Most runners nowadays recognise the importance of strength training to their running success.
Strength training is a great supplement to your roadwork since it strengthens your muscles and joints. Strengthening these muscles and joints corrects muscle imbalances and weaknesses that are common in modern life, and consequently improves your race times and decreases injury risk. (Seems like a win win situation!)
If you want to perform at your full potential, targeting areas of fitness you may not normally pay attention to, such as flexibility, balance, mobility, and strength will aid in your running success. This applies particularly to people who have started running as adults and whose non-running hours include a lot of sitting.
Incorporating strength training into your running regimen can be a difficult thing to achieve, especially if you are running 5-6 times a week. But I would highly suggest adding at least one strength training set into your weekly routine. And you may surprise yourself on how much you actually enjoy it!
Some fun strength training suggestions that we’d suggest:
Take a crossfit or grid class if you’re unsure about how to strength train on your own.
Adopt a flexibility- and strength-building routine by practicing Pilates or yoga. You can even do this at home! There are so many home DVDs you can use.
Run a trail course.
Try cycling, spinning at the gym, or swimming to improve strength and flexibility.
Other more conventional strength exercises include planking, squats and lunges that will strengthen your core, quads and hamstrings.
If you need any further help on these strength exercises, give Steph a call! Her personal training experise will help you with the right exercises for your body and training programme.
If I asked you what running success is, what would you say? Let me share one of the biggest ways you can be a running success….
So much to running is consistency. We’re all for good breaks after big events, but inconsistent running after a short scheduled break, does absolutely nothing for your running.
Running is so different to other endurance sports in that it relies heavily on both weight bearing form and economical motion. The only efficient way to optimize your form and economical motion is through time and constant practice.
At the same time, intensity can cause injuries where you will have to go back to the drawing board, and start all over again. This is why it is so important that when you start with your quality sessions that you do so slowly and cautiously. (And this is also why you need proper personalised training programmes).
Here are some tried and tested ways to keep you running more consistently and faster!
While you consider yourself a runner, trying something new often nurtures running consistency. Try running on a trail, or a cross-country event, or even a triathlon. This will mix your running up a but keeping you consistent.
Take a break
Top runners view their training year as a mountain range: it has peaks (intense training periods) and valleys (recovery and rest periods where they can build up to their next training period). For healthy, consistent training, your body needs regular recovery periods – you cannot run the whole year at intense training levels. You need to allow your body to rest, and recover. But in the recovery, don’t become sedentary: do gym classes or take up cross training. Keep moving.
Keep a running log
Your training log is a great source of the kind of motivation that builds consistency. A training log keeps your mind focussed; it reveals from where you have come; it encourages you and; it keeps you consistent!
There is something about entering races, marathons in particular, that ‘scare’ people into training the way they should. It also builds a sense of community, and we know how running with people builds and encourages consistency!
Go back to basics and schedule your runs.
Are you a consistent runner? Tell us the ways you keep your running consistent.
Contrary to what people see at races, or experience for themselves, running IS a team sport.
All runners that have excelled at running (I’m talking even the Eliud Kipchoge’s of the sport) have done so because they trained in a team.
If you train solely on your own, you place yourself at a disadvantage, and you lose all the benefits that training in a group gives you.
Here are 5 reasons you should be training in a group:
You become accountable
It is incredibly easy to skip a session if there is no one waiting for you to join them. I mean, why would you put yourself through a gruelling sprint session or run a long run without a team mate to encourage you on? When there is someone counting on you, you are more likely to show up.
You remain consistent
Running in a group allows you to remain consistent in your training and will help you stick to your programme or keep you on target for a race.
You never lack for motivation
When you run in a group there will more than likely be someone who is faster than you. This will encourage you and motivate you to be a faster, better runner. Even if you are a non-competitive runner, you will become a better runner by being motivated by other runners around you.
You will have the opportunity to learn from others
Running with others is a great way to learn tips and tricks from seasoned runners. Runners love to talk about running while they are running!
You benefit from ‘Social Facilitation’
Social Facilitation is a psychology term that describes the tendency for people to perform better when in the presence of others than when alone. Not only would you perform better at your running, but running with a group helps you have a better day!
At BOaST, we promote group training. If you are running on your own, talk to us, and we’ll welcome you into our group training sessions!
I began to see my Friends improving on their PB’s and I wanted to do the same. I asked a friend of mine what she was doing differently and she advised that she had joined BOAST. I was very interested and she invited me to a session to experience it for myself.
After one session I was HOOKED! It was hard work but we all know that with hard work, comes reward!
