction pouring down the streets in the eastern suburbs are heartbreaking, as are the plumes of dust all over the city. I am supposed to be flying home tonight, but at the moment the airport is closed. I hope everyone in Christchurch can manage to have the merriest Christmas possible and that 2012 brings stable ground, Kia Kaha.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Photos of new training facility

A couple of photos of the new HPSNZ training facility at the Forsyth Barr Stadium:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Brand spanking new gym

This afternoon I competed in the shotput and javelin at interclub. I was really pleased with my shot, 13.85 was my best, which is the furthest I have ever thrown at this time of year. It was also the first time I have done a full glide throw since Delhi, so great to be out close to 14 off only standing throw training. Javelin was a bit rubbish, but have been doing some good training so not too concerned about that!

I also ran 100% for the first time yesterday. I did 2x40m flat out....felt awesome and a good step towards racing very soon! The foot is ok, not 100% pain free but I am managing it with lots of help from Geoff (massage), Helen (physio) and Richard (podiatrist).

Here's a small video of some of the fun stuff we did in the gym today...jumping up onto a 110cm box, and throwing a 6kg medicine ball into the wall.

This also happens to be the official first training session to christen the new gym at the Forsyth Barr Stadium where the new High Performance Sport NZ training facility is based. Its an awesome facility which we share with the Highlanders Super 15 rugby team....50m indoor track, recovery room with spa pool and cold pools, big open plan gym area and even a lounge for athletes to chill out in after...think I might move in permanently! The official opening of the facility is on Monday. Must try to not put a hole in the wall with a medicine ball before that!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fellow heptathlete Sarah Cowley

We have just had Sarah Cowley down here in Dunners for the week for a bit of a training camp. It was awesome having my fellow heptathlon buddy around again (we used to flat together in Christchurch in 08/09 and have spent countless hours heptathloning together all around the world!). You can follow Sarah's Olympic journey on her website:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Power clean test

We tested power cleans today in the gym with the aim of getting the top spot on the HPSNZ gym records board and breaking into triple figures. I got 92kg felt awesome. Next was 96kg, missed my first attempt and then got the 2nd was a pretty ugly catch which I had to fight to hold but managed to hang on for the finish! My back got pretty stiff because of the ugly way I caught the lift so we decided not to attempt 100kg....will just have to save that for 2012. But pretty stoked to have another PB and also be no.1 female on the board! I didn't have Angus to compete against this time, but heaps of support from the training buddies yelling and screaming...thanks guys! Videos to come....

Earthquake assistance

I was very lucky today to receive notification from the NZ Olympic Committee that I have been given a grant to assist me with costs incurred as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes. This has provided a massive boost, especially with the costs for my coach Andrew in travelling down from Christchurch to Dunedin for training sessions every couple of weeks. So a massive thank you goes to the NZOC and the International Olympic Committee....its great for us Christchurch athletes affected by the quakes to have your support towards our Olympic campaigns (For further info about the grants check out the NZOC story).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another milestone...

I ticked off another milestone on the recovery journey this week with my first session running in spikes. On Tuesday I did 4 x 100m in spikes and yesterday 4 x 120m. It felt awesome to be running on the track, and semi-fast too, running at around 80%. The foot held up well and I think much of the inhibition I feel running now is me subconsciously protecting my foot...which will go away as confidence increases and I realise that it is strong and not going to break! I finished off the week with another PB in the overhead shot, getting out to 18m exactly. 

We are testing weights again next week, aiming for the big 100kg powerclean, yea! My good friend Sarah Cowley is coming down from Auckland to train for a few days next week too so will be awesome to have a fellow hepathlete training buddy for a bit!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

High Jump competition

Today we decided that instead of high jump training I would do the inter-club competition in Dunedin. I am still only working off a short run up (5 strides) due to the foot, but I still managed to jump 1.60m which I am stoked with. I haven't jumped that high at this time of year before, even off a full run up!

Its two months until National Champs and I still have a lot of work to do, especially in terms of upping the intensity in running and starting to do some hurdling....but I am making some progress!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I did a couple of life-time PBs today in the underhand shot and overhead shot with 16.28 and 17.89m respectively. My old PBs were 15.66 and 17.69m. It is a measure of power so cool to see PBs in those areas! This is how the throws are done, standing on the stop-board in the shotput circle:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Check this out

Check out this video of Jacko Gill (NZ shot putter, World Junior Champion) training...its awesome! He is insanely powerful and fast....and only 16!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jumping and hurdling!

I reached another couple of milestones in my journey back to full training yesterday.

