12 Week Tailored Running Program To Improve your Water Fitness & Help a Good Cause

Jenna Harrod grew up on the Central Coast spending most of her time lifeguarding, training to be an ironwoman and surfing. After moving to Sydney to pursue her professional career she needed a new physical challenge to keep her fit so she  began to run. She says “Surfing has become my relax time and running has become a way in which I build my strength.”

As a full time personal trainer Jenna now helps so people develop and condition their bodies to reach their best as well she says “community and charity have always been a passion of mine, so I wanted to combine all of my favourite things… 1) My love for helping people reach their goals 2) helping those less fortunate than myself an 3) running.”

So in 2014 Jenna launched I LOVE TO RUN in conjunction with 2 of out top athletes and Mermaid Contributors, Ironwoman Jordie Mercer and Sprinter Katie Williams.

I LOVE TO RUN is a 12 week training program combining running, cardiovascular fitness, functional movement and core stability. Every aspect we need to keep us fit and strong in the water when we can’t be. As part of the I LOVE TO RUN program participants and the group are aiming to raise $5000 AU for the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

All you have to do to be part of this amazing fitness program is visit Jenna’s JAYHACH PERSONAL TRAINING WEBSITE and make a small donation (Between $20 and $50AU) to gain exclusive access to 12 weeks worth of training programs online as well as an online forum and training tips to keep you inspired and motivated. Jenna says “The beauty of this is that you can do this program wherever in the world you are!”

“You don’t have to run far! You can nominate your goal, and the programs are designed to get you working towards YOUR OWN goal.” says Jenna “For example, I have had some of my friends sign up who have never ran a step in their life who are aiming for 5km with out stopping, to improve their overall health and gain confidence. Ultimately we want to create a virtual community of positive people who will (eventually) love to run!”

jordan mercer runningJordan Mercer is one of ambassadors and she is such a great girl to have on board!  Jordie is a full time athlete – in the water… However Jordie combines running into her everyday program. “Since I was quite young I have always loved running! When I was little I think I enjoyed it because I could go as fast as I wanted. Now I enjoy it as apart of my training and think it is a great way to clear my mind.” Says Jordie

“There are lots of places to run! Find your favourite, sand, track, parks, path! Make running as enjoyable as you can. Find some motivation for yourself. You could run with company or play some music. You could also set some short term goals and long term goals. This always helps remind me why I’m doing the hard work! It keeps me on track and motivated towards achieving something!” Jordie is going to helping our runners stay on track during the program and provide them with handy tips and inspiration along the way.


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Katie Williams is also one of our amazing ambassadors! This girl runs FAST! Although Katie’s “thing” is to run, she is a water baby at heart and the amazing strength and fitness she has built by running she carries very nicely into the ocean when she surfs! Katie has such a positive mind set and super determined attitude which she hope to be able to inspire others during the program with!

Katie says “Running is a whole body work out and it gives me mental clarity and helps me to focus and put things in perspective. Everyone should give jogging or running a go even if it’s just a kilometer. All you need is two working legs and some shoes, no memberships, no fees, it’s just you and the fresh air.”

“Seize the day’ is a quote I live by so I’m encouraging everyone take on this 12 week challenge, make a positive change and help out a great charity. It’s such an inspirational way to give and receive good things.”

Katie also has some tips to get you up and moving…”If you’re feeling unmotivated to get out of the house click onto YouTube and watch something inspirational or write a list of things that you want to improve with your fitness or the reasons why you want to train then when you’re feeling lazy or unmotivated read that list.”


Surfers and water women don’t just surf to be good in the surf. There are many outside elements and training that needs to be done to be strong in the ocean. 

1) Physical prowess to be efficient in your movement through the water

The same goes with running – runners don’t just run to be good at running. Using running combined with the core stabilising, speed and strength exercises associated with running can have a great impact on your surfing performance. The power through your mid section as well as through your legs drastically improves, as well as your overall cardio vascular fitness. All very important when trying to improve your surfing!

Many ocean athletes are starting to use a combined approach to their training and seeing amazing results in their overall performance and development, event their progression into new dimensions of their sport (see High Performance Surf Centre story). Functional cross-training is the best way to keep yourself fit, healthy and assist in the prevention of injury.

2) Meditation – sometimes you need to be out of the water to clear your head (As Sally Fitzgibbons points out in her book ‘Live Like Sally’)

Making a run part of your plan means you give your the opportunity to clear your brain space. Get into a rhythm, listen to some tunes, take in the view and sweat your worries away.

One of the great things about being a ocean loving creature is that you often find yourself in some amazingly beautiful places. Running to explore is such a nice way to see those places from outside of the water and really take in the overall beauty of a place.

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