The Garden Route Challenge


Currently thousands of that beautiful human sub- specie known fondly as “runner” (although some go by the higher evolved specie of “marathoner”), are being confined to their homes. And not much unlike wild animals in a zoo, they can daily be seen pacing the perimeters of their “cages”, dreaming of the day when they will once again run free across the wild open traffic congested highways dodging the taxi beast.

It is a beautiful site witnessing the never quit resilience of runners. I feel proud to belong to this crazy tribe! Thank you to all those incredible humans who have put together virtual running challenge initiatives to keep us focused. I think many runner families are also eternally grateful that you are helping to preserve sanity in the household.

For now we are still all running on startline adrenaline, but as many of you know from having run a marathon, midway, it can start getting tough, very tough, and the little voices in your head to quit get loud, very loud. So before Chariots of Fire and Shosholoza stop playing on repeat and it starts getting dark, here are some tips to help you keep going and finish strong:

1) Focus on frequency, not volume. Doing small achievable runs (eg. 2km) everyday will achieve more over the long run than killing your enthusiasm on a 20 km run and never wanting to set foot in your garden again. Plus your lawn will appreciate the small doses more. It is about keeping the rhythm.

2) Sandwich your runs between mini strength workouts, especially exercises focusing on muscle endurance for the legs done standing. 15 minutes strength either side of a 15 minute run gives you 45 minutes of time on the feet with less boredom!

3) Create an old school style circuit. At each corner of your garden place an exercise station. Sprint to the exercise station, do the exercise, sprint to the next station, etc.

3) If you really want to increase your volume, gradually increase time, not kilometers. Mentally it will be easier to get through an extra minute than an extra kilometer. So for example, if you started on 2km a day and that took roughly 13 minutes. Then every other day add 1 minute. So you going 14, 15, 16 min etc.

4) Include running drills and strides into your runs. These are easily done in small spaces and if done regularly will have you running more efficiently when you are back on the outside. Definitely something the ultra junkies ignore when chasing mileage, now is the time to make changes so all those miles will be easier in future!

5) Keep sharing your journey with friends, family, your coach. Accountability is a very powerful motivator. And friends and family, send us your thumbs up, well dones and clapping hands. I know we might be irritating you with our posts, but trust me, it is for the greater mental wellness of us all!

6) Have fun! Challenge your running buddies to themed dress up runs, garden obstacle courses, best video commentary etc. etc. Get creative, keep laughing, who knows, maybe after all this you can quit your job and become a professional youtuber!

7) Activate the kids to join in. Or if you have teenagers, let them be your social media manager (maybe discuss youtube royalties ahead of time).

8) Finally, once a week, do a thankfulness run. On each lap think about something/someone you are thankful for. Before you know it you will be flying around your garden with your heart full!


See you through the fence.
Coach Kathleen