How to Keep up Your Running Routine in Winter

Staying motivated on cold winter mornings is easier said than done, especially when all you’d rather do is curl up underneath those warm covers and get in an extra half hour of shut-eye before the day begins. It is however extra important to keep up with your running routine in winter so that when summer rolls around again you’re likely to be at more or less the same fitness levels and won’t have to work as hard to get back into the swing of things.

Here are some handy tips to help you get better prepared for when the cold winter mornings arrive:

  • Start early with a warmup session

There’s nothing worse than being startled by your alarm and then having to rush out of bed to get suited in your running gear, and then having to rush out of the door into the freezing cold before you’ve even had a chance to collect and gather your thoughts for the day.

Rather, plan to get up just that bit earlier to give yourself a chance to properly wake up, enjoy a warm beverage or energy-enhancing smoothie and try a few warm-up exercises before you decide to dash out of the door. Having just a bit of extra time for yourself in the mornings will do wonders for your mental preparation and will give your body time to adjust and warm-up for the run ahead.

  • Make sure you have the appropriate running gear

Cold winter mornings require running gear that’s warm but that will also cater to the weather as the day start to warm up. Adding a running skirt over your running shorts is trending these days for many runners who desire an extra layer of warmth, and wind-proof jackets that are breathable in the back are proving to be a popular item to wear for frosty winter mornings that become warmer as the day progresses.

  • Run with someone

Joining a running club or making a pact to run regularly with a friend can help to give you the motivation to stay on track because you’ll have someone depending on you and vice-versa. Running solo is a great way to de-stress but running with a group or a friend can help take your mind off the uncomfortable elements and can help keep you focussed on covering the ground in front of you instead of longing for the comfort of your bed.

  • Sign up for races ahead of time

Signing up for races in your area well ahead of time can give you some structure to your running routine as well as the motivation to keep pushing ahead to reach your goals. Having a plan in place and setting realistic milestones that you would like to reach is also a great way to keep motivated and can help you get creative with predictable running routines that may need to be changed up a bit.

Just as every season has its perks, running in winter can actually be fun (if you don’t already enjoy it); it can also be a fruitful time to increase your fitness levels and improve your mental strength for the hot and gruelling summer days ahead.

How to Cultivate Good Running Habits

Habits aren’t easily formed but once implemented, oddly enough, they become hard to break. Most runners would therefore agree that implementing good habits into your running routine is beneficial for upping your game. In order to formulate a worthwhile habit you might want to consider the following:

  • Consistency matters

To become a better runner both mentally and physically consistency matters in order to achieve whatever running goals you have set before you. If you find that even with all the best intentions you often fall short of sticking to the game plan, consider holding yourself accountable to someone like a coach or running mentor to help keep you on track.

  • Prioritize strength training

Strength training might seem like a totally unrelated activity for newbies to running, but most experienced runners can attest to the fact that strength training is what will set you apart from your competitors.

Aim to incorporate at least three sessions of moderate strength training a week into your exercise plan to give your muscles the advantage it needs to be able to adapt to more strenuous endurance training and it will give your muscles the ability to bounce back from injuries much quicker. Strength training also has a direct impact on your running form so if you are working towards perfecting your form, this is the way to do it.

  • Review and reflect

All runners have bad days but care should be taken not to dwell on the what-ifs. Dwelling on negative running experiences can hinder your progress. Instead, choose to concentrate on the lessons you have learned and incorporate these lessons into your next run. Keep a log of your runs as a reminder of where your weak spots are and where you excel. 

  • The more the merrier

Running in a group or with a running buddy can be a source of encouragement when you need it most. As social beings, we enjoy the company of like-minded individuals to help push ourselves beyond our limits. A running partner could be just the person to help you edge across the practice finish line in preparation for your next race. 

  • Plan ahead

Plan ahead for the remainder of the year where you can. Having a plan in place is a strategic move to ensure that you focus all your energy on the races you want to succeed at most so that you are not distracted by other running activities that may seem like a good idea at the time but can derail your training objectives completely.

So, while habits can be annoying at first sticking with them and sticking it out is a wise thing to do. Being a dedicated runner is no easy task; it requires dedication and a proportionate amount of self-discipline. Give yourself the edge you need through the implementation of good habits to give yourself the best possible advantage of succeeding no matter what your running goals may be. 

Best Running Tips for Starting the New Year

If your new year is already in full swing but your running routine has fallen behind a bit, then here are a few tips to get your running routine up and going so that you can make the most of 2021.

Pick a race and enter it

If you are a short distance, half marathon or full marathon runner now is the time to start deciding which races you want to enter this year. Get a head start by planning ahead – pick a date and stick to it. Create a planned running schedule to improve your fitness levels and you’ll be more likely to achieve your running goals this year. 

Try something fun and different from the norm

Sometimes all you need to boost your levels of inspiration and motivation is to try something different from the norm- breaking out of routine once in a while can be a refreshing change that might even inspire you to tackle marathons that are outside of your comfort zone. 

Concentrate on your weaknesses

As the year starts to slowly gain momentum, now is the time to identify weaknesses in your running style and work on improving them through increased and more rigorous training methods.

Find a running partner

Running with someone as opposed to going solo can help distract you from those grueling runs when you feel like giving up. Having a running partner to run alongside you will not only motivate you but may also motivate others to follow suit. 

Work it into your schedule

Finding the right balance between family, work and fitness is tough.  Managing your schedule better will enable you to enjoy your run without the stress of having a list of todos to distract you from a good run. 

Join a 30-day challenge

There are many 30-day running challenges to help you jumpstart your year. Being committed to a thirty-day program will help you to instill a daily habit and before you know it will become a way of life if you consistently stick to the program. 

Run, run and run and some

Running like with anything else in life will only get better the more effort you put into it. Try to aim to run 3 to 4 days a week and to push yourself a little further with each run. Regular longer distance runs will help to improve your endurance and fitness levels. 

Staying on top of your running game will require mental planning and physical preparation coupled with a commitment to get better and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals this year. 

How to Stay Fit During the Holiday Season

As the year unwinds or winds up rather finding time to keep up with your fitness routine may be challenging especially when it comes to trying to fit it in amongst all the busy activities that compete for your attention during the holiday period. Your routine will most likely be impacted by the busyness of the season but all you need to do is make a few adjustments to ensure your fitness level stays on track.

