Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Tips 6/12 – Cruise the Hills Like a Kenyan

road-1209369_640The “H” word is one word that you will hear repeatedly muttered (often preceded with adjectives that are not appropriate for a family friendly blog), by every runner preparing for Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, whether back, middle or front of the pack. And for good reason. If Chapmans Peak and Constantia Nek are not tough enough, just when you start enjoying going down, along comes the “little” bumps near Cecelia forest, aptly named, Bugger 1 and Bugger 2. You are not out of the woods yet, just when you can see the finish line  flags waving (I think they are actually laughing!) at you in the distance, you are faced with the Everest of all climbs on the day, Chet’s hill!

That said, here are a few tips to have you cruising the hills like a Kenyan:

  • Slow and steady gets the job done, don’t look at your watch pace, focus on a controlled steady even effort. Listen to your breathing and go at a pace that your breathing is controlled, focusing on breathing with your belly.
  • Run tall. I often see runners bent over at the waist, shoulders hunched forward. Think Superman, chest out, shoulders open and relaxed, hips tall and belt buckle moving forward.
  • Use your arms to drive the legs. Focus on driving the elbows backwards while keeping the shoulders loose and relaxed.
  • Keep your eyes focused straight ahead. This will ensure your head stays level and posture tall.
  • If you walk on the hills, walk tall and with purpose.
  • Always run over the top of the hill.

Finally, when hitting the much anticipated down, ease into it, get your breathing under control, relax into the descent and then allow gravity to gently take you down at a comfortable rhythm (avoid excessive braking). Resist the panic to try make up time on the downhills, especially down Chapman’s Peak, it is still early days and you will pay heavily later on.

I hope these tips help put the Happy in your hills. Pop me an email if you have any other questions about your preparation.

Coach Kathleen

RUN.LAUGH.LIVE

 

About Coach Kathleen

Coaching since 2004, I have coached both young and old athletes from those achieving provincial and national medals in track, biathlon and cross country to runners running their first ever half marathon or marathon. I am a specialist in youth coaching and my coaching philosophy is to not only help each athlete achieve their best with their athletic talent but to guide each athlete in developing character and transforming their lives beyond the track. As an athlete I have competed at high levels across all the running disciplines, track, road, cross country and trail running as well as internationally in triathlon. I have a personal best of 2 hours 45 min for the marathon and have twice been part of the winning ladies team in the AfricanX trail race. Qualifications IAAF Athletics Lecturer Level II Distance Running Coach SAQ Fundamental Movement Certificate ACE Certified Personal Traininer Personal Running Performances
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