I did my first jump over a high jump bar and long jump into a sand pit! As I jump off my left leg, and the sore foot is my right, I am able to take off easily, its just the run up to the take off which is still a little slow due to the foot. So I was only doing 4 stride run up to take off, but man did it feel good to be doing something so specific....I was out on the track by myself on a sunny Dunedin day just grinning! Its funny how when you have been injured and unable to do something for so long, these simple things can be so much fun.

Yesterday I also got an email from Mr Young, my hip surgeon, giving me the green light to do hurdle drills (hurdling was the final activity to check off the list in terms of recovery from hip surgery), so we will be adding that to the training schedule too.

Throwing and running flat out are still hampered by the foot, but it is improving slowly. At this stage I still aim to do my first heptathlon at National Champs in Palmerston North in the first weekend of February.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weights competition

The weights competition I had with Angus on Tuesday ended in a draw (so no undie runs luckily)! I was so nervous beforehand, felt like I was about to do a heptathlon! It was cool fun, and we even had people putting the weights on the bar for us like a real comp, thanks Anna, Brent, Will and Tom.

We both finished on 95kg, which is an equal PB for me, and an equal PB for Angus in the hang snatch. The best thing is that I haven't even started doing power cleans in training yet so very happy to be doing equal PBs at this stage. Really feel now that I can get 100kg which would be great.

Here is a video of my lift and Angus's lift (videos courtesy of director A.Smythe!) (if it doesnt load you might need flashplayer - download here).

Monday, October 24, 2011

World Champions even better haka! Wooohooo! Wow it was a nail-biting, nerve-wracking game but they did it! Awesome

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Go the All Blacks!!

Tonight is the Rugby World Cup final...feeling nervous and excited, the country is buzzing!! Can't wait for the haka and kick off...GO THE ALL BLACKS!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First comp

It was the first day of summer competition at the Caledonian Track in Dunedin today so decided to jump in and throw javelin to get back into the competition arena! It was great to be out there, although it was hardly summer being 8deg! I threw 33m off a 3 stride run up with walk in which I was pretty happy with. Didn't really have any expectations but it was just fun to be amongst the competition again.

I probably won't be doing anything competition-wise in the running or jumps for a while yet as the foot is still giving me some trouble unfortunately. Its hard as there are more people out running now that its warmer and I am itching to get out there on the track with them. I just need to be patient and give the foot time to adjust to the running load. My hip, on the other hand, feels awesome which is great.

Apart from that I am continuing to get stronger in the gym and building a great base. As added incentive in the gym Angus has challenged me to a comp....him doing hang-snatch, me doing power clean...will let you know who the winner is in a few weeks time (and there could be some ugly consequences for the loser)!

The rugby semi-finals are on this weekend...go the All Blacks....can't wait to see them smash the Aussies!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

a very cool story

This blog by Tree Hardee, the current World and Olympic Champion in the decathlon, tells a very cool story about the javelin competition part of the decathlon at the recent World Championships and gives an awesome insight into the thought processes of a World Champion:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Running, finally!

I had my first running session in 11 months yesterday! It was so cool to be moving at a pace that was faster than walking, even if it was only slightly faster as I was just jogging 100m on the grass and then walking 100m. But it was a big step forward for me in terms of getting back into specific training. The hip felt fantastic and my foot was a little sore, but I am confident it will improve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NZ Olympic Committee helping with earthquake recovery

Today I was lucky to be able to go home to Christchurch for the day for a New Zealand Olympic Committee function where it was announced that Christchurch would be hosting the official welcome home event for all the Olympic medallists and team members from London Olympics.
It was also announced that the New Zealand Olympic Committee would also be donating $200,000 to help Christchurch athletes whose training has been affected by the earthquake damage to facilities.
It was really awesome to see how the New Zealand Olympic Committee has come to the aid of Christchurch athletes and also really fantastic for the people of Christchurch to be able to host the welcome home party post the London Olympics next year, where there will be no doubt a whole lot of Olympic medals on display!
As a Christchurch athlete (albeit Dunedin based!) it’s humbling to see how people are getting behind Christchurch with gestures like this, thanks heaps NZOC and to everyone else involved!

London Chef de Mission Dave Currie, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, and myself at the announcement (Photos: Martin Hunter, Getty Images for NZOC) 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

World Champs

The World Track and Field Champs are being held at the moment in Daegu, South Korea. It is being shown live on Sky TV which has meant some long hours in front of the TV. Yesterday Val Adams dominated the women's shot put by more than 1m with a win in 21.24m which was a Championship and NZ record, awesome! Very cool to see the black singlet on the top of the world, congratulations Val!