Plan ahead

Scheduling some runs in and between holiday activities will make it easier to plan ahead and ensure that you get that time in so that your normal routine stays somewhat on track.

Work it out

If, however, your holiday calendar is jam-packed and you don’t see any other way of getting around to it, planning a good workout session or sessions is still a viable option to maintain your fitness levels when you aren’t able to get on the road and take a run. Who knows, you may even feel more inspired to find ways to up your running game after taking a break by doing other forms of exercise in the interim.

Put on your running shoes

Wearing your running shoes as much as possible will provide you with many opportunities to take advantage of a small jog or walk in-between holiday preparation activities. Take the stairs rather than the lift or park a bit further away from your destination so you can maximize that time and get those extra steps in.

Spring clean like it’s nobody business

Looking for a thorough workout that will really work your muscles? Spring cleaning your home before your family arrives will not only ensure that your house is in mint condition for your family’s arrival but it can also be a great form of workout too.

Mix fitness with pleasure

If you are looking for fun activities to do with family and friends during the holiday season when you have extra time on your hands why not make it an active activity that the whole family can join in on such as for e.g. early morning beach walks together, cycling on the promenade or late afternoon strolls taking in the soft glow of the fading sunset as the sun begins to dip.

Be mindful of your diet

Being extra mindful of your diet over the holiday season will ensure that you don’t overindulge in unhealthy foods and compromise your fitness levels in any way. Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast; this will make it less likely for you to overindulge later on and will keep you fuller for longer.

Maintaining your fitness level during the holiday season is not as difficult as it sounds if you remain dedicated to finding other ways to include exercise in your day, doing so will help you finish the year as strong as you started it.

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Side Stitches

Side stitches are quite possibly one of the biggest hindrances (aside from blisters, headaches etc.) to running well.  The mysterious cause of stitches still remains unknown, however, there are a few practices that you can implement that can help prevent and get rid of this common condition.

The most likely cause

Scientists hypothesize that the cause of stitches is linked to the diaphragm, a muscle that can become overexerted when running. This condition usually attacks new runners that haven’t developed their technique properly but can also happen to more experienced runners as they increase their running tempo too quickly. 

Another cause could also be linked to weak core muscles as weaker core muscles aren’t able to withstand the high impact that we experience when running. 

How to Prevent them

  • Exercise your core muscles

Strengthen your core by doing exercises such as planking or yoga multiple times a week. A strong core can also improve your balance when running which can be really helpful for trail runners in particular. 

  • Eat right

Foods high in sugar, fat and fibre can cause stitches as the latter simply take longer to digest. This can have a negative knock-on effect on the diaphragm so be sure to be extra conscious of what you eat before a run. 

  • Allow for an adequate warm-up time

A rapid and irregular increase in your breathing rate can cause the movement of the diagram to move more erratically which can lead to a stitch. Rather increase your pace gradually to prevent this from occurring. 

  • Make sure you are breathing deeply and evenly

By following the general rule of two breaths in and one breath out, this will help you breathe more deeply, allowing for more oxygen to reach your working muscles including your diaphragm.  This can also be applied to when you are actually experiencing a stitch and want to make it go away as fast as possible. Reducing your pace slowly and gradually can also help with this. 

Experiencing a painful stitch is something that all runners will experience at one stage or another. There are coping mechanisms available, however, that will make this annoying condition more bearable.

As with most issues that are running-related, ensuring that you are equipped with helpful tips on how to combat this is key to avoid and prevent a stitch from developing and ruining a potentially great run. 


East London Athletics Club is way older than any other in this region and in fact, there was a club of the same name that launched in July 1883 just one month after Queenstown Athletic Club.

There were in fact only five athletic clubs in the country at that stage as chronicled by Dewald Steyn in his documented history of the sport. One in each of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage made up the numbers. 

The first ELAC – acronym for the club today – became defunct during World War 1 and it was only in 1935 that Trevor Gee and several of his athletic friends formed East London Amateur Athletic Club.

Included in the pioneers were Jock Muller, Ray Leadingham and Rob Symons who lived in King Williams Town.

The club started out with a strong track-and-field focus before cycling was added and became equally prominent.

Gee and others served during the Second World Way 1939-1945 and during that time the Jan Smuts gravel track was changed into hockey fields for women.

In 1950 the athletes were allocated a sight in Amalinda to establish both an athletic track and a cycling venue, which they did on the back of their own labour. Speaking to Gee this week he looked back with feeling for that era and rated the building thereof as a highlight which offered opportunities to socialise.

It was at this juncture that the club was able to host runners from Port Elizabeth for monthly track meetings over a weekend, where Sunday picnics became a part of proceedings and great friendships formed. “It does not happen today” Gee lamented.

A good number of international runners visited the city to compete, inclusive of German, British and American athletes.

Members other than Gee who excelled in that era and gained national recognition and colours included Bruce Phillips a superb sprinter, Jannie Breed, Kenny Davis and Des and Trevor Torr.

Amongst other marathon runners, Dave Kirby and Mike Warren stood out with meaningful wins.

As marathon running grew ever more popular from the mid-1970s and into the boom years of the eighties the likes of Stan Kruger, Gordon Shaw and Herman van der Wilt found their way to the podium.

Shorter distance races were slowly added and versatile athletes, many from cross country came to the fore in the red and white of ELAC. Elliot Valtyn, Ernest Alwin, Temba Boso, Rob Joiner, Sivuyile Dyalvane, Edgar Moyo, Fanekaya Banjatwa, Tony Viljoen, Mlamli Nkonkobe, Tembinkosi Bishop, Tony Jebese, Neville Burton and Brian Tiltman spring to mind.

In the early years of women’s marathon running Estelle Tiltman was one of only two on the provincial roads, but as the sport surged so too did the participation of an ELAC women’s brigade inclusive of Cynthia De Jager who dominated her age group, Bea Domoney who won dozens of races in hers and Paula Richardson too.

It is indeed a proud history and one that all can look back on with pride. It was a club that embraced the Ohlson’s Road Running league in the 1980s and 90’s claiming victory on more than one occasion, often from more fancied opponents.

Gee admits that “change” in the sport of athletics was not always easy for those from a pure athletic background and yet he, who has seen so much change, remains, at the age of 96 supportive of those who steer the ship today.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 85-year celebrations have been postponed until early 2021.

