Train smarter, not harder, for Cigna Round the Bays on February 19.

That’s the advice from Les Mills Wellington personal trainers Emma Cachemaille and Cody Burdon who are just two of the many Les Mills members participating.

Cody is running the 10km distance – or he might step up his goal to tackle the half-marathon if his training progresses well. As one of the #STEPITUPNZ contributors Emma is providing members training advice, recipes and general tips on how to prepare.

Les Mills passionately helps to back this community event and if you are a member you might have noticed the event’s #STEPITUPNZ stickers at the gyms. They’ve created step by step running plans that will not only guide you through your long runs, but show you how you can use the gym to strengthen your core and stride.

The specialised programmes are available for all event distances, all you need to do is select the Les Mills offer when entering online or register for #STEPITUPNZ where you will also receive a 10 Workout Pass!

Cody’s training tips include:

  • Shoes should fit your feet correctly. “Don’t just pull something out of the closet from 2-3 years ago!” he says.
  • Build up your runs slowly over time. Start with two short runs weekly and then after a few weeks, add another run. Don’t leave training until just a few weeks out from the event day and then suddenly train ‘hard’. You want to avoid injury.

“The number of people who come to the gym a few weeks out and do not give their bodies enough time to adjust to doing these big runs… well, they end up injuring their hips, feet or knees,” he says.

  • Do not run through pain. “That sore, dull ache feeling is okay,” he says. “But pain isn’t”. Seek advice if you are unsure.
  • Your body will feel tight from running – so stretch for recovery.
  • Strength work – with a correct and safe technique – can also help you get stronger.
  • Have a realistic goal and aim ‘to finish the event and to enjoy it’. No time pressures are needed.


Register for Cigna Round the Bays at and remember to join #STEPITUPNZ to be in to win a family escape to Hawke’s Bay prize valued up to $2,500.

Rachel is a runner, qualified yoga teacher and director of lifestyle website, and follow more of her personal journey to get race-ready with her family on her Facebook & Instagram pages