The women's heptathlon finished last night. It was a great competition with lots of personal bests in some of the events and a great battle in the 800m at the end for the medals. Its a statisticians dream following it, figuring out how many points the competitors need to get in each event to get a medal as the competition unfolds. Whilst its been hard to watch on TV when I'd rather be competing it has been great to sit back and see what needs to be done to be up amongst the best of them at the London Olympics next year and it has provided endless hours of motivation for training! My homework has been to record the events and watch replays to pick up technical tips, not just from the heptathletes but also the athletes in the individual events that make up the heptathlon. As a 'visual' learner I can make some good gains...its "training" while sitting on the sofa, loving it!

My physical training has been going well too. I am settled into Dunedin life and am really enjoying a fresh new training environment. My recovery from surgeries has been progressing well, I am able to do some jogging in two weeks time, which will be the first time I have run since the 200m at the Commonwealth Games some 11 months ago...I've never been so excited about doing a simple jog before!

Friday, August 5, 2011


I arrived in Dunedin last Sunday and have settled into my accommodation at Columba College. I’ve got a great view out over Dunedin and the harbour from my room. I can also see the brand new Forsyth Barr Stadium which was officially opened today, it looks amazing and I can’t wait to be able to use the new training facilities there at the end of the year.

I have ditched the crutches and had my first days back training. I am able to do light leg weights, upper body weights, aqua jog, bike, and row. In a few weeks I will start some longer walking to gain more strength in the hip joint before I can start running at the end of September. The hip is feeling really good and the foot too, although I am experiencing a bit of discomfort due to the mid foot being screwed together for so long and now the joints have to move!

I have had this week working at the Academy of Sport. I’ve been helping to pack up the uniform and gear for the Athletics World Champs team, which was hard but cool to be able to make a small contribution to the team's efforts.

So my first week down here has been really busy but I’m stoked to be here and it’s really nice not to be wondering when the next shake is coming!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One year to go

It is 365 days to go until the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics today. It also happens that this week I get to ditch the crutches and walk as it has been three weeks since my hip surgery, so its a great way to celebrate the one year mark! I can't believe that by the time I am allowed to run at the end of September it will be practically a year since I ran last when running the 200m at Commonwealth Games at start of Oct 2010. It will be so great to finally put one foot in front of the other at a pace faster than walking!

I am also celebrating one year to go with my move to Dunedin this Sunday. A fresh start and new surroundings will be a tonic and I am really looking forward to it.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Its been snowing in Christchurch overnight and is still snowing...everything looks so beautiful. Certainly makes sitting on the sofa a lot easier, the heat pump is cranking!

Here are some pictures from home this morning...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Upcoming World Championships

The next big thing on the athletics calendar is the World Championships, which are being held in Daegu, South Korea at the end of August.

At this stage NZ has named a relatively small team: Valerie Adams (Shot), Nikki Hamblin (800,1500), Stuart Farquhar (Javelin), Andrea Miller (100m hurdles) and Brent Newdick (Decathlon). Qualification is still open and there are lots of kiwis competing around the world so hopefully a few more qualify to make the World Champs team.

I'm gutted to not be competing there...I haven't competed at a World Champs since 2003 when I ran the 400m hurdles in Paris. I seem to always be injured in World Championship years (held every second year), however if I had to choose I would rather be fit for an Olympics than World Champs, so I will sit back and watch the coverage on SkyTV and use it to fuel the fire at training!

Training inspiration has also been coming from NZ athletes going nuts in Europe recently - at the World Youth (U18) Champs in France NZ picked up two medals, Jacko Gill won gold in the shot put, demolishing the rest of the field by 4m, and Joshua Hawkins won silver in the 110m hurdles. At a meeting in Paris Val Adams won the shot beating arch rival Ostapchuk of Belarus, and Nick Willis was 4th in the 1500m posting a qualifying time for World Champs, which should see him named in the final team.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I had the screws taken out of my foot 10 days ago and the foot is feeling really good. I have a small jar with the screws in it, a small momento of the battle! I had so been looking forward to getting the screws out and really getting into some running and jumping training, however my body had other ideas...

Unfortunately, in mid June, just before I got the screws out I sustained another injury, this time to my left hip doing simple walking hurdle drills. I had scans etc and it turned out I had torn the labrum in my hip (the labrum is the cartilage between the hip socket and the head of the femur).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Leaving school...again!