Best Diets for Long and Short Distance Runners

Following the correct diet, whether you run short or long distance, is important for your overall performance. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, some healthy fats, and foods high in calcium are the fuel your body needs for optimum performance. Water is also non-negotiable. There are also other dietary stipulations that you should follow depending on your running style.

A Healthy Diet for Short Distance Runners

Short distance runners should ensure that they eat small meals frequently leading up to a run; skipping meals and a diet low in carbs should be avoided. Eating foods rich in carbohydrates such as fruit, yoghurt and whole-grain bread will give the body sufficient time to absorb all the nutrients and energy needed to run efficiently.

A Healthy Diet for Long Distance Runners

Long-distance runners will have to do more preparation when it comes to their dietary requirements. The majority of their diet (around 60%) should consist of carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk or yoghurts.

Foods rich in iron are also super important to ensure that you don’t develop anaemia, experience an increased heart rate, become short of breath, run out of energy and get fatigued much quicker.

Always remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

What to eat before your run/race

If you are running shorter distances (5km to 10km) then carbo-loading before your run is not really necessary, so long as you ensure that you are following a healthy well-balanced diet. For long-distance running carbo-loading must be done a couple of days in advance to ensure that the body has ample time to break down the glycogen reserves into energy.

An additional energy source is also needed to combat the depletion of glycogen when into your run, so make sure to take along a snack of sports beans or gel for a quick source of energy. Energy drinks can also be used as a carbohydrate supplement.

 A well-balanced diet and lifestyle are crucial for any runner. Making sure you tweak it to suit your running style will ensure you have the physical energy to complete your run and finish well.

How to Run Faster and Further Without Expending All Your Energy

If you are new to the sport of running, then you’ll know all too well the feeling of being winded and utterly depleted if you’ve pushed yourself too hard or too quickly at the start of your run. This might lead you to feel demotivated. But it may not be your fitness level that is the problem, but rather your speed and technique.

A Proper Warm-up Routine

Your warm-up routine will play an important part in how well your run. One way to measure how well you run is to use an RPE (Rating of Perceived Effort) This tool will help to measure the rate at which your heart is working – the higher the rating the harder your heart will work; a lower rating will indicate the opposite.

You should try to aim for at least a 15-minute warmup; this will prepare your muscles properly in anticipation for the run ahead. This is especially important if you are preparing to run in cold weather as it will get the blood pumping, increase your core temperature and also the blood flow to your muscles.

Monitoring your Heart Rate

Monitoring your heart rate is perhaps the most important starting point. You can measure this by subtracting your age from 220. The maximum limit that your heart rate should be (beats per minute) is 65 per cent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) or lower. If you find that you can run at this rate without getting winded, then you can gradually increase your pace until you reach 85 per cent of your MRH.

Maintaining Correct Posture

Make sure your torso is taut and upright and that you are breathing from your diaphragm. This will help with your breathing as opposed to bending over while running which puts more pressure on the lungs, which will increase your breathing at a faster than normal rate.

Swinging your arms at a 90-degree angle will help in your overall technique so that most of the strain isn’t put on your legs alone.

Another interesting method to see if you are pushing yourself too hard too quickly is if you cannot say a complete sentence while running. If you aren’t managing this, it may mean you need to slow down the pace.

Get a Rhythm in Place

You’ll know you got this right if you take a breath for every two strides you take. This rhythm, called LRC (locomotor-respiratory coupling), will ensure that you get into a natural relaxed rhythm of running which will also help in improving your endurance levels.

And lastly, mental strength is of paramount importance; focussing on the finishing line instead of your speed is a much better alternative. After you’ve employed all these techniques successfully, your endurance ability will automatically improve and you will be able to run faster and further than ever before.

Running Tips for Your Latter Years

Exercising, or rather running is a great way to keep fit and healthy as you age.

Although it is a good way to stay fit, it is important to remember that it is considered a high impact sport and thus can be heavy on your muscles and joints if you don’t adapt your training to meet your evolving needs. 

An interesting fact is that running continues be a popular sport, and is becoming more so in the age group 40+.

It is important to know your limits though as training in your more mature years is decidedly different in comparison to when you were in your 20s and 30s when you are at your physical peak. 

As you age several factors affecting your training routine should be considered. One of those is your cardiovascular endurance starts to decline, muscle density becomes less, and strength, coordination and balance also start to decrease. 

Becoming fit in these age groups should comprise a more holistic approach and lifestyle, and diet and genetics all play a big part in this. 

So, the best approach to figuring out your best fitness routine is careful planning to ensure that you work smarter rather than harder. 

The first step is to start slowly and increase distance running gradually to avoid injury. 

Be realistic and kind to yourself regarding expectations. Don’t compare your goals and aspirations to those when you were younger as these will most likely be unachievable. Rather, set your sights on goals that are comparable within your age group. 

You may need to take more days off to recover after a long run. So, consider adjusting your running routine to every other day with sufficient rest days in between. These so-called ‘rest days’ don’t have to be unproductive however, and can be interchanged with lower impact training such as yoga, swimming and cycling. 

Strength training (such as lunges, squats, planks and push-ups) are ultra-important as we get older and will ensure your muscles are less susceptible to injury. 

Do make sure that you work on your balance and flexibility with simple exercises such as balancing on one leg for short intervals, and stretching and doing proper warm-ups before races. 

Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is also important to ensure you stay mentally fit and healthy, so try to get in as much shut-eye as you are used to. 

With these small changes, you can still enjoy running in your latter years and can remain just as competitive whilst still enjoying all the benefits that running has to offer.

ATLANTA OLYMPIC MEN’s MARATHON 4 August 1996 – Chapter 4

The day and evening before the marathon were taken up with preparation and produced a healthy array of nervous energy.

Each of South Africa’s runners would have a different coloured (sprayed by the back up team) drinks bottle at the refreshment stations, filled with a favoured energy drink or plain water if preferred. Not surprisingly the colours chosen were one of the blue, red or green of the South African flag and allocated to Gert Thys, Josiah Thugwane and Lawrence Peu.

At the media briefing the afternoon before, the team manager was asked who of the team was most likely to medal. The answer was not readily embraced by members of the SA media corp. in particular, but it would prove profound the following day.

On the morning of the race the team members were supplied with anything they chose to eat or drink and were transported in buses to the start outside the Olympic Stadium where the world’s top marathoners would warm up.

Motivationally the three South African’s chose mainly to warm up together, showing a superb team spirit garnered in their long build up in Albuquerque, at the opening ceremony and in the final hours down in Atlanta.

