The running yogi & Rugby league captain

Good magazine’s wellness columnist Rachel Grunwell is an ambassador for the John West 12km Traverse at the Auckland Marathon event on October 29 (alongside elite runner Ciaran Faherty). She reveals some top fitness tips this week from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, rugby league player, Vodafone Warrior Captain and Canterbury ambassador.

By Rachel Grunwell

Mind-set and motivation matters. It doesn’t matter what kind of sport or fitness activity you do, it comes down to motivation and your mind drives that. I did a fitness workout with Roger at CrossFit West Auckland – trialing the new Spring/Summer season of the Canterbury sports clothing line. Needless to say, I got the questions covered before the workout. Afterwards, I wasn’t useful for much. Other than gasping….

Strength work is a key to Roger’s power on the paddocks. Strength work is also a key part of my run training too. Although, these crossfitters take strength to a whole new level. Handstand push-ups anyone? Er, yeah, I suck at those too! Anyway, here are Roger’s top fitness tips which are worth noting by anyone taking on the 12km John West Traverse event – or wanting to “be the their best”. Note there are some wonderful yogi-tools here below that Roger taps into. How awesome is that!

1. Train right. Make sure your training is specific to the event. i.e lots of power presses in the gym might not be best in this instance! Be sure to mimic the event into your training as much as possible. 

2. Nutrition. A healthy diet plays a huge role in success in sport. Especially for game day. On game day I always ensure I have a healthy breakfast and lunch with loads of carbs and protein to get me through a game of footy. I usually have eggs on toast with avocado for breakfast. Lunch is something like chicken or salmon (white meat) with loads of veg. And probably a big smoothie.

3. Sleep! It’s so important to ensure you get 7-8 hours sleep each night to allow your body to repair and rest before the next big training day or event. I am a big believer in breathing techniques for those nights when I find it a bit tricky to get to sleep. And there is a great app called Mindfulness I like to use every now and then.

4. FUN! This one is huge. Make sure you enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise there is no point putting your body and mind through the pain and stress of training if you are not enjoying it.

5. Support. Surround yourself with people who will inspire you and keep pushing you. I am lucky in my team environment to have such an amazing support network. We all know each other so well and can feel when one of the boys is a bit off. We rally together to get them back on track. So having training buddies, family, husbands, wives to keep you on check is a great idea! You will always have those down days, so don’t worry.

Rachel is Good magazine’s wellness columnist, teaches yoga-for-runners and blogs on website inspiredhealth.co.nz. You can also follow her on

Instagram inspiredhealthandfitness/

and Facebook InspiredHealthNZ/

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