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How to train in the Wild West

News / Blog

Words & Pics- Kate Vaughan

Training in the Outback can be a rural challenge. Engineer by day. Triathlete by night. Kate Vaughan, your Everyday Hero Triathlete provides insight into what it is like to train in Rural Australia.

For the past three years I have been living and working rurally and for the past 18 months I have been triathlon training rurally. Yes, that’s right! I have never trained in a city or a non-mining town.

Graduating from University in 2012 I relocated to Central Queensland for two years before moving to Weipa, in Far North Queensland this year. Weipa is small town about 10-hours north of Cairns with a population of approx. 2800 people.

QOTM – Queen of the Termite Mound since Weipa has no mountains... or hills

QOTM – Queen of the Termite Mound since Weipa has no mountains… or hills

So, what is it like training in Weipa? Sweat, heat and red feet! Sweat from the humidity, heat from the 40 degree temperature and red feet from bauxite dust everywhere. I like to look at all the positives though. Mindset is everything. Don’t put a negative spin on things…otherwise you’re just cycling backwards!

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A few other challenges I face living in an isolated town is not having the convenience and availability of simple things (i.e fresh fruit and veg), being remote and isolated and away from friends and family, and the accessibility to a city all year round (Cairns being the closest city (10hours away) is only accessible via car during dry season as the road can get flooded out during the wet, the only way out is to fly).

Besides some of the challenges, there is so much to be thankful for. The small town community and lifestyle is something I LOVE! I love the outback, camping, fishing, 4wding, diving,  living beachside, NO TRAFFIC!, no hustle and bustle and just the laid back friendly community.

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Kate’s Top Tips for Training Rurally:

1. Don’t be like Donkey from Shrek… find a friend, so you’re not all alone:

They don’t have to be training for triathlon too. You can have individual sport training buddies and you don’t have to train with them every day but they are great for motivation, company and keeping you accountable. For me I have a couple of work colleagues that only cycle, so they are my cycle buddies. My Dane x Lab, Suki, is my running track partner, I do all my longer runs myself. I have a few swim buddies that keep me motivated and an experienced gym buddy who ensures all my form is on point.

2. Beep Beep Outta the Way Chick in Lyrca:

Weipa has no bike lanes on the road so I have to be smart about the times I go for my ride, for my own safety. Living in a mining town, I avoid cycling when the mine operators are heading to / coming home from work which is 5.30-6.30am/pm.

3. Expect the unexpected… BOO!:

It’s a big world out there filled with crocs, snakes, distracted drivers and larger than life pot holes. If you’re going out by yourself let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Mobiles don’t always have reception!

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We all face challenges with training, whether we are working full-time, have children or live in the middle of nowhere … you have two choices… sit back and think of reasons why you can’t, or get out there and enjoy the ride!

Follow her adventures on Instagram: @kates.adventures

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  • Tim Davis

    Great blog post Kate! I like your positive spins, there is always a bright side 🙂

  • Logan Kramer

    Great post! Also being a fellow miner this is something I can relate to

  • Zoe V

    Great post!! Very entertaining!

  • Waltzing Raynolds

    Love this Kate – I get a lot of cars slowing down to ask if I need a lift when training at home on the farm … good luck – stay safe!