Benefits of Hill Training

Hill training!

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.

Tips on running a PB

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.

Eat right

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.

Warm up

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.

Caryn in action at a local race!

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.

Caryn and Lauren running a marathon side by side.

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!

Lauren at the finish of the Two Oceans 2017


Why we believe in the Long Slow Weekend Run

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


Welcome to BOaST – where success in running begins!

We want to help you achieve your running goals…whatever they may be. You may want to run your first parkrun without walking, or run a silver Comrades medal.

Through strategic, personalised training, your goals can become achievable.