It was the Oxfam Trailwalker back in 2008 that set off Nikki Wynd’s love for ultra running. She joined her local gym at the tender young age of 12 having always been quite an active child, and played state level tennis and basketball as a teenager.
She even threw in a marathon in her 20s, ‘just for fun’, but never really ran much after that.
Now 46, the Lysterfield (Vic) resident reveals that back in 2008 she participated in the Oxfam event with a group of her gym friends, and they all finished in 15 hours.
“Two years later, I did Oxfam again, and this is when I got competitive,” she says.
“We finished 1st mixed team and 3rd overall, since then I have completed many ultras in Australia and throughout the world, running 50kms to 343kms.”
For the past six months, Wynd has been working with coach Leigh Iacovangelo who has devised her current training plan based on an acute weekly load over a three-week progressive load formula, allowing her to increase by a certain percentage each week.
“There are no huge spikes or drops in training, with the highest weekly kilometres getting up to about 220kms,” she reveals.
Wynd trains on a mix of road, track and trails, and schedules in two speed sessions per week as well as two strength and conditioning sessions in the gym.
Running between six and seven times per week, she qualified for the 2018 IAU 24hr Asia & Oceania Championships in Chinese Taipei by completing 214kms last year in Belfast at the 24hr World Championships.
Despite her racing experience and background, Wynd says she was still elated when she found out she was on the team.
“I was so excited when I got the call to say I was in the Australian team for Soochow,” she says.
“To represent your country is a pretty special thing, and Soochow has been a huge goal race of mine for a few years now, so it’s a dream come true to be running there this Saturday.
“I think everybody should have dreams and follow their goals, and never think you can’t make an Australian team.
“My mum still reminds me now that I used to make her write a note to my teacher in high school so that I wouldn’t have to compete in cross country.”
Wynd’s advice to others in the ultra community is simple, but influential.
“Have a program, work hard, love what you do,” she explains.
“The training is the fun part, and the racing is the icing on the cake.”
Wynd will be racing alongside her Australian team mates at the 2018 IAU 24hr Asia and Oceania Championships in Chinese Taipei the weekend of December 1-2.
Pictured: Nikki Wynd finished 1st Female in the 2018 Ned Kelly Chase 100km in 9:24:34. Photograph – Ned Kelly Chase Facebook page.