The rewards have been great! I have seen my 10km time drop by 8 mins on my previous PB’s, my 21km time dropped by 9 mins, my Marathon time dropped by 20mins, My Two Oceans time dropped by 53 mins and my Comrades time dropped by 40mins. Needless to say that I am ecstatic with the results.
I also found myself getting prize money for placings in my age group on a few of the races, this was new to me and actually quite exciting. I felt like a “Real” Runner! Lol
The training and expertise that we have available from Bob and Steph combined is to put in a simple word “Priceless”.
I would highly recommend the BOaST training program as it definitely pays off! Not to mention the friendships built and the personal milestones reached.
Have Fun! Believe in Yourself!
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On Monday 20 May 1991 East Londoners woke up, toddled outside to collect their favourite early morning read to the front door, turned to the sports pages which splashed the news that yet another World Half Marathon best had been delivered on one of Africa’s fastest courses.
“Meyer sets new world record in East London” appeared on the Daily Dispatch front page too.
It continued “Elana Meyer smashed Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen’s world record for the half marathon by 32 seconds in winning the SA Championships in a time of 67:59.”
The Legends Marathon under the leadership of Luthando Bara, has quite correctly identified this and the feats of the men in 1987, when they set a world best of 60:11, as befitting of legendary status and that the men and women involved should be remembered with great pride.
As with all great and historical moments there are folk who perhaps do not quite get it and for those who were not there it probably all seems a little surreal.
The fact that no male or female has ever run faster on African soil than at these two outstanding races is something East London, Buffalo City and South Africa should embrace.
The one race took place 30 and the other 26 years ago.
Furthermore it was pretty much the same team that organised both races, with the implicit vision of delivering world records. It did not happen by chance, it was plotted and planned for. Most club level race organisers would have difficulty getting their minds around these outcomes due to the enormity of the effort. A number of the folk who were involved then are either passed on, or retired totally from the humdrum of the sport.
On 24 September when these two fantastic races are celebrated and a host of athletes held in high esteem for world beating, ground breaking performances we might also take a step back and doff our caps to those of Border and South African Road Running, along with the sponsors of the day, that made it all possible and then watched the athletes make it happen.
Athletes that included Matthews Temane, Zithulele Sinqe, Xolile Yawa, Jan Tau, Ernest Tjele, Simon Meli, David Tsebe, Willie Mtolo and our own Mzwandile Shube the first junior home in a new SA Record in 1987.
Running with Meyer in 1991 were Colleen de Reuck who was the SA record holder until that day, Ronel Scheepers, Blanche Moila, Sonja Laxton, Grace de Oliviera, Monica Drogemoller, Gwen van Rensburg and Border’s Lizanne Holmes amongst so many others.
It has been said, often by folk who were not there, that the course for the Legends 60:11 differs from the one used in 1987, as though that somehow discounts the fact that SA’s best ran those times in perfect conditions on that particular day – and by design. And then the women followed suit on a similar, though not identical route four years later. The one that IS being used for Legends.
The men on the day Elana Meyer stole the show were led home by Lawrence Peu, himself a fantastic athlete. Peu ran a PB 60:58, which at that stage was just 12 seconds off the best time run internationally for a half marathon, though no one had come close to Temane’s time of 60:11.
It is to that time that homage is being paid. Neither Meyer nor Peu featured in the 1987 race and the women’s version was won by Colleen de Reuck in 73:42.
So which course was faster? The men were 47 seconds slower on the latter one and the women were 5min 43 seconds quicker in 1991 than they were in 1987.
We spoke to a local man, who chooses not to be named, but who has firsthand knowledge of all the athletes involved, both courses, the weather conditions on the two days in question and perhaps most importantly the marketing and hype associated with the two races. He says “on the day the results delivered at both events were achieved by desire. Not of just the athletes, but from all involved in the staging and delivery of two world class events that Buffalo City can be immensely proud of.
We all have our own pre-race routines. But whether you are running a 10km, 21.1km or full marathon, there are some things that you should do the day before a race to avoid making decisions that will cost you time or discomfort during your race.
Eat properly the day before
I don’t want to get into the low carb versus high carb pre-race eating habits, but it is recommended that you increase your carb intake in the days leading up to your race. You definitely should not overeat the day before the race, but rather eat amounts of food that you would normally eat,
Avoid unusual foods
Stick with foods that have worked well for you before your long training runs. If you’re planning to eat dinner out, check the restaurant’s menu to make sure they serve foods that you’ve eaten before your long runs.
Drink a lot of water throughout the day. It’s may be helpful to also have one sports drink to ensure that you’re getting some extra electrolytes. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they have a dehydrating effect, and they’ll interfere with your sleep.