From the gun the three South Africans were in focus and for the three-person management and back up team watching intently that was all important. They constituted three men who had very different paths to this moment, with different views on many aspects of the journey to-date. They sat side by side in the stadium watching proceedings on the big screen, chatting away nervously.

Before and through the half way three runners in the green and gold colours of South Africa led the strong international field as they ran shoulder to shoulder. It was a proud moment for all their countrymen and women back home.

At around the 30km mark Thugwane had started to make a move and looked full of confidence. At 32km, the mystical wall of marathon running, he broke more decisively from the leaders who included pre-race favourites Martin Fiz of Spain, and the Mexican, German Silva along with a handful of other top-class athletes. Thys and Peu had lost contact.

The pack must have thought Thugwane would fade and come back at them, but the 44kg South African was looking ever stronger. An archive view of the race will confirm how he was chased, but never tired.

Fiz in particular started looking menacing at 35km, but try as he might Thugwane maintained a healthy lead, contending instead with Korea’s Lee Bong Ju who had accompanied Thugwane when he broke away, testing the pace and Kenya’s Eric Wainana and who had more belatedly joined the front three.

The final kilometres were nail biting for all and although the Korean looked ever menacing and the famous finishing kick of most Kenyan’s were top of mind, Thugwane still looked the part and would have had his detractors scratching their heads in disbelief.

Thugwane entered the stadium a mere 2-3 metres ahead, Bong Ju who was still chasing hard, as was Wainana.

South Africans, those in Atlanta, in South Africa and indeed around the world were on their feet, bellowing at television screens and radios. It would be the closest Olympic Marathon finish in history and the winner was a 25-year-old man from Mpumalanga – the first black man from the southern tip of Africa to win an Olympic gold medal. It was huge; it was ground breaking and a story without parallel.

The media were beneath the stadium, where Thugwane would meet them for the first time as more than an equal. One of the South African contingent, who the day before could not believe Thugwane could feature let alone win, looked across at the team manager who had tipped him to medal and received only a smile in recognition.

ATLANTA OLYMPICS 1996 – Chapter 3

The build up to the Opening Ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics in Georgia, was filled with excitement and expectation, embraced passionately by the South African team of 84 athletes.

Included in the overall team of athlete and management were East Londoners, Gideon Sam who would go on in future years to take over at the helm of SASCOC, boxer Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula, a highly popular team member who became the flag bearer, hurdler Karen van der Veen (nee Wilkinson) and the scribe as marathon team manager.

The bus trip to the ceremony was tempered only by those who could not attend and for the swimmers who were up for competition the very next day, including double gold medallist Penny Heyns, who set the tone for the team by winning both the 100 and 200m breaststroke finals.

The wait in the adjacent stadium to Centennial Park, the home of the XXVI Olympiad, as the games were known, was a long one.

Walking down the ramp into the main stadium, to be welcomed by 85,600 cheering spectators, lifted the spirits ever higher for the athletes and none more so than the men’s marathon team. Closely aligned to the men were the distance runners in the women’s component, more specifically Colleen de Reuck, Elana Meyer and Gwen Griffiths.

The ceremony itself would take four hours with much high-class entertainment. The musical entertainers included Gladys Knight who sang Georgia’s official state song, Georgia on my Mind. 

Celine Dion was ever impressive, singing The Power of the Dream, written by David Foster who played the piano and was accompanied by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Centennial Choir. Emotions ran high.

Celebrities introduced during the ceremony included many heads of state, inclusive of then Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki and the Games were opened by Bill Clinton, President of the United States, accompanied by his wife Hillary.

From the entertainment and business world Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Jane Fonda and Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, were given rousing welcomes, while a most emotional welcome was bestowed upon Coretta Scott King, wife of the late Martin Luther King jnr.

The stadium absolutely erupted when boxing icon, former Olympic Gold Medallist and heavyweight champion of the world, Mohammed Ali was introduced. Ali was given the honour of lighting the Olympic Cauldron.

A few members of the team met up with Ali in the Athlete’s Village earlier in the day and that was highly motivational to them.

It was around this time that Xolile Yawa, one of the medal hopefuls in the marathon was feeling discomfort on his training runs. Always a leader and always as honest a runner as any, Yawa would come to the decision, backed up by the medical staff, that he should withdraw and return to South Africa. It was a blow to the team, but an opportunity at the same time.

Peu had earlier come to the conclusion that his part in the team as backup had fulfilled a purpose and he decided to fly to France to take part in a half marathon to which he had been invited. His flight was due two days before the opening of the games. TWA Flight 800 from JFK Airport to Paris crashed 12 minutes into the flight, over Long Island. There were no survivors. Peu had changed his mind and was not on the ill-fated flight.

With Yawa on his way home Peu was drafted into the final team and with the run itself on the horizon his life took on new meaning in every way. The race would be epic.


The South African team for the marathon to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games was finalised in March of that year and as documented last week comprised Xolile Yawa, Gert Thys and Josia Thugwane with Lawrence Peu as the travelling reserve.

Elana Meyer was selected for the women’s marathon as the only one to qualify within the stipulated time frame. Selecting Colleen de Reuck would have bolstered the team dynamic, but the rules of selection precluded her as she had not qualified in the period under review, despite possessing all the qualities and already having proved to be a world class marathoner. De Reuck was selected instead for the 10000m on the track.

The men travelled to Albuquerque some four weeks ahead of the departing South African team as a whole, supported by SASCOC.

As with any team regardless of size there would be dynamics at play with different personal coaches, needs, agents, team management and of course the national interest.

The late Jacques Malan was appointed to set up the initial camp through his international agent contacts. At the time of selection he was an international agent liaison for both Thys and Peu. Whilst in camp Malan kept in touch with the management structure back in South Africa and together they were able to iron out any issues encountered.

Albuquerque was the chosen venue given the advantage it offers for high altitude training. The other option being Boulder where De Reuck has since lived. Numerous other international teams or individual runners were also stationed in the same New Mexican desert town, which experiences 310 days of sunshine per annum.

When the balance of the SA team arrived they were transported initially to La Grange, Georgia and accommodated at La Grange College. Also there was the Ethiopian team with their great athletes inclusive of perhaps the greatest of all time Haile Gebrselassie, the meeting of whom inspired most. There were still two weeks to go to the opening ceremony, by which time the team would be transported to the Olympic Village in Atlanta.

