29

Jan

SPCA Two Oceans Marathon Training Tips – Part 1

In preparation for running the Two Oceans 21km Marathon to raise funds for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, I have has put together some training tips in preparation for the upcoming event – so whether you’re running the 56km Ultra, or the 5km Fun Run, read on for some valuable pre-race information.

1)      Practice makes perfect.
Yes, there are some people who can stay up all night partying the day before the race, and smash 21km’s on 3hrs of sleep. Those people are usually 19 years old. And just because they can, doesn’t mean they should! Practice makes perfect, so use these three months before the race to train. Spend time on the road, spend time on the route, spend time training back-to-back days to make your legs stronger and have better endurance. The more prepared you are for race day, the more enjoyable the experience will be! And you are less likely to injury yourself!

Worried about how to start training? Don’t be – Runners World has it covered! Visit their website here to download Ultra and 21km Training Plans: http://www.runnersworld.co.za/two-oceans/two-oceans-training-programmes/


2)     
Buy your shoes now
A poor workman blames his tools, right? Don’t get caught with incorrect shoes on race day!

Three months from the event, treat yourself to TWO pairs of shoes – buy ones that are of medium quality, good cushioning and padding and ones that will sustain you slogging away for kilometre after kilometre in the next 3 months. Your second pair of shoes should be of a higher-end quality, light in weight and built for speed.

Use the first pair of shoes to train in, run with them day in, day out – by the time April rolls round, it might even be time for a new pair of medium quality shoes (experts recommend replacing your shoes every 500 – 800km). Make sure that you occasionally take your second pair of more expensive racer shoes out on the road every so often to break them in, and get used to them – you want to wear them in so that they are comfortable, but not wear them down! By the time race day arrives, you will have a pair of high-end shoes that are ready to race, but you’ve saved on the cost and hassle of potentially wearing down your only pair of shoes in the months of preparation before.

Always keep an eye on the tread of the shoe and how it is wearing – it will tell you a lot about your overall leg strength and where your muscular weakness lie (see below for STRENGTH TRAINING). Also make sure that the sole feels sturdy, with good ankle support and some cushion for the longer distances on the hard road.

3)      Strength training
A lot of runners “um and ha” about strength training and are often reluctant to incorporate it into their running programme – it’s not enough to just run! Often, runners continue to run the same way, at the same pace without realising they are compensating for weaker muscle areas –  until they get an injury! Incorporating a strength training session 1-2 times per week into your running programme can help with the following:

  • Strengthen the supporting muscles, such as your gluts, quads, hamstrings & core, which can lead to more fun uphill climbs, less cramping hammies and overall leg strength as you power down to the finish line
  • It can also help you identify areas of muscle weakness that you won’t pick up when running, such as a weaker left knee or tight hip flexor – a good strength programme can not only strengthen the entire body for better running, but can also help target smaller niggles and pains by strengthening the correct muscles so that they behave better when you’re out on the road.

Enjoy the next three months of training! Those runners who are looking to incorporate a strength training programme ahead of the Two Oceans Marathon as a supplement to their training programme can visit Full Circle Wellness’s website at www.fullcirclewellness.co.za for personal training, group classes and boot camp classes.

 

Happy Running!

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