For many the long wait to hear if they are one of the lucky winners of a 2020 Two Oceans Ultra or Half Marathon entry is finally over. Congratulations to those who are in! And a special welcome to the novices!
Now that the admin is out the way, it is time to get your focus face on and start training! And would not advise leaving that to luck! So I decided to compile a few tips to help you have a great journey to the start line come Easter 2020:
- Find a coach! or at the very least get hold of a good plan for you. (In my next blog I will discuss choosing the “best fit” training plan)
2. Patient consistency is the secret to getting to the starting line fit, healthy and injury free. Do not panic. There is enough time left to train. Building your training slowly will make you less prone to injury, burnout and illness which will mean fewer interruptions to your training and ultimately better results.
3. Pencil your training into your December/January calendar first, and then plan your holiday activities around your training. Get more festive season training tips here.
4. If you are travelling out of town for the holidays, find out about running clubs or races where you are going to that you can join.
5. Get those injury niggles NOW! Don’t wait until you cannot run at all!
6. If you are running the ultra marathon, your race nutrition is vitally important for a strong run. Start planning and practicing from the start of your training. Don’t wait until race expo to buy your “magic” potions and lotions!
7. Strength and mobility training should be incorporated into your training two to three times a week. This will not only help you to be able to cover the distance easier but will also make you more resistant to injury.
8. Be realistic about your goals. It is important to honestly assess where you are at and how fit you will be able to get instead of just choosing a number that sounds good. Chasing a time outside your league will only leave you despondent and worse still even injured or overtrained.
9. Rest is as important as hard training on your journey. The fitness gains come during the recovery days. One of the mistakes I see many social runners making is that they replace their rest with hard cross training. While cross training has many benefits, it must be seen as training and incorporated into your training schedule as a workout, not recovery.
10. Nutrition is your petrol for the journey. If you are not fuelling your body with enough quality food, you won’t have enough energy to complete your training and neither will your body be able to repair itself afterward. When it comes to endurance sport, carbohydrates are king. Carbohydrate stored in the muscles as glycogen remain your body’s no.1 choice of fuel. Be sure though to get as much as possible from grains, fruits and vegetables. Take it easy on the Krispy Kremes!
Good luck with the preparations and if you remember nothing else, remember this:
FITNESS = TRAINING – INTERRUPTIONS
Onwards and upwards!