The great thing about life is you never know where it's going to take you.
Nikki Lesberg has always been a keen athlete and first started as a short track speed ice skater.
After years of training and competing on the ice it was then recommended that she should incorporate running into her routine in order to secure stronger results on the ice.
"My personal trainer at the time thought it would be beneficial if I started running to improve my ice skating," Lesberg said.
"My performance didn't really improve but what did get better were my running training times.
"After seeing such strong improvements I then made the switch and fell in love with marathon running."
After switching codes around seven years ago Lesberg's focus has since firmly been on long-distance running with the only hurdle in her way being an array of niggling injuries.
However, it's really only been during the past three years which she started to approach long-distance events seriously.
"I am a bit of a late bloomer and it was hard to make the switch - especially as the techniques are so different, but I am so happy I've discovered I have a talent for running," she said.
Recent top results include a fifth-placed finish (36:30) at the Melbourne Marathon within the 10km Open Women's category.
"Leading up to the race during winter I trained with my coach Shawn Forrest and we focused on doing a mixture of short, speed sessions and long runs multiple times per week " Lesberg said.
Lesberg is happy to have now found a balance between improving her ability as a runner while also balancing her professional life under the guidance of coach Forrest.
"It can always be a challenge taking on a new athlete who has come from a different sport as I need be cautious to avoid causing them any unnecessary injuries," Forrest said.
"But it's a two way street - my methodology and training principles require feedback from the athlete as to what they think is and isn't working.
"Communication is the key to coaching and there's no need to complicate things as at the end of the day - it's just running.
"But there's always a method to the madness."
With a solid winter training season now completed, both Lesberg and Forrest are focused on events throughout summer.
At this stage Lesberg's next event will be the Zapotek A-Grade National 10km Championship in January in addition to a potential spot at the nationals within the 5000m and 1500m track events.
In regards to her long-term outlook - Lesberg has big aspirations.
"I want to see what my potential is," she said.
"To make an Australian team and represent my country in the green and gold would be the peak."
Forrest also only recently made the move to Bendigo earlier this year and already has big plans to put the city on the map as a mecca for running.
After the shift from the city, Forrest immediately saw untapped potential for Bendigo to become a regional hub for long-distance training and events.
"When I arrived I knew straight away this is a place unlike any other I have seen in Australia," he said.
"With the potential to create one of the healthiest regions, I see Bendigo as a world-class facility to facilitate the next generation of great distance runners in Australia."
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