The marathon team management travelled to the men’s team in Albuquerque and spent about 10 days with the team, overseeing the final build up to the games.

The athletes spent their days, training, eating, sleeping watching some television and reading. The facilities were good, with comfortable accommodation, inclusive of a small private gym, a track was close to the athletes as well as a beautiful mountain hike on the outskirts of the city, green on the living side and wide open desert upon cresting the summit.  

Real life cowboys would be encountered on the longer training runs and American country life eagerly embraced.

When the time came management returned to Atlanta to meet Meyer at the airport and a few days later the men’s team came down so as to attend the opening ceremony, something that was felt absolutely necessary so that the team could experience the feel of the games, after many weeks in isolation from the build up and excitement down in the village.

The women’s marathon was just a week after the ceremony, but the men would have another week thereafter to prepare and it was agreed that they return to Atlanta, from altitude, the day before the race.

Drama awaited and would follow in those two weeks.

ATLANTA OLYMPIC MARATHON – Re-lived 24 years on

First Article: The build up and team selection.

Many thousands of South Africans, wherever they might be in the world, may recall exactly where they were the day Josia Thugwane won the men’s marathon gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. The first black South African to win Olympic gold.

That was 24 years ago and, now retired from competitive running, Thugwane is but 49 years old. Takkie Talk chatted to him at the start of the South African Covid 19 “lockdown” and he assures followers that he remains in good health.

The journey to Atlanta was a fairly lengthy one with the South African Road Running Commission liaising with ASA who, in turn, were in constant contact with SASCOC. More will be revealed in follow up articles.

Marathon runners form and results at international city marathons were studied closely over a period of time, while the same applied to local races, more specifically the South African Marathon Championships in February 1996, which would be the final chance to impress and would be the day of the team announcement.

Numerous versions of exactly how it all worked have been circulated in the media these past 24 years, but few have been entirely accurate. It all started with the road running selectors drawing up a short list of contenders many months before crunch date.

Included on the list were Xolile Yawa, Gert Thys, Josia Thugwane, Lawrence Peu and a few others.

Thys was a shoe in, having run a 2:08:30 marathon in Japan in early 1996, while one of the county’s favourites over the marathon distance was Yawa who had won The London City Marathon in a time of 2:10:22.

Josia Thugwane was on the list, though most in the media, or indeed the sport in general had no knowledge of it and were not punting his name at all. Thugwane had won the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii in late 1995 and it was run in extreme heat and high humidity. The winning time of 2:16:08 did not qualify him for the Olympics, but the selection panel agreed with the chairman that given the conditions being predicted for Atlanta, that was exactly the type of performance to take note of.

He had also finished 5th at the World Half Marathon Championships two months earlier in France with a time of 62:28, which the selectors equated to a 2:10 marathon.

Thugwane would still need to qualify, however, and his outstanding coach, not always adequately acknowledged in the media, Bobby  McGee, decided that the local race should be the choice.

 It took place on an extremely windy Cape Town morning, which blew away the hopes of numerous competitors. Not so the diminutive, soon to be 25 year old Thugwane weighing in at just 44kg. He fought the wind, beat the field and posted a 2:12 qualifier.

One hurdle lay in his way and that was in the form of a 2:11 Paris Marathon returned by Lawrence Peu. Peu was a speedy athlete and had won the 1991 SA Half Marathon in East London in 60:58.

The selectors were in a corner, but felt a horses for courses policy should be implemented. Not everyone, in fact few, agreed. Even the senior ASA officials were divided with one pleading for recognition of the South African Championships and another for a globally-fancied system of fastest first.

It was that difference of opinion that saw the call of the road running selectors win the argument.

The team would be Yawa, Thys, Thugwane with Peu as a travelling reserve.

There was much argument in the media and amongst very senior folk in the sport. Reputations could possibly be in tatters come the Olympic Marathon scheduled six months later.

There were a few unexpected twists along the way to glory in Atlanta.

BOaST’s Takkie Talk – Tar or Trail

Occasionally conversations are overheard or participated in, with respect to running preferences. One of the favourite debates is the love of tar or trail.

There are clearly differences in the two disciplines and opinions are often formulated on a runners perceived ability rather than due consideration to the benefits of either or both.

In coaching my advice to runners when they approach with an adamant “I am a trail runner” or the opposite emanating from a road runner who will say “I don’t enjoy cross country” or track for that matter, is why not simply be “a runner.” Once that is accepted the freedom to explore presents itself.

The various benefits of all aspects of running unfold and after all variety does indeed offer so much more spice.

Having been under “lockdown” runners should all be extremely aware of what such limitation does to one.  It makes little sense therefore to impose a “lockdown mentality” on oneself.

In respect the opening gambit and from the perspective of having run for in excess of 40 years I am fully cognoscente that there are lifetime seasons when one discipline may better suit a lifestyle based on family, business and the like. Or the hunger to chase times, iconic events and sought after medals may be the allure.

The most obvious difference between running a road race or one on a trail is the ability to measure performance. Road races are, or should be, accurately determined in respect of distance. The methodology revolves around a surveyed 500m or kilometre and the calibration of a Clain Jones device fitted to a bicycle prior to and post measurement. The device,  invented in 1984 by Alan Jones in the USA, is widely accepted as the most accurate means of course measurement.

The type of course is taken into account for record purposes too and any articulate race organiser decides in the early stages what they wish to achieve in presenting an event.

Included in the preparation of a road race is the provision of hydration.

A trail race on the other hand covers all manner of terrain, is often loosely measured by way of GPS devices and measurements often vary from one runner to another for all manner of reasons.

A road race exposes a runner to definitive speed, or individual athletic strengths, while on the trails it is more about overall strength, being fleet of foot and self sufficiency in the nutritional department. It is also often more equipment driven.

Road runners are unlikely to stop and take in views, though they may acknowledge them if there are indeed any, while on the trails there always seems to be time to stop, take in the coastal, mountain, bush or other views, even a quick snap shot is acceptable.

For runners who wish to get ever faster or stronger then the oldest form of athletics, track running or cross country racing offer it all. So the point is why limit ones horizons? Rather get out whenever possible and run the beaches, explore the bush and chase on the roads, track or turf. The result will then never be to have us left wondering; “I wonder what if?”

