Shona Stephenson

I love the taste of the all-natural Hammer Sports Nutrition products. The flavours taste natural, not artificial. They are gentle on my stomach. The electrolyte Fizz kept my muscles feeling great for 12 hours of running. Hammer Tropical Gel gave me the boost I needed to run up the climbs. Perpeteum replinished my muscles while on the run and the Hammer Cho Chip Bar gave my stomach something to digest at the 85km mark without bloating me. I used the Hammer Recoverite post event.

I’ve pulled up the best I ever have after a 100km event. My energy levels are sky high and ready to race the Coastal Classic 29km only 7 days after Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney. Thank You Hammer.

State: Proudly to say Queensland. My home town is Sydney Australia.

Sport: Trail Running

Sporting Accomplishment: My 2014 results are;

Aura Australian Ultra Trail Running National Champion, 1st Place Northburn 160km New Zealand, 2nd Place UTMF (Ultra Trail Mt Fuji 160km) Japan, 3rd Place TNF100 (The North Face 100), 9th Place Mt Blanc Marathon France, 1st Place Hakuba 50km Japan. Record Holder Sydney Trail Series Manly Dam and Bobbin Head for the 10km Distance.

How did you get into your sport: In 2008 after having my 2 children I shaved all my hair off to raise money for the Leukeamia Foundation, and to make sure I got all my pregnancy weight off I decided to run the Sydney 1/2 Marathon. The road running really killed my body, so I decided I needed to become stronger. Whilst looking on Coolrunning for races I spotted The Great Nosh a 15km trail event in Lindfield. It was pretty funny. I went out hard, so hard that at the 6km mark  I wanted to catch a taxi the F out of there. I managed to hold on to the finish line. I swore I’d never run that event again. 2 years later I came back and won it in 2012.

Hardest thing about your sport: For me it is the climbs. I much prefer running down the mountains or hills than climbing them. They are always something I am working on. My climbing technique and my VO2 Max. The altitude also throughs in an extra element of surprise. I get really sick, feel nausious. I have asthma too. I have this to worry about whilst racing. I have to run with an Inov8 Wrag over my nose and mouth to heat the air and keep the air moist before it hits my lungs. I guess it just adds an extra element of surprise to ultra trail running.

What does your regular training week consists of and how do you keep motivated: 

My weekly training program looks a bit like this;

Long Trail Run usually hilly. 20, 30, 50km Just depend on where I am at with my training. I like to also ride a bike (usually drag my husband out with me) as a recovery the next day. I love planning my long trail runs. They are like my little holidays I give myself every week. I’m always up for an adventure. They are definitely the most fun!

Speed work, Fartlek and Interval Training. This I hate to do but it gives some of the best results.

Bike a nice long ride to help improve my climbing technique, knee drive and foot lift. I usually do this on a hilly ride like the 3 Gorges in Sydney. (I’ll have to find a new favourite in Brisbane.)

Easy Jog. I love these. I also concentrate on stretching and self massage on the easy jog day.

Hills, Hills, Hills. Running Up them, running down them, power walking up them.

Stair Training. Again it works you hard, and teaches you great ascending and descending technique. I like to lift my knees whilst ascending and descending.

Rest Day. YAY! Chill out with my family and friends.

Also I love running with my Rescue Kelpie “Bubble” (Yes my kids named her). She always gets me out of the house on an adventure. She has taught me so much and change my running technique. She is so fast and strong and drags me down the streets. I think she would put the same amount of impact on my body as descending a mountain. I have to be as light on my feet as possible and spend the least amount of time on the ground with my feet otherwise she will injury me. I love doing a 10 km time trail with Bubble just trying to stay with her and teaching myself to absorb the impact and speed and maintain composure for the entire 10 km.

I also add in 3 laps Barefoot around an oval after every training session when I am near an oval. I feel this has helped my rehab my ankle.
Goals (Future Plans and Career expectations):

It looks like 2014 will be almost as big as 2013! HELP! In 2014 there is the Ultra World Tour and Skyrunning events that will be my key focus in 2014.

Okay my first key event of the year is Tarawera 100km in NZ March, then I race Buffalo Stampede 75km in VIC Australia April. I then head to Japan and race the UTMF 161km April. In May I’m back in NSW my home town racing TNF100K. I think I will have a bit of a rest and I’m not sure what is happening in June at this stage. July is a rest month.  In August I will be heading back to the UTMB 168km. In 2013 I had to pull out with an ankle sprain. I rolled my ankle at 15km. This aggravated my Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis and it also sprained medial ligament. I have unfinished business there. I pulled out at 95km out of the 168km. I will be back in Japan in September to defend my title at Hakuba International Trails 50km.

I’m also keen to discover the trails around TRAQ Events in Queensland and support the local trail running community. I’m loving the new trails to run on. The climbs are massive. The conditions are hot. I love the humidity.

Career Wise? I have to start up my One On One Personal Training, Mums n Bubs and Bootcamp Business again.

It was so sad to say goodbye to my Sydney clients. I was still training my first Pt clients from 5 years ago. They have all become my mates. I really get to know each and everyone of them. It’s like seeing a hairdresser, but every week, some of them I’d see them more than their friends. Some of my clients use to see me twice or 3,4 times a week. The first 10 minutes of the session in the warm up we chat about what’s going on in their life, de-stress them and then we hit the training. I can always get them to do more than they thought they could do in the session. That’s my job.

I’d also love taking my clients out for long runs and teach them trail running skills, one on one just the two of us on the trail. It is a rewarding experience.

I am still running Ultra Training Australia my online Mentoring and Coaching services for my online and Sydney Clients.

Here I write programs for their chosen event/s and provide them key tips about racing, training, night running, mental toughness, equipment, nutrition and hydration. There is just so much to learn when it comes to Ultra Trail Running its insane. Hopefully they can learn from my past experience. They can email or phone me and ask me any questions they have about anything to do with training, strength and conditioning, injuries, sports nutrition, diet.
Best piece of advice you have been given: 

Be your best you. It does not matter what others are doing. As long as you know you’ve given it “your all” that’s all that counts.


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