Rest your legs
Stay off your feet, rest, and relax. Spending too much time on your feet will tire you out. If you do need to walk around (when you go to the expo, for instance), make sure you’re wearing running shoes or other very comfortable shoes.
Go for a short run
A slow very short run the day before a race is great for those pre-race jitters, or just to stay loose. If you do run, keep your thoughts positive and keep telling yourself that you’re ready for your race. If you feel you perform better after rest, then just relax during those 24 hours leading up to the race.
Trim your toenails
Check your toenails and clip any that are too long. Keeping your toenails neat and short will prevent them from hitting the front of your shoes, which can lead to bloody, black toenails, or foot pain.
Get your kit ready
Lay out all your clothing and gear for the race the night before.
Essential items include:
Race bib (number) and safety pins
Race timing chip (if it’s not part of your race bib)
Running outfit, hat, shoes, and socks
Your race fuels, such as energy gels (whatever you’ve been training with)
A product to prevent chafing, such as petroleum jelly
Use visualization techniques while you’re relaxing during the day. Envision yourself on the course. Think positively about all the work you’ve put into your training. It will be worth the effort to avoid pre-race anxiety.
It’s a sure way to induce fear and dread into every athlete. It’s tough. It’s gruelling. And it makes you hungrier than ever! As tough as hill training is, it is one of the best things you can include into your training programme.
In 2015, a study was published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. This study had a group of runners perform six weeks of high-intensity uphill running intervals. The results were astonishing: their running economy improved and their 5km Time Trial times were 2 percent faster. 2 percent may not sound like a lot, but it is enough to take 30-40 seconds off your time. Now that sounds like a lot more, yes?
Here are some further benefits of hill training:
Builds upper body strength. Pushing uphill forces you to pump your arms harder which develops strength as well as efficient arm carriage.
Prevents injury. The strength you develop on the hills strengthens your leg muscles and tendons, which reduces your risk of developing shin splints as it alleviates stress placed on your shins.
Help increase your endurance. By gradually increasing the inclines on your runs every few weeks, you’ll be surprised how even the steepest hills become no match for your swift feet.
Helps increase your speed. The muscle and tendon strength you develop helps build your speed.
Are you convinced yet? Incorporate hill training into you running strategy slowly, starting with lower inclines and gradually over a number of weeks increasing the incline.
If you need any assistance on how to include hill training into your programme, give us a call. We will make sure that you do it properly and under guidance.
We have had our runners running some incredible PBs over the last few weeks. Whether the PB was a better time or a first race, a goal is a goal! Attaining your goals takes hard work and a lot of dedication! Here are some techniques you can do on your own that you can do to get your PB. These things have their place, but they are best done as a team/group, and with someone, who knows your potential, to either push you or rein you in.
Incorporate hills in your training
Running up hills is a great way to develop race pace. Those that incorporate hills in their training have better overall muscle strength and are able to teach their bodies to run more economically.
Incorporate interval training into your programme
Interval training refers to when you vary the speed and intensity of your running in certain training sessions. Doing this type of training teaches your body how to adapt to sudden bursts of speed when you need it to – like on the home stretch of a race! Interval training puts the fun into your training. You could, for example, run 120 seconds at full speed, followed by two to three minutes of easy jogging. Or, you can run 4x1km at full pace, with two-minute easy jogs between each kilometre.
Strengthen your core
Your core is the platform for all your running success – the stronger it is, the faster you will run. Runners who have strengthen their core perform better, are more aware of their running posture and body positioning when running.
Planking is a great all-round core strengthening exercise. Do it once a day for 30 seconds.
Get enough sleep
We all know that we need sleep, but it is even more important to get a good night’s rest while you are training. Sleeping gives your body a chance to rest, recover and build muscle and energy reserve.
On the eve of your race, aim to get at least seven hours of sleep the night before your race.
No matter how much you train, if you don’t eat the right foods it’s going to get harder and harder to set better times. Good nutrition is key to the success of any runner, and you need to make sure you eat the right foods and avoid the wrong ones. Think of your body like a car – you need to put the right fuel in it for it to run efficiently. Leaving the nutrition debates aside, your body needs more protein and carbohydrates than normal while you are training. Incorporate foods high in protein and eat healthy carbs (lots of vegetables and fruit). You want to avoid foods high in sugar.
Relaxed runners run more efficiently and expend less energy, which lead to faster times. When you are tense and tight while running, you use a lot of energy that could be used in your legs. During your training routines, focus on keeping your shoulders, hands and neck nice and relaxed. Once you learn to do that without even thinking about it, your race day form will be much more efficient.