How to kick-start your running after taking a break

Struggling to get back into the groove of running? Whether you took a break over the summer holidays (we all deserve a break), you’ve been nursing an injury or work has been crazy with the start of the new year, it’s not as easy to get back into running (or any fitness) as it seems. A lot of people end up feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start and then put off doing anything. Excuses take far less effort than hitting the routes but don’t worry, we have all been there. We share some guidelines on how to ease back into your running with minimal frustration.

Just Start

Sometimes this is the hardest part and all it takes is making the decision to get into your fitness gear and get going. We have this annoying habit of overthinking things and working them up into big problems that cause anxiety and fear. The only way you can kick start your fitness lifestyle again is by pushing all those silly thoughts away and starting.

Walk before you Run

Once you have made the decision to ‘just start’, remember to take it slow. You aren’t expected to spontaneously transform into an athlete overnight. Be kind to yourself and begin by walking around the neighbourhood- remember to enjoy yourself while you are doing it. Many people try to go all out from the get go and ruin the experience which usually leads to quitting.

Set Realistic Goals

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Say that a few times over. It’s important to have some running goals to keep you motivated but keep it relative to your level of fitness. If you are just getting into it, then look for some 5km running events to train towards. You won’t be doing yourself any favours by signing up for a marathon if you are still in the beginner phase. The idea is to create an incentive and keep yourself motivated while also enjoying the journey back to running.

Create a Routine

Life is busy and it’s easy to get caught up with work, kids, commitments and so on but you are more likely to stick to your fitness goals if you create a routine. Find times in the week that are consistently ‘free (if possible)’; some people love training in the early hours of the morning while others are night owls. It’s tough to rearrange an existing routine but if you stick it out, it gets easier and your body will come to expect doing exercise at those times.

Join a Club

Another great way to ensure accountability and instil some routine is to find a running club and sign up. It’s also a way to meet new people, run different routes and it’s safer. It takes some courage to join a new club, but you won’t be the ‘new’ person for long and you’ll be glad you did it.

Mix it Up

Moderation is key. If you get bored of doing the same thing too often then you’re likely to feel less motivated to run every day and may find reasons not to do it. That’s why cross training is a good idea. Mix up your fitness; go to gym classes, play a sport, jump on a bike, swim some laps in the pool, take up Pilates; there are many options to keep your fitness journey interesting.

It’s tough to get back into fitness if you have taken a break and can be daunting. As you can see, these guidelines encourage you to ‘just start’ and work on it slowly but surely. Stay positive because it will take time, consistency and persistence but we know you have what it takes!

Staying Motivated during a 21-day Lock Down

South Africa, like many other countries, is currently in lockdown as the population has been ordered to #stayathome for 21 days to attempt to #flatternthecurve of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are interesting and rather unusual times that we are living in and the effect leaves us filled with a whirlwind of emotions ranging from ‘chilled-out’ to full blown panic-mode.

Being ordered not to leave your property can feel even worse when you are a dedicated runner or athlete as we yearn to hit the roads or trails, get our heart rates pumping and our muscles burning. It’s also easy to feel demoralised or demotivated during this time and find yourself becoming less active and possibly over-indulging. But it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. We share some encouragement and ways to stay motivated.

  1. Change your Focus

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos that COVID-19 has roused; tools like social media, news pages, chat platforms etc. amplify the noise and spread a lot of scary and fake information. This can mean a very long 21 days with your head in a cloud of despair and negativity, which isn’t ideal for your mental health. Try to limit your time on such platforms and rather create some healthy habits like meditation or yoga at the start of your day. Then set yourself some productive tasks each day. It’s about living in the now and making the most of it.

  • Create a Routine

It’s easy for the days to start to blur into each other and your normal routine falls away. Try to keep some kind of routine, even if it is altered or modified, to encourage purpose and motivation for each day. Use one of your days to get creative and design a routine chart or calendar for your lockdown that you can refer to. Make activities out of small tasks and take your time.

  • Stay Active

We may be social distancing or self-isolating, but technology keeps us close. YouTube workout videos are abundant and cater for any exercise you desire. Get connected with friends via zoom or skype and do fitness routines together or take part in a lockdown challenge (e.g. Mzansi Lockdown Marathon). Set yourself achievable and realistic fitness goals but don’t be too hard on yourself either. Some days it’s also OK to take a break.

  • Plan Ahead

If you are worried about your fitness levels post-lockdown, get creative and start setting up goals and planning routes, put together some fresh music playlists, look at joining a club or even taking up a new sport. Get creative with your future training schedules so you have something to look forward to.

These are unusual times and even though it is frustrating not being able to stick to our normal fitness routines, it’s important to focus on the positives and make readjustments during this period. Remind yourself that this will pass, be grateful for your health and know that you will be able to get back to your normal training again! Stay safe.

How to Maintain your Fitness during COVID-19

Who is busy apologising to the year 2019 for being a tough one? 2020 has definitely made 2019 look like a dream since the COVID-19 outbreak. But what does that mean for you, especially if you have been training in groups and for events?

Firstly, it’s so important not to panic. We already know how that has turned out; mass buying of toilet paper, tinned goods, pasta, meat and so on. Yes, everyone is on edge and you better hold in that sneeze if you don’t want to get a side glance from those nearby but when did panicking actually do anyone any good? The best thing to do right now is to educate yourself on the virus from accredited sites (there’s a lot of fake news doing the rounds) and practice the guidelines implemented by the government on sanitation and social distancing. If everyone acts responsibly and does their part, then it will help to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus.

Secondly, what does it mean for your training routine? Many big running events have been cancelled, with hovering indecision still around comrades, and it certainly is a damper on the spirits and morale. It may feel like the commitment to hours of gruelling training has been a waste and you may think about throwing in the towel. DON’T!

Yes, the world may be on lockdown and gyms are either closed or limiting numbers, but this doesn’t have to break that fighter spirit of yours nor does it mean you should just stop training. It just means that you need to readapt and make a few training tweaks here and there until the COVID-19 dust settles. Here are some ideas:

  1. Go Solo

Avoid running in large groups for the next few weeks. Even if everyone is feeling healthy, they could still be a carrier and this virus is very contagious so rather plan solo runs and stay safe.

  • Get Creative

Instead of hitting the treadmill at gym, plan some interesting routes close to home or areas that are safe for running. It may not be as intense as your normal training but it will help to maintain your fitness and keep you ticking over.

