Melanie Panayiotou

Melanie Panayiotou
2XU

MELANIE PANAYIOTOU

Marathon Runner

What does your standard training week involve?
140 - 160km running per week is standard for my training. I like to add in an easy bike ride or yoga session on my recovery days too.

Where is your favourite place to train?
I'm very lucky to live on the Sunshine Coast in QLD where I can run along the beaches, canals and rivers in perfect weather year-round. Falls Creek in VIC is my favourite place to escape to for training.

What is your favourite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
Compression half short; perfect for any run session and great for racing.

What is your favourite training accessory?
TomTom Cardio GPS watch; I love to analysis my sessions when I get home and it reads pulse rate so no need for a HR strap!

What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
My running career is in the very early stages and I know there is still a lot to learn as I progress. So far the biggest challenge has been finding that balance with my other career as the full time Head Vet at Australia Zoo.

Whatโ€™s the most common training mistake you see on the circuit? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
Any suggestions on how to avoid it? Overtraining, receiving poor advice, and not adding in enough rest and recovery sessions.

What motivates you to train and race harder?
Knowing that I've still got so much to give! Being relatively new to the sport, I've barely touched the surface of my marathon running potential.

Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
I like to keep things simple with healthy wholefoods rather than processed foods. Having gluten and dairy intolerances also limits what I can eat. I try to eat a higher proportion of good quality protein early in the week, and then increase the carbohydrates later in the week to ensure I have good muscle glycogen stores ready to use during the race.

How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
Between my training/racing and my Zoo Vet job, there's a limited amount of time left for other things. I train early in the mornings and again after work, and I definitely value any extra time I get with friends and family.

What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
Shotz electrolytes are an important component for me to replace lost sodium post-training as well as during a marathon.

Best and worst thing about being a professional athlete:
Racing can take you to some amazing places around Australia and the world, but the travel can also be one of the toughest parts in the lead up to a marathon.

In five years time, I'll be:
Aiming to compete at the 2020 Olympic marathon in Tokyo!

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Australian Commonwealth Games Marathon 2014
  • Australian Half Marathon Champion 2014
  • Commonwealth Games Marathon, Glasgow, 8th place (2:35:01)