At the start of a race, you have to be that person that you have sniggered at in the past…the over zealous warm upper-er. Warming up allows the blood flow to get to your muscles, and allows them to run harder quicker. Warming up is beneficial in getting your PB.
Smash the last 400-500m
Around 400m from the end of the race, when you are tired and exhausted and feel like you cannot go on anymore, take a deep breath and run as hard as you can until you pass the finish line. Tell your mind that your legs can collapse at the end, you can vomit at the end…just keep pushing. You won’t regret it!
If you are looking to incorporate any, or all of these things, contact us. We will get you get your PB.
I have known Caryn and Lauren for many years: Caryn was at school with my children, and Lauren was a close friend of my daughter. Furthermore, I ran with with her father, also a Bob (Rayment), many years ago!
Caryn Lategan came under my watchful eye in the early part of 2016. Lauren was not seen as often since she lives in Grahamstown, but she too became a part of the grand scheme in the same year.
I watched Caryn’s running over the next few months and I immediately thought: “she has such an easy style with good pace and thus huge potential.” While I never saw Lauren’s running in training, I knew she had always been competitive in whatever she did, so was also engaged with in respect of her running.
Watching a 10km race in Beacon Bay in about April 2016, I was enthused to see how close Caryn came in behind the first placed woman on that particular day. I approached her after the race and said, “You are going to beat runner X.” “No never” she replied. I merely smiled and the training commenced albeit without much direct engagement to start with.
That changed and so too did Caryn’s hunger for success.
The PWC 10km race in January came around and Caryn’s hard work and dedication to racing at the top of her own game paid dividends when she was second only to Hanlie Botha and she beat the targeted opposition by 51 seconds. The plan had taken a mere nine months to effect.
A great run at the Surfers 10 followed.
That was just the beginning as at the Masters Half Marathon she would finish, together with her sister Lauren, ahead of the opposition by 8:29 and finishing 2nd and 3rd, a minute behind Steph.
The big test lay ahead as the sisters were still new to running marathons and Buffs was the ultimate goal.
Tactics were discussed, but went a little awry, meaning that some real character running would become necessary. Again the two sisters ran mostly together as they lay in 3rd and 4th position. A 23 second lead over the same 5th placed opposition athlete was whittled down to just 16 sec at the Merryfield circle.
Their dad Bob, who had been seconding his daughters, was engaged in Abbotsford and given some extra provisions, while I chased after Steph.
The three rivals hit Willasdale together where their nutrition clicked in and at the top of this mean hill, Caryn made her move with Lauren staying as close as she could.
Brilliant racing ensued over the final six kilometres with Caryn finishing strongly in third position and in a pb of 3:10:33. Lauren finished in an impressive 4th in 3:11:04, also a pb and with both of them comfortably ahead of all their rivals.
CARYN’s TIME IMPROVEMENTS since joining the programme:
10km – 46 to 44 to 40:01
21,1km – 1:42 to 1:38 to 1:28
42,2km – 4:00hr to 3:38 to 3:12 to 3:10
LAUREN’s TIME IMPROVEMENTS since joining the programme:
No 10kms of late
21,1km – 1:42 to 1:39 to 1:32 to 1:28
42,2km – 4:11 to 4:00 to 3:38 to 3:12 to 3:11
A first Two Oceans has been completed in a highly respectable time for both girls SO watch this space for 2018!
Runners who enjoy participating in 10km races and half marathons often fight against doing a weekend long run. This couldn’t be a bigger mistake. The weekend long run is one of the most crucial parts of anyone’s training preparation – whether you’re running 10km or the Comrades Marathon. The long run doesn’t just prepare your legs to be able to run longer distances, but it does a few key things that will help you at any of your racing distances.
I recently read an article about Peter Snell, gold medalist in both the 800m and 1500m events at the 1964 Olympic Games. Two months prior to the event, his coach encouraged him to run 100 miles (160 km) a week and included a marathon in his programme. And, well, the gold medals tell the success of the story.
Other than building lifelong friendships, humbling you and making you realise more about yourself than anything else, running long distance training runs do a few things:
On a physiological level, it allows your body to increase enzymes in your muscle cells and grow the small vessels that surround the cells. These muscle changes allow more oxygen to be delivered to working muscles. More oxygen to your muscles means that your muscles have enough energy to get you to the end of your race.
It strengthens your muscles, tendons and ligaments.
It teaches your body to be efficient.
Now, a long run doesn’t have to be 3 hours long. To gain the effects of the points above, you need only do a long run of between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours 30 minutes.
Whether you are a competitive runner, or a recreational runner, we all have that inner desire to run a faster race than the previous one. Incorporating a long slow run into your training programme could be the very thing that helps you achieve that