  • Do Home Workouts

There are endless YouTube workout videos you can choose from to keep the heartrate up and the cabin fever insanity levels low. Set a time in your day to work up a sweat; the High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are really effective.

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet

Stress can lead to comfort eating and, if you are self-isolating, it’s also easy to overindulge due to boredom. Your efforts until now have not been in vain so don’t let the current doom and gloom going around on social media get you down. Keep that chin up, stock up on healthy foods and snacks and keep at it.

It’s easy to see all the scary hype on social media and freak out but this is not a time to panic. Rather, it is a time to stay informed with the right information, be considerate of others and readjust our lifestyles. Let’s stay healthy and work towards flattening the curve.

Takkie Talk – to marathon or not

Racing over 42,195km, the standard marathon distance, should not be taken lightly and racing the distance every other week is not going to enhance a running career. Decisions relating to which marathons to run should be serious in nature and not flippant.  

There is nothing standard about 42,195km, or the in the old language 26 miles, 385 yards.

The history of the marathon is interlinked between two specific happenings. First there is the folklore of Pheidippides running from the battlefield of Marathon to bring news of a Greek victory to Athens, a distance it was said to be about 25 miles.

There was a desire to have a marathon of that distance, or 40km in metric terms at the 1908 London Marathon. The British being British decided to start at Windsor Castle and to finish in front of the Kings Royal Box. The distance came to 42,195km and somehow that has forever more been the official marathon distance.

So how many marathons should we run in a 12-month period or during a season if you prefer? The answer is somewhat subjective simply because lifestyles impact training, racing and recovery totally differently.

Any coach needs to fully understand the athlete, their strengths, weaknesses and limitations imposed by family, work, travel and even personality traits.

So that said there is quite simply no “one size fits all.”

In South Africa our decision making is further impeded by Comrades, Two Oceans and a host of other ultra marathons.

The best way of “knowing” what a runner can handle is to work closely with them in a pressure situation, as that can be evaluated over races from 10km to the half marathon, without doing too much damage.

Let us for now focus on the standard marathon. First any runner who is lined up at the start and is unsure of him or herself in anyway should best go home. Let’s not equate insecurity of preparedness with race nerves. They are not the same thing.

When any of my runners tell me “I am so nervous.” I reply “great, nerves are the fuel that will get you going and focussed and then the training will take over.”

If, however, a runner does not feel nervous, excited and expectant, then they are simply going to expend energy that they do not have in the type of abundance required to race 42,195km.

The most important criteria prior to all this is the choice of which marathon. Why run a no name brand that means little. Choose one that has history to it, personal or national. One that you cannot wait to tell folk you completed. Or better still one that can provide you with your personal best. In other words, it is fast and offers character.

If you live a full life and are a largely social runner, choose one, maybe two a year and give them your all. If you are a professional runner or semi-retired, well then that is another discussion altogether.



Trail running – the definition of running in rough terrain. Think of perpetual obstacles in your way and you get the idea.

Technical trail running refers to extreme running – we’re talking about running over terrain consisting of rocks, roots, mud and water as well as steep hills and declines often requiring upper body strength to get you over those rough patches.

Sound exciting? Then read on to learn a few pointers to get you started;

  • Focus on time and effort instead of speed and distance. Make the most out of your experience by focusing solely on the path in front of you and moving efficiently. This will definitely make the experience more exhilarating and not a killjoy.
  • Use balancing exercises and split and squat jumps in your exercise routine. Learning to anticipate and execute an awkward jump and landing is crucial when running in mountainous areas where rocks are aplenty.
  • Short quick steps are crucial in rough terrain in order to avoid energy burnout as well as make the rough terrain that much more intimidating. So, it is best to train by intentionally running with short steps and your eyes never leaving the surface area in front of you.
  • Make sure that the shoes you wear fit snugly. This will make twisting and spraining your ankle more unlikely. And make sure that your shoe has good tread to avoid slipping. A good tread will also keep your shoes clear of mud, debris and water. Run with your toes tilted upwardly by making sure you step high so that you don’t stub your toe on a rock ahead. Having a shoe with a rock plate built into it will make sure you don’t feel every bump underneath your feet, making for a more pleasurable run.
  • Keep a mindset that is fixed on your end goal and not on those around you. Focussing on everything around you AND the difficulty of the run ahead is much more likely to make you feel defeated. Make the terrain your only opposition.

Technical trail running is a sport that gets better with time and practise so take all the time you need. Why not consider training with a trekking pole? These will assist you in navigating jumps over streams, hills and descents and especially on tricky, uneven terrain where the ground is loose.

Not only this, but technical trails often provide the opportunity to run in the most majestic, often untouched landscape guaranteed to take your breath away. I mean who would say no to that? Check out our Facebook page for more!



Make sure the hill you’re about to tackle is not too steep. Anything more than a nine-degree angle is probably best walked to start off with.

Also make sure that the ground doesn’t have loose gravel or sand to avoid twisting or spraining your ankle. Make sure your focus is in front of you and keep observing the surface area you are about to traverse to avoid any obstacles in your pathway.


When learning the art of hill running remember that technique is important. Make sure your posture is correct; that is, you are not bent over – tempting as it may be. You can allow for a slight tilt forward. Your arms should ideally hang lower, at a ninety-degree angle, with short swings back and forth enabling your legs to do the work with short, quick strides.

When running downhill avoid your natural instinct to lean back. Instead, lean forward slightly and take short strides. Trying to gallop down a hill will take a huge pounding on your legs which can lead to unforeseen injury.


Don’t use all of your effort at one go when trying to conquer a hill as this will leave you wanting, especially if you have a race in the near future. Rather temper your enthusiasm by concentrating on technique and pacing yourself. Once you reach the top, you’ll have enough energy to resume your stride and leave your competitors at the wayside!


A treadmill is a very effective means of simulating a hilly run. Set it at an incline as practice for a hill climb or alternatively at a decline for a downhill run; pretty self-explanatory.


It burns more calories by using more muscle whilst also building up muscle strength.

It can prevent common injuries associated with running on a flat surface by making more use of your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

It improves endurance and increases speed.

Conquering the art of hill running can help you to perfect your form and stamina and give you that competitive edge for your next race.

Running Safety Tips for Women

The sad reality is that most women will admit to being victims of catcalling, propositioned and made to feel uncomfortable with inappropriate remarks, gestures or sounds while just trying to go about their lives. 50% of women say they are too afraid to walk or run in their own neighbourhood and 11% prefer to exercise in a gym because they don’t feel comfortable exercising outdoors.

