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Benita Willis asked good friend & one of our country's best marathon runners, Jess Stenson about what she's been up to, tips for ISO and how motherhood has been since her son Billy was born last year. 

BW: Greatest career accomplishment/s including PB’s
- Placing 9thin the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon
- Bronze Medals at the 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Marathon - 2.25.59 (Toronto 2018)
Half Marathon - 70.59 (Marugame 2018)
10,000m - 32.17 (USA 2015)
5,000m - 15.56 (Gold Coast 2018)

 BW: Typical training week?
JS: At the moment I am focussing on fitness and strength maintenance rather than development as we wait to find out when races will fire up again. 

Since giving birth to Billy in November of 2019, a typical training week generally involves two key sessions (on Tuesdays and Fridays) with a key long run on the Sunday. I have a medium / long run on Wednesdays with a cross training session of up to an hour in the afternoon. Mondays and Thursdays either feature a jog or a cross training session as well as gym. 

BW: Approach to get through #ISO
JS: Set short term goals to help maintain motivation i.e. a time trial over a certain distance, a gym challenge etc. Also list some activities or goals that you’d like to achieve at home to provide structure and a feeling of progress i.e. plant a vegetable garden, read a particular book, try a new recipe. 

BW: S+C Exercises/ Cross Training used at the moment?
JS: Twice per week - usually Mondays and Thursdays. A half an hour session in the little gym that we have set up in our carport. Major focusses since giving birth have been:

- spinal and pelvic stability / control

- thoracic and hip mobility

- calf, hamstring and gluteal strength. 

My upper body and quads get a fair work out when carrying Billy around and squatting to pick things up off the floor! 

I use the Elliptical trainer 3-4 times per week for additional cardio and strength training without the load and impact of running.

BW: What’s your dream race you’d love to run in the future?
JS: It’s a tie between the New York and the Berlin Marathon. I also dream of representing Australia at another Olympic Games! 

BW: Sunday long run ritual? 
JS: Wake up and feed my 6-month-old Billy then run 6km into North Adelaide to meet my squad for the remaining 1.5-2 hours of the run (pre-Covid19 restrictions). I always look forward to a coffee and snack afterwards with whoever else is keen.