Relationships born from reality television shows are a little like farts: they usually stink and don’t last long for very long.
One couple who have dodged this flatulence-based logic is Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich.
The genetically-blessed pair met on the first series of The Bachelor way back in 2013, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. They announced their engagement a year ago, making them the first ‘Strayan Bachie couple to take things all the way to the alter.
They’re both notoriously into their fitness, with Robards working as a chiropractor and running a successful training program, The Robards Method, and lawyer Heinrich routinely posting her workout routines on the ‘gram.
Robards was recently announced as the ambassador for City2Surf and PEDESTRIAN.TV thought it the perfect opportunity to get him on the blower to ask him how he’s training for both the run and the big day.
PTV: So why did you start running in the City2Surf?
Robards: It’s one of the world’s biggest timed fun runs – when I was 20, I came down from Newcastle and did it for the first time – in the years since I’ve done it with family, mum and dad and Anna as well.
Sometimes I’ve done it literally just for fun and cruised through it with others who are beginners. Other years I’ve gone and had a good crack for a good time.
It’s a great way for people who maybe aren’t all that experienced to kickstart their fitness journey. Maybe they start off walking every couple of days, then it turns into a jog, then they’re running every day and that doesn’t just end at the big event. It’s a really great stepping stone.
So you did it with your parents, how did they go?! Are they super fit as well? 14kms is a long way.
My dad still plays tennis, once or twice a week, and they both go walking and ride their bikes a fair bit. I wouldn’t call them athletes but they definitely keep active. They walked it.
That’s the thing: there are all different starting groups in the run. All the serious runners leave first. Then you’ve got your beginners, and mothers and fathers with prams and people doing crazy things for charity like getting dressed up in big animal costumes.
There’s so much entertainment and energy. Pubs will have bands playing music outside, people sitting on their balcony cheering you on, sometimes even with a hose if you need a water down. It’s at that great time of year when the temperature is turning around and it’s the start of Spring.
It’s a great way to see Sydney, and you can’t beat ending at Bondi Beach.
What advice would you give to totally newbies (hello me) who are interested in doing a fun run?
Learning to run properly is really important. If you’re new to running and you’re a real heel striker, it’s not great on your knees and ankles. Joggers are great but they’ve encouraged a world of heel strikers.
The best way to understand that is to take off your shoes and run across a road or a gravel path. You’ll notice that you won’t heel strike like you would in sneakers, because if you were to do that and step on a stone you’d buckle and hit the ground. But if you jump on your front foot [the correct way to run], your foot can roll either way and it won’t hurt.
It takes a bit of practice but you can mimic that once you put your joggers on.
Another good idea is to start walking barefoot. Go to the beach, run over the rocks and run on the sand, change up the terrain; feel the dirt, sand and grass. It challenges your feet and the muscles in your feet which is really important.
Speaking of training for big days, your wedding is coming up. A lot of people resolve to get as fit as they can before their big day. Will you be changing any habits?
For me, fitness and everything is about the daily habits. There are times when you get super busy and the daily habits fall away. I keep a good balance in general. My weight doesn’t fluctuate. So I don’t really have to, I’m not looking to lose weight for my wedding or anything. But my lifestyle is about keeping balance.
I know a lot of people out there who are a little out of balance and if they have a wedding or run coming up, and it can be really good chance to set goals and set those daily habits to achieve that.
What are some daily habits you’d recommend for us mere mortals do before a big event?
It’s pretty simple: stop doing the stuff that made you lose your healthy weight in the first place. You don’t need to add a lot of stuff in. Just stop doing the stuff that made you shy away from a healthy weight. That could be overeating, eating the wrong stuff, having too much alcohol and sugar. Cut it down.
Incorporating daily movement into your life is really important too. It’s a lifestyle adjustment.
Another thing to consider is intermitted fasting. Basically it’s just changing the timing of your eating and giving yourself a smaller window for eating food.
I do it daily. Instead of eating from 7am – 11pm, which is about 16 hours of eating, you reverse it and have 16 hours not eating. You adjust your eating to a 8 hour window.
Breakfast, for example, literally means ‘break fast’. We all fast while we sleep, and then we wake up, we have breakfast: some people do so ten minutes after waking up, other after four hours; there aren’t really any rules. But based on what we would have done before breakfast cereals, a lot of people wouldn’t have had their first meal till lunchtime.
People say ‘breakfast most important meal of the day’ but if you’re having toast with jam and a big glass of orange juice? That’s total rubbish.
What kind of happens when you narrow the window of eating is you end up snacking less, less food overall, it’s important the food I eat is nutritiously dense. I eat good food which is basically just lots of vegetables. When you do that it makes it a lot easier to get on with doing what you’re doing.
For example, I used to get up and eat oats first thing in the morning, and by the time it got to 4 or 5pm, I would be craving a muffin or a mocha, just anything with sugar or caffeine. Now, after changing the time I eat, I power on and I don’t have any of those highs or lows in energy. I’m not craving that sugar at the end of the day because I haven’t had a big carby lunch and my bloody sugar hasn’t fluctuated.
So you reckon the food you’re eating is the most important part of getting fit for the big day?
Food and nutrition is so much more important than worrying about exercise. When you start doing something good for yourself like training for a run, you’ll find that motivation changes the way you think about food.
You might start thinking, “I’m gonna eat well as well” because they go hand in hand. When you start doing positive things for yourself, positivity feeds positivity. It’s a feedback mechanism.
It cane work with negative thought patterns too, like when you think “bugger it, I’ll get pizza” and then you decide there’s no point in going on that run the next day. So I’d say if you’re shredding for the wedding – focus on the nutrition number one, and consider the exercise as a nice compliment.