For the last 6 months I have been working at Rangi Ruru as a live-in tutor at the boarding house, where I went to school almost 20 years ago!

It was the perfect job for me training - meals cooked and no power or rent bills, and I had the whole day free for training.

Its the end of the 2nd term and I finished up at Rangi this week as I will be moving to Dunedin at the end of the month to start a similar job at Columba College.

I'm really going to miss everyone at Rangi, even the ratbags who wouldn't go to bed ontime!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Three screws loose

I just got a call with confirmation of surgery booked in this coming Thursday to get the screws taken out of my foot.

They've been in there for just under 9 months, which has gone really fast. It will be sooo great to be rid of them! I am going to ask the surgeon if I can keep the screws as a momento....maybe make them into jewelry?!

395 days to go....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Olympic standards set

The Olympic standards have been set for New Zealand track and field, with the heptathlon at 6050 (full policy click here). Its lower than the 6150 existing A standard for World Champs which came as a pleasant surprise!

6050 is a score I think I can achieve during the NZ domestic season next year so thats great....would be ideal to get the qualifier out of the way early so I can prepare fully for the Olympics. I have until July 8th 2012 to meet the qualiyfing mark.

I had a great training session this morning...swimming in the outdoor pool at Jelly Park, it was only 5deg outside and the shortest day of the year! A few more big quakes, including a 6.3 last Monday have made the move to Dunedin look even more inviting!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Surgery and shifting...

I saw the surgeon yesterday and he is really happy with how my foot is progressing so I am scheduled to have surgery again in 3 weeks to get the screws taken out of my foot which will be great! Then its just a few days on crutches followed by a few weeks of taking it easy to let the wound heal and the holes in the bone fill up and then I will be good to run. I'm getting closer to being able to do full training (running and jumping), however I know I still have to be patient...there are still 416 days until the Olympics! I am making such good gains in strength and other aspects of training which I have never had the time to do before, so I think the foot injury from Delhi will end up being a blessing in disguise come 2012.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Conditioning Heptathlon #2

The "Conditioning Heptathlon" #2 was held in Dunedin on the weekend, which I did with Jarrod Adams, Larissa Dyke, Tom Morrison, Chris Richards and Davina.

Many personal bests were achieved by all, with Jarrod Adams winning the competition. I ended up 2nd with a 300 point PB, scoring 6630, with PBs in every event except the 4th (hops for distance). I was most happy with my vertical jump 4cm PB as this should translate into some better high jump which is great points in a heptathlon.

Another highlight was the power clean test we did later that evening, with a PB of 95kg. Super stoked with that...especially considering the fatigue levels from the comp earlier in the day. Bring on a triple figure power clean!! I'm now equal first on the records board for power clean at the Academy of Sport gym in Dunedin with my good friend Tionette Stoddard, NZ Olympic skeleton racer.

I am counting down the days until I see the surgeon (9th June) as I am itching to have surgery and get the screws removed and move closer to being able to do full training. However I know I still have to be patient...there are still 423 days until the Olympics!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Conditioning Heptathlon

Happy Easter!

I have just come back from Dunedin where I did some testing - specifically a "conditioning heptathlon". Angus has developed a scoring system for 7 gym-based events which are designed to mimic the 7 events of the heptathlon (bearing in mind the fact that I can't use my right foot fully) and equated the scores to match. The conditioning heptathlon gives me something to focus on while I can't compete, adding a competitive aspect to testing at the end of every training block.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Training has been slightly disrupted since the earthquake!

The earthquake did a lot of damage to QE2, not just the track, but also the pool and the Academy of Sport and it's gym. Its really sad to see the pictures of damage at QE2. A lot of repair work will need to be done until we can train there again and its not looking good for having a track to train and compete on next summer. Understandably there are so many other priorities around the city for repair work with many people still without homes, power and water.

It was devastating to drive past Crichton Cobbers Gym yesterday to see it being torn down as a result of damage in the quake (picture above). Crichton Cobbers was where we spent many years doing weights before the Academy gym opened at QE2.

I have only got pool work and gym work on my training schedule at the moment as my foot is still not up to running so I am not needing the track, but now there are no pools open in the city so am doing bike for aerobic workout. I am doing weights at Gravity Gym on St Asaph Street as the Academy gym is out of action. I'm hoping to be able to do some running in the next few months as my foot improves, but for now I am making good gains in the gym getting stronger.

I am thankful that I am not in the position many of the GFS squad are in, trying to prepare for Nationals by having to travel to Timaru, Dunedin and even Australia! Good luck to everyone for the rest of the season.

