Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Tips 11/12 – KEEP CALM (unless being chased by a zombie)


We have arrived at the final phase before race week, The “Freak Out” phase! If you live with an ultra runner, good luck.

In the second last week before the race, your biggest challenge is that you have way too much time to think. This is when those little voices of doubt come to torment you. So what to do in order to stay calm and sane?

  • Do not join the conversation. If you have done the training, you have nothing to fear. Also, stay away from negative talking runners.
  • Go back to your training logs for reassurance. The work is done, now trust your body!
  • Resist the temptation to add in “just one more” hard long run. You will feel a little sluggish and grumpy, this is a normal part of tapering. A bit like a drug addict coming off a high! It is rest that is needed to convert all that hard training into superman fitness.
  • Try not to think too much about the race. Go watch a movie, read a non running book, spend some quality time with friends and family (without talking running!) …
  • Do not stress about every niggle you feel.  If it is something you were feeling in your last long training, get it seen to by a professional therapist. The rest of the random little aches and pains are a normal part of the tapering process, your body is in hyper repair mode ahead of the big day and the best thing you can do is to spend plenty time off your feet and allow it to do its thing. Everything is going to be more than okay.
  • Don’t become a germaphobic. The paranoia is more likely to make you sick than the actual bugs. Get in good immune boosting nutrition and then be nice to people.
  • Avoid obsessing about the weather forecast, you cannot change it, you can only be well prepared.
  • Do sleep. You will start feeling very awake and even a little hyper as the tiredness wears off. Don’t see this as a cue to go partying all night. Your body is busy repairing and your immune system is likely on the low side, best thing you can do to help it is to get good quality sleep.

Finally, give yourself a pat on the back for getting this far! You are a champion already!


Coach Kathleen


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 3 Distance Running Coach SAQ Fundamental Movement Certificate Personal Running Performances
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3 Responses to Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Tips 11/12 – KEEP CALM (unless being chased by a zombie)

  1. Cindy says:

    Hi Kathleen, I luckily stumbled across your blog 4 weeks ago and have loved your advice, but I need your input. You said with 2 weeks to go – do 50% of your usual mileage … In my case usual mileage is +- 70km … so I am looking at doing +- 35km’s – and I run 4 times a week. Here’s my dilemma. You said that weekend of 24/25 Mar – run 8-10 km … and then you give a sample schedule of what last week should be … Sunday: Easy 30-40 minute run … So are you saying that my Sunday run is the 8-km run and the 35km’s should be done from the Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th? And if so how would you advise that I break it up. My normal running days are Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sat …
    Yes I”m a novice runner 🙂 …


    • Hi Cindy

      I advise you do more or less:
      Tue – 9k
      Thurs – 10k
      Fri – 8k
      Sat – 8km

      Less is more at this stage. This week you might feel a little leg heavy, this is your body still recovering from the big miles. Keep the effort nice and easy and don’t panic. By next Tuesday you should be feeling bouncy.


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