Tips from Lisa Weightman

Lisa Weightman, Olympic Athlete

Lisa Weightman, Olympic Athlete

Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Lisa Weightman is currently Australia’s fastest female marathoner with a personal best time of 69:00 for the half marathon and 2:26:05 for the full marathon.    

Mother of Peter Richard McArthur, born in December 2014 he too is a little speedster.  Remarkably, just over 12 months after the birth of little Pete, Lisa ran a qualifying time for the Olympic Games and is on her way to Olympic selection for the third time in her career. 

Lisa trains daily with her husband Lachlan McArthur with the help of their family.  Lisa and Lachlan hope that when Pete is big enough to understand that he will be very proud of his fit parents, parents who are teaching him that with discipline, team work and never losing sight of your dream, that you really can achieve amazing things.

Lisa will be running her first Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon this year and would like to share some tips with her fellow running friends.

Pace yourself early

There’s no better feeling than running the second half of your race faster than your first, regardless of the distance.  Break your race up into thirds and set a physical and mental goal for each third. 

The first third is about finding a comfortable rhythm that you can maintain while holding onto a little feeling in the back of your mind that if someone was chasing you, you’d be able to go a bit harder and hold them off! 

The middle part of your race is always the most challenging, but on the flip side it is the part that will give you the most reward.  Pick out other runners ahead of you and focus only on catching and passing them.  Don’t think about anything else but the next person in front of you.

The final third is about giving it your all.  Go your hardest during this section.  You’ll feel tired for sure, but hey if it was easy everyone would do it! 

Eat the right things

This can be challenging before a race, particularly when a race starts very early in the morning.  When I have an early race the night prior I eat my dinner no later than 6pm.  I keep it simple, grilled chicken, white rice and some steamed vegetables.  The next morning about 3 hours before the race start time I have 1-2 pieces of toast with jam or honey and a coffee.  Go easy on the milk.   

Don’t forget to keep the fluids up and on hot days take in some electrolytes with your breakfast, but don’t overdo it. 

Try some lightweight training or racing shoes

It is amazing the impact a pair of lightweight training or racing shoes can have on your overall performance.  Asked a trained professional to look at your foot strike, the wear pattern on your current training shoes and provide them with information such as the amount of kilometres you run and walk per week and your next running goal!

A trained professional can then make sure you are training in the right shoe to avoid injury and recommend a lightweight shoe for your foot type and strike that you can then try out in training in the months leading into the SMH Half Marathon. 

I love running in different shoes across the week.  When I put on my lightweight shoes it triggers that psychological button that says “now we are going to run fast”! 


Good luck at the SMH Half Marathon.  I hope I get to meet many of you on the day!