OMTOM novice? No need to panic!
15 February 2016
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Brad Brown: Welcome to yet another edition of Old Mutual Live and today we’re talking Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon. Time is drawing closer as that clock ticks down, just under six weeks to go to race day now. It’s one of my favourite races of the year; just to see the excitement, particularly with the amount of novices that get to take part every single year. Lindsey, it’s almost, you can almost feel the energy and sense it as we get closer to race day because for a lot of people this is, it is, it’s a huge achievement, running your first half marathon.
Lindsey Parry: Yes, and really, you’re starting to get to the point now, six weeks out, you’ve been building up slowly because that’s what you’ve been hearing from all the experts. You’re getting a little bit nervous about whether you’re building up fast enough, are you going to get in enough kilometres.
A programme is about more than one run
I guess at this point in time, what I always like to remind those runners about is that a programme is not only about a single training session or a single run. At six weeks to go, yes, possibly you’ve only managed a 12km as your longest run and that makes you very nervous thinking, well, where am I going to get the other 9km from.
A programme is really all about the sum of its parts and the fact that you’ve been training consistently all the way up to this point, and that as part of a programme where you’re running 3-4 times in a week; where your longest effort is 8km, those other little bits also add in.
So that if I came to you today and said: listen, you will finish 21km or else someone in your family is going to die. You will finish 21km and you’ll probably finish 15 to 17 of those 21km quite comfortable before you really start to suffer.
Don’t lose patience, stay positive
So don’t lose patience now and don’t try and jump too quickly now and start to draw a little bit of confidence from the fact that the short runs actually become quite easy and comfortable for you now. Like anything under 8km really has become a bit of a breeze.
Start drawing confidence from those type of sessions rather than worrying about the fact that you don’t feel like you’ve quite run far enough on the long end and remember that there are still a good four weeks left for you to turn that 12km run into about a 17km run two weeks before the day. Once you’ve done that, you’re really going to have no confidence issues and everything is going to be just fine.
Nervous excitement is felt by all racers
BB: Just to add on there as well Lindsey, it’s very normal. Everyone goes through those thought processes in the build up to their first, whether it be first 10km or first half marathon or first marathon. You always feel like you’re not ready and you haven’t done enough. The good news is, on race day, obviously the vibe and the atmosphere, that really helps too and that’s almost worth a couple of kilometres in the bank before you’ve even done anything.
LP: Absolutely! That’s exactly the point that I was making and look, some nerve is also good, because the nerves keep you on your toes and keep you following the programme. It’s not like I want people to stop worrying altogether.
If they didn’t care and they thought, oh well, this is going to be easy, well then you don’t train and then it suddenly becomes very difficult. Those nerves are healthy, but you don’t have to worry and that is really why, let’s start taking confidence from some other smaller achievements that we’ve nailed.
BB: Lindsey, what are some of the pitfalls that the half marathon runners need to be looking out for six weeks to go?
Be cautious of niggles turning to injuries
LP: I think now the main thing is injury. Particularly for those guys that are beginners, as we are starting to get some momentum and building up quite nicely. There may be the odd niggle coming up from overuse and you want to deal with those. Deal with them immediately.
The kind of other concern I guess is that a lot of you will have made really nice progress by now and will actually start to really enjoy running and be feeling good about the running. The danger is that you actually now jump a little bit too far ahead of yourself and do too much and then that leads to you getting injured.
If this is your first half marathon, really just focus on the process of finishing the race and enjoying the race and make your second and third 21’s about how fast you can be and how well you can run. Then for those people who this isn’t their first 21km and that are taking it quite seriously, in this phase, you do have to watch out for over racing.
Cause if you’ve trained quite well and the speed work has gone well, you’re going to be really fast and then you’re tempted to prove to yourself how fast you can run on race day. Do the odd time trial and perhaps do the odd 10km race, but you don’t want to be testing your 21km fitness between now and race day.
BB: Brilliant stuff, Lindsey, thank you very much for that, we’ll chat again in a couple of weeks’ time, just to find out where we should be from four weeks out perspective. Until then, thanks again, if you want to touch base with Lindsey, if you’ve got any specific questions, we’ll pop the details to his website and all his social media profiles as well in the show notes to this episode of Old Mutual Live and also be sure to check out the Q&A’s that he does on Facebook and Twitter every single week too. All the details in the show notes, until next time, from myself, Brad Brown, it’s cheers.