I'm heading to Dunedin for the next couple of weekends to do some training with Angus and to watch NZ Champs and cheer the GFS crew on.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Thank you so much for messages of support since the quake. I am ok, and the family is too.

I'm just really so, so thankful that I was standing on the sports field at Rangi Ruru School at the time, away from any crumbling buildings, such a blessing.

My thoughts are with those people who were not so lucky, and with families who have lost loved ones and homes. To donate to assist the recovery:


Friday, February 11, 2011

Inspiration from an NZ Icon

I was very lucky to meet Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for a photo-shoot promotion for the NZ Olympic Committee's London 2012 campaign (she's telling me to try and hit the camera man!). I also got to hear her give a singing lesson to some aspiring it was amazing to hear her absolutely incredible voice upclose!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

33rd in World 2010

I finished the 2010 year ranked 33rd in the world in the heptathlon with my 5988 points competition from Canterbury Champs in January 2010. See below for the information from Athletics NZ:

"Eight New Zealand athletes feature in the top fifty in the Athletics world rankings for 2010. The ATFS rankings just released have three New Zealand men and five women in the world top fifty in their events.

Shot Putter Valerie Adams is the highest ranked at second, while Javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar comes in at ninth.

Distance runner Kimberley Smith features in two events, the marathon and half marathon, with dual Commonwealth Games medallist, Nikki Hamblin also featuring in two events, the 800 metres and 1500 metres.

Two other Commonwealth medallists Brent Newdick (Decathlon) and Nick Willis (1500m) make the lists in their respective events.

Recently retired former World Champion Beatrice Faumuina comes in at 23rd in the discus in her final year on the world stage.

The unluckiest is Rebecca Wardell who was in medal contention in Delhi in the heptathlon when she suffered a serious foot injury. She makes the heptathlon list at number 33.

The result in an improvement from 2009 when there were only three ranked in the top thirty and a total of six in the top fifty.

The result for 2010 is the best since 2006 when there were a total of nine New Zealanders ranked in the top fifty.

With the exception o Faumuina and Wardell who is still recovering from her injury, all the athletes are competing in New Zealand this season, with most taking part in the Asics Grand Prix Series starting this Saturday (22 Junauary) with the Sylvia Potts Classic in Hastings, followed by the Cooks and Capital Classics on 25 January and 28 January."

ATFS World Rankings 2010
2nd Valerie Adams Shot Put 20.86m
11th Kimberley Smith Half Marathon 1h 7m 55s
23rd Beatrice Faumuina Discus Throw 61.11
26th Kimberley Smith Marathon 2h 25m 21s
28th Nikki Hamblin 800m 1m 59.66s
33rd Rebecca Wardell Heptathlon 5988pts
36th Nikki Hamblin 1500m 4m 5.93s
9th Stuart Farquhar Javelin Throw 85.35m
18th Brent Newdick Decathlon 8091pts
40th Nick Willis 1500m 3m 35.17s

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sneaky tips from a guru

I was in the gym this morning and in walked Steffi Nerius, German javelin thrower and 2009 World Champion, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and Bronze Medalist at the 2003, 2005 and 2007 World Champs, so needless to say knows a little bit about javelin!

So I decided to practice my German and ask her if she had a spare few minutes to show me some tips about javelin. She agreed and have just come back from the gym with some new ideas that will hopefully help me throw the spear a little further!

She is here as a coach for the German IPC team. Its awesome in the gym at the moment, heaps of amazing athletes doing all kinds of interesting stuff. The world no.2 in the discus is also floating around as part of the Croatian team.

QE2 is where its at for athletics at the mo!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back into training

I started back into training on Monday at the gym with Angus Ross who is doing my strength and conditioning for the next few months.

I am so sore today that I can hardly sit down!! But is great to get the body moving again after 3 months laying around not doing much since Delhi. I'm doing as much strength stuff as my foot will allow as well as walking through some of the technical aspects of the events.

As well as getting back into training I am going to be working at the IPC World Athletics Champs which are being held in Christchurch at the end of the month. There are about 10 kiwi athletes, including Beijing silver medalist Kate Horan and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Jess Hamill, competing against the best in the world, come on down and cheer them on, its on from 21-30th January at QE2:

I am also helping to organise the International Track Meet which is being held in Christchurch at QE2 on the evening of 26th February with athletes like Val Adams, Nikki Hamblin and Nick Willis all competing with a host of athletes from NZ and overseas so if you are in Christchurch that weekend come down to QE2 and watch: