Wonder what it takes to train like an Olympic runner? Anneliese Rubie Renshaw is about to tell you. Anneliese is a 27-year-old 400m runner from Sydney. She’s a two-time National 400m Champion and has represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games in the 400m and 4x400m. Adding to her accolades, Anneliese has recently joined the Wattbiker tribe after using the bike as part of a rehabilitation programme.
Anneliese was ambitious from a young age. “I always loved running when growing up, and I particularly loved beating the boys in beach sprints at my local nippers [surf club] every Sunday,” she says. “I saw an ad on TV for Little Athletics and signed up immediately. It took me a while to find my feet on the track but as soon as I saw Cathy Freeman win the 400m gold medal in Sydney, I knew what I wanted to do!”
Since then, Anneliese has earned a number of impressive achievements, but her standout performances include racing at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. “I’d been dreaming of that moment for over 15 years, so to accomplish that goal was very surreal.”
Anneliese’s relationship with the Wattbike started when she was returning to running after recovering from surgery on her toe. “I was looking at three months with no running, and five months of return to running, so needed a way to produce similar levels of lactic and speed that I do in my 400m training. The guys at Novofit Australia [Wattbike official distributors] were generous enough to lend me a Wattbike to use at home while going through my rehab.
“I’ve been training on the Wattbike for almost three months now. As soon as I was cleared to start exercising by my surgeon I jumped on the Wattbike immediately,” she says. “Initially I used it for regaining strength and movement to my injured leg without the forces of running.”
With recovery going well, she is able to use the Wattbike to hit the same energy systems she would in a normal training week. “As a 400m runner, my sessions include max speed development, speed endurance, lactic tolerance and aerobic work.” Using the Wattbike means that Anneleise can continue to train these systems in a way that produces little impact on her injury.
Until trying the Wattbike, indoor cycling was never her rehabilitation method of choice, as she felt most indoor bikes to be too quad-dominant. “The position of the Wattbike coupled with the resistance adjustments and instant feedback regarding your Pedalling Efficiency Score ensures I am working my glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads – just like when I’m running! I am definitely going to add it into my regular training regime to supplement my running. I can work on my fitness, and strength without the load of pounding the track.”
Anneliese is also a big fan of the accompanying Wattbike Hub, having used it to guide a number of her rehabilitation sessions. “One of my favourite sessions on the Wattbike Hub is the 20-minute ramp warm-up and Descending Pyramid Speed Session. The recently added “Getting Back to the Peloton” session is fun to simulate a cycling race!”
Going forward, Anneliese aims to be named National Champion again next year and qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She says: “I made the semi-final in the last games so my goal is to make the final next year, and finish with a world ranking in the top 10. My current personal best is 51.51sec so I am aiming to break 51secs in the 400m.”