When women get ready to go for a workout, running safety is often top of mind and includes anything from running with their dogs to carrying a knife. Running during the day can also be just as hazardous as running at night because assailants are just as willing to strike in the early hours of the morning or during your midday trail run.

Considering this distressing information, we suggest some running safety tips for women (and men):

  • Don’t go Solo

This is a simple rule. Make plans with a friend/friends or join a running group. It might mean rescheduling your week but it is worth the effort. It is wise to let someone know that you are going for a run and when you plan to be back. Nowadays it is also easy to use GPS tracking.

  • Trust your Intuition

If something feels off while you are running, then trust your gut and do what you need to in order to feel safer. This could be crossing the street to avoid someone, skipping a route or contacting someone to pick you up. If it doesn’t feel right then rather use safety measures instead of feeling invincible.

  • Don’t be flashy

A lot of runners will use fancy gadgets or take their phones on runs to track their workout and play music. Attackers are aware of this. Aside from running in a group, also try to be discreet with your gear. If you do happen to run alone then avoid wearing earphones so that you can always be alert of your surroundings and not draw attention to yourself.

  • Stay in the Hustle and Bustle

You are more likely to be assaulted in darker, quiet areas. Rather choose areas that are busy with other runners or traffic; places where you can be easily seen and heard.

  • Learn Self Defence

Taking a self defence course does not mean you should feel invincible on the roads or trails, but it equips you with skills and tactics that can help you avoid or escape dangerous situations.

  • Use Safety Gadgets

Some options include using your keys as a weapon, carrying pepper spray, a taser or something that makes a lot of noise like a whistle or alarm.

Unfortunately, these are the measures that most women (and men too) must adopt to prevent being potential victims but it is better to rather be safe than sorry. Stay alert, use these tips, run in big groups and have a safe running experience.

Preparing for your First 5km Run

It’s ‘race day’, it’s your first 5km run, it may not be a marathon, but the nerves have settled in, you have stuck to your training, it is time! It’s normal to feel jittery and wonder what to expect; the first race can be intimidating which is why we have put together some tips to help get you prepared and excited.

The Build Up

During the week leading up to the race, your running distances should decrease. Include 2 to 3 short runs with a few quick bursts in pace to get the legs moving faster. This week is about ‘storing up’ rest so your legs are ready and fresh for race day. Not everyone goes for a run the day before a race but a short 20-minute run with 5 pick ups under 45 seconds the day before can help sharpen the legs.

Be Prepared

This applies to all the admin around race day such as picking up your race pack, the bib and timing chip. Place your kit out the night before the race to prevent scrambling around in the morning. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast for the day and dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer than it is. It’s probably also wise to avoid wearing any ‘new’ gear on the day; rather stick to the tried and tested clothes and shoes.

Catch some Shut Eye

Feeling nervous before a race can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep but it makes a big difference to your physical and mental performance on race day. Stick to relaxing activities like reading or watching a movie.

Eat Properly

If you are taking on a 5km race, then there is no need to ‘carbo-load’ the night before as this is geared more toward events of 90-minutes or longer. For a 5km it’s likely that you have enough fuel already stored in your muscles. If you do attempt to carbo-load, you’ll end up with a lot of extra calories and may end up feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Having said this, it is still important to eat healthy meals leading up to the race and consume a decent breakfast the day of. Consuming a 200- to 300-calorie meal one or two hours before the race is advised. This should include whole, unprocessed carbs like a bowl of oats topped with fruit and brown sugar.

Stay Hydrated

Aim to drink around 500ml at least of fluid 2 to 3 hours before the race and another 300ml before the race begins. Also be sure to make use of the water stops along the way. The idea is not to get to the point of feeling thirsty because then it is already too late.

Have Fun!

The day has arrived, your training is complete, you prepared your outfit the night before, ate healthy small meals, stayed hydrated and arrived early to your race to prevent any scrambling; you are officially set to go. Now all you need to do is enjoy this great experience of taking part in your first 5km race. Take in the scenery, chat to people around you, smile and don’t be too hard on yourself. This is just the start of many races to come so soak it in.

We hope to see you out there on the roads and the trails!

Benefits of Joining a Running Group

Have you ever found yourself staring longingly at a group of early morning runners as you drive passed or taken a few extra minutes to gaze at social media pictures capturing a trail running event from the day before while sighing from FOMO (fear of missing out)?

Then you are showing all the signs of wanting to get involved! And although hitting some takkie to tar for a solo sweat is many people’s preferred workout, joining a group or club can do wonders for your physical and social well being. Here’s why:

New Horizons

If you have mostly been running on your own, then you tend to become stuck doing the familiar routes over and over. Getting familiar can also mean getting a bit ‘too comfortable’ and possibly bored. Joining a running group is a great way to move out of your comfort zone by meeting new people and experiencing some different routes! How refreshing.

Staying on Track

This comes down to accountability. If you have decided to join a sports group who have scheduled runs or activities, then the chances of you bailing are much lower. You don’t want to let people down and you’re ensuring that you are still getting your workout in. It’s a win-win situation.

Making Friends

It can be daunting to show up to a group of people you have never met before and join them on a run. But once you are over the initial phase of introductions and polite banter, you’ll start to feel more and more like a family. These are likely to be similar minded people who are going to motivate you and keep you inspired.

Sharing Tips

Every runner has tricks and techniques that work well for them and others that don’t. When you are part of a group, there is room for sharing and comparing with the other runners whether it’s about nutrition, stretching, gear or gadgets. It’s an opportunity to share knowledge and get feedback from fellow runners.


Many runners fear joining a group because they believe they are not fit enough or fast enough to keep up. Rest assured that in most cases, there will be someone running a similar pace to you or someone who acts as a sweeper to make sure no one gets left behind. Plus, you will notice how quickly your running and fitness start to improve as you get comfortable in the group. This is because you’re probably pushing yourself a bit more and not even realising it. Or that competitive streak is coming through!

Safety First

The bottom line is that running in a group is far safer than running solo and for more reasons than one. There’s the comfort of knowing people are around if you get injured or feel sick, you are better visible to drivers on the road and you are less likely to be a victim of mugging.

These are a few of many reasons we think joining a running group is a great idea. Not only will your fitness improve and you feel safer, but you will also gain knowledge and make new friends along the way.