Introducing: Angie Petty

Angie Petty is a well-known figure on the New Zealand Athletics 800m scene. Competing since the age of 5, Angie holds an impressive number of titles & records. Not only does she train hard (most days, she does double training) but she balances her sessions with travel, work & socialising! She’s just wrapped up an impressive stint in the 2018 Commonwealth Games!

What sport are you involved in?
Athletics, 800m.

Do you hold any titles, records and/or big wins?
2015 World University Games Champion, 7x National 800m Champion, 4x National 1500m Champion, New Zealand 1000m record holder, 2nd ever best 800m female time.

How long have you been involved in your sport?
Did it at school from 5, for a club since I was 10 years old and got a coach when I was 13.

What inspired you to start?
Watching the Olympics on TV, doing well in races at school, being competitive.

What does a day in the life of Angie look like?
If in Christchurch (not overseas) and working:

  • up and breakfast
  • work at a preschool 9-3pm
  • home about 3.30 and straight out training (so first training might be 4- 5.30pm)
  • 6pm ish: next training. Til about 7/7.30 (often would be first training long run, 2nd training speed/technique session)
  • 7.30 home and cook dinner
  • admin then hopefully time to relax with my husband or socialize
  • 10pm ish bed

Non work day and interval training day, something like this:

  • Up and breakfast
  • 9am- to the grass track (Christchurch will finally have an all weather track later this year after 7 years without one)
  • 9.15am warm up (15min jog then technique drills)
  • 9.45am start intervals
  • (this changes a lot, may be something like:
  • 3x 1600m intervals in around 5mins20 with 2mins recovery between each and then a 6min break then 5x 200m intervals in 28seconds ish with 2mins recovery between each.)
  • 10.30 finish intervals and warm down (10min jog and stretching)- recovery protein
  • 11 home and smoothie
  • 12 to the gym for a strength session
  • 12.30- 2pm gym
  • 2.15 lunch
  • 2.45 physio
  • 3.45 home and shower
  • 4pm admin work, house work and errands (eg grocery shop)
  • 6.30pm cook dinner
  • 7.30pm eat dinner
  • 8pm relax or socialize
  • 10pm bed

What setbacks have you faced in your sport career? Have you faced any adversity or discrimination?
Injuries and sickness- 4 hamstring tears and a calf tear (thankfully only grade 1 except 1 hammy that was grade 2) other injuries and glandular fever. Disappointing races especially international races such as World Champs where I missed out on the semi final by 0.03 of a second. Also disappointment with loss of sponsorship/funding which has made it hard to continue competing but am very grateful for the support I do receive.

Do you find any difficulties maintaining a work/life/sport balance?
Yes it can be challenging due to the amount of hours and hard work involved with the training. For example many of the international girls I compete against are full time athletes. Double training most days takes a lot out of you- especially the hard interval days and ultimate recovery would be to not have too much on between the training sessions.

However my husband and I need to earn to pay the bills and the costs of travelling around the country and the world to train and compete. So my husband (he is an athlete too) works full time permanent, and I work part time on a casual basis due to the big hours with my sport and being overseas for long periods of time racing and training. I am very grateful for any funding I receive to help with these costs.

I graduated at the end of last year so balancing running, study and work was busy but I did enjoy it all. And I love where I work- The Rainbow Preschool where I have relieved for the past 8 years.

How do you stay motivated to train & compete daily?
By focusing on my next races, especially the international events and by always wanting to better myself- having goals. I love training especially with my husband and dog Tux and my other running friends. And am very grateful to have competed for New Zealand all around the world. It’s a lot of hard work, with lots of challenges and disappointments but also a lot of blessings along the way.

How do you stay fueled for workouts and competitions?
By eating healthy and good quantities. I totally believe that you need to give your body lots of fuel and of course try and eat mostly healthy, however do believe in having treats. I love my Tom & Luke snacks for snacks between meals every day and for recovery after training as well as an energy hit before training. My absolute favourites are the Caramel balls, the Brownie slice and the protein bar- perfect for after a session. I eat my last main meal about 3 hours before a race with a banana about 90mins before and something light and sugary (honey, jellie beans or sports drink) even closer to the race.

Any advice or tips for aspiring athletes?
Make sure you are following dreams of something you enjoy! Don’t get so caught up on results that you get so stressed before competing and training and don’t enjoy it. Surround yourself with positive people, a good coach and supportive family and friends. Work hard, but have time to recover and relax also. Set small stepping stone goals as well as the longer term goals and keeping a training journal is pretty handy as well (great to look back on).

To see more of Angie’s Athletics journey, follow her on Social Media (@angie_run800m)

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@tom_and_luke) & Facebook (/TomandLuke)