Marion Drew – From Burnt Out to Awesome

Marion Drew lined up for her first Half Ironman at Challenge Shepparton in November. And she could not have been more READY. Immensely consistent training and diligence to holistic factors of mobility, nutrition, mindfulness and recovery had her prepped for an amazing day! Here Marion shares her what lead her to Holistic Endurance, her training in the lead up to the race and most importantly how she found her free spirit. This is one inspiring story.

Over to Marion…

I started training with Holistic Endurance about 15 month’s ago. Basically I was burnt out, stressed and over worked. I had to have everything done perfectly. Training myself was not working, I contacted Coach Katee on the recommendation of Steph Lowe – The Natural Nutritionist – who I had met at The Triathlon Expo in Sydney. This was my new beginning, a chance to become healthy again.

I have always wanted to do a Half Ironman but was not strong or fit enough and had a few injury issues as well. Having a coach was the best thing for me to be able to achieve this goal, especially the way Coach Katee trains me.

Coach Katee’s program has the right balance, it is stress free, the focus is on having a good diet and less is best in training, but the quality of that training is very high. There is no “junk training”, every session has a purpose and there is enough recovery for me to “go” again the next day. The training sessions are challenging but I never reached the stage where I was completely exhausted and had to miss sessions because I was too tired. When I was training myself this used to happen all the time. Coach Katee’s training program certainly has worked well for me.

I had never been involved in sports till the age of 37, so could not run ,swim or ride very well and had never played team sport. My whole life has changed now; you’re never too old to learn new tricks. My biggest fear was swimming, I suffered badly from anxiety in the open water , so to overcome this was huge for me . I could not swim a stroke when I started triathlon, but practice and determination will get you there.

I really enjoyed training for this race , I had never had a structured training program before. It was all new to me. My body and the mind had to adjust, but it was so much better.

Coach Katee knows how to train a burnt out body and get it functioning again. Holistic Endurance know their stuff!! I thought I would never get back to my old self but I trusted my coach and I could feel myself getting stronger with each passing week, without being too exhausted to do all the other things that have to be done, that’s why it worked.

When I was training myself I was always training in the grey zone, I did not know any better, but have learnt a lot since then. I love the Holistic Endurance way of training especially now I’m 46 I am happier, stronger , fitter and recover a whole lot better than I used to .

What were the top 3 things you learnt in the lead up to Shepparton?

The three main things I have learnt through the lead up to this race were:

1 Trust your coach
2 Your body can do extraordinary things
3 The mind will get you through anything if it’s in the right place (this goes for every day life as well!!! )


What did you enjoy the most in terms of training?

The parts I most enjoyed in terms of training were: The structure of my program, it was never boring and allowed me to recover from the harder sessions and seeing great results because I was consistent. Most importantly, work and family never suffered because of my training. The right balance – love it !! 🙂


What challenges did you come across and how have you overcome them?

Some of the challenges I came across was dealing with bad weather all the time on the bike, TT ‘s I thought I  could never ride three time trials of 30 minutes each in a 4 hour ride and just being out on the course for 6 to 6.5 hours on race day was scary.
I overcame these challenges by believing in myself, believing in the training I had done and working on building my mental strength to cope with all the things I couldn’t change. (I also have a wonderful husband who would make me go for a ride even though I would say things like “it’s too cold/hot, there are too many cars, the magpies will attack me, It’s too windy etc)

My biggest motivator was being told, “you’ll never do it you’re too slow’. That was a big red flag to me.


What parts of your program have given you the most confidence?

The program itself gave me the confidence that I could do all three disciplines well and finish. The difference with this program is that its designed for me, using MAF heart rate, good recovery and less training but more bang for your buck through quality training.
Mentally in the lead up to this race I just visualised the race going well and believed that I could do this and nothing was going to stop me.


What are the notable differences in your training leading into this race compared with others?

My nutrition has changed heaps, thanks to Steph and Coach Katee, I am fat adapted now and have a lot less sugar in the diet. Plain and simple, eat real fresh whole foods not packaged. Steph’s book “The Real Food Athlete “and her guidance has helped me a lot.


What holistic principle have you found has made the biggest difference in your training/recovery?

The biggest Holistic principle that has helped me back is MAF heart rate when training and recovery. I feel I can do the training without burn out and recovery time is so much better. Especially after this race I have never felt so good.


Who is on your “team” that you would like to acknowledge?
The people that have helped me through this journey my amazing husband Pat, Coach Katee my wonderful coach, Christine, Tom my kids, friends Vanessa, Mel , LLoyd,
Mum , Dad and Steph. I could not do it without their support .

The amazing race result!
The race itself was fantastic I enjoyed every minute off it, you learn a lot  about yourself in races like that, I don’t feelworthless anymore. Long distance is my favourite now. The funny thing is I qualified for the Challenge Championship 2018 Somorin Slovakia, (these things never happen to me), it felt absolutely awesome !!!

Most importantly how did you celebrate post event?

To celebrate I had my family and friends around me, and a really nice cocktail.


My advice to anyone reading this is: follow your dreams have the right people guiding and supporting you and most important have fun. I found ME again and that free spirit I used to be.
Happy Training everyone.

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