Notch up the distance
I’ve started building up the kilometres. On Saturday, I ran 8km in just over an hour at 80 percent of my maximum heart rate. It felt great. But my coach delivered my training plan on Saturday and my focus is going to be a bit different now. With 10 weeks to race day, he’s fine-tuned things towards my goal of finishing the Two Oceans Half Marathon in two hours.
I’m a new runner; I’ve been running for less than one year, and Ive already completed one half marathon. My time for the Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle in October last year, was 2hr 46 mins. Last year, my training was about building up the kilometres to complete the race. This year, I want to shave 46 minutes off my time and finish in two hours. I know 46 minutes is a huge amount but I’m determined, bull-headed even, to reach my goal. Since returning from the UK in December, I’d been running four or five days a week until I hurt my left knee and had to rest the entire month before the race.
Personal training advice
This year I’ve decided to train smarter. To that end, I’ve put together a coaching team: Sea Point-based personal trainer, Wade Petersen, and Sea Point-based physiotherapist, Natalie Cordiglia. Wade drew up a 10-week programme in which I steadily increase my mileage week by week. I have to complete a certain distance in a specific time while keeping my heart rate at a steady percentage of my maximum heart rate.
Today I started with 3km in 16.03 minutes at 70 percent of my maximum heart rate. Running at a 70 percent heart rate, I was only able to finish the distance in 30 minutes. Wade’s advice is not to worry about my time at the moment, but to focus on the heart rate and keep it steady. He says the speed will come, the important thing is not to overwork the heart, so as to prevent fatigue and injury.
This is where my physiotherapist comes in. Natalie did an assessment of my core area – pelvis and abdomen – and discovered my right side is significantly weaker than my left. My left side has been taking up the slack which resulted in my knee injury last year. A qualified Pilates instructor, she’s given me basic daily exercises to strengthen my core area and activate the muscles on my right side.
The third aspect of my training is nutrition. Wade’s made it very simple: three meals a day consisting of one protein, one carbohydrate and one vegetable portion. Each portion is the size of my palm. Then I eat three snacks throughout the day which are either a carbohydrate or protein. And of course, hydrate.
It’s simple enough.
My biggest challenge is sticking to the distances my coach has set, not going for an 8km run every morning. My fundraising campaign gets underway this week too and I’ll have various ways you can donate in my next column.
by Toni Stuart