Its Two Oceans time

The Easter long weekend is synonymous with the Two Oceans marathon. Tens of thousands of runners from around South Africa as well as from abroad descend upon the Mothercity to run the most beautiful race in the world. It’s not only a showcase for the runners but for all the supporters too.

Singlets, earphones, chamois cream and multi-coloured shoes are par for the course for the weekend that sees about 35 000 runners competing in races from the International Friendship run of 5km all the way up the gruelling 56km Ultra marathon. It’s a weekend full of excitement, nerves and enough pasta to feed a small Italian village. Its easy to get caught up in all the on-goings leading up to the big weekend which is why this race is such a big highlight in the calendar of most runners around SA and even the world.

3 Ugly sisters

For many runners taking on the Two Oceans half marathon for the first time, you would of heard of the thigh burning climb called Southern Cross drive. This is indeed something to be weary of as this climb wedges itself half way into the race, leaving you quite depleted for the remainder of the run.

However, the long winding route to the top gate of Kirstenbosch followed by the speedy decent to the M3/Rhodes drive robots does provide some relief on the those tired legs. You must be warned though that there are two other hills that come into play during the run.

The first big climb is up Edinburgh drive which, as challenging as it is, it’s still early into your run, so your fresh legs should allow you to run most of this stretch with minimal walking. The cheering crowd and smell of early morning coffee provides enough motivation to keep on climbing.

As tough as Southern Cross and Edinburgh drive are on the legs, the real knee-tester is the short stretch on the M3 thats about 3km from the finish. This small climb tests even the strongest of thigh muscles and knowing that you are so close to the finish, the mental strength is also stretched to its limits.  IGNORE THE DESIRE TO WALK!

Strong Finish

You have trained consistently and stuck to your training program and the benefits are paying off as you are on course for a personal best.  As you charge down the finish line straight, don’t forget how you managed this feat. Yes, a great percentage of your success is due to your hard work but the crowd definitely pulls you through. Having a stranger in the crowd shout your name out, encourages the tired like no other. The sense to prove your worth in salt inspires the weary to muster up the energy and trudge on even though your body is screaming the opposite. So acknowledge the stranger in the crowd, the announcer encouraging you at the finish and the big smiles of the staff as they place that hard earned medal around your neck.

Its not just race, its a journey!

Happy running!

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⛱ Therapy Thursday ⛱

Give your 👣 some ❤️ folks!

Spending long days in high heels or other work related shoes and can affect the function of the foot as a whole. Even the type of running shoe you use can be affecting your performance.

Performing some PREHAB exercises as shown in the video can go a long way to helping ensure that the toes and feet maintain proper function and prevent injuries.

Try these three exercises:
📎 big toe extension - move the big toe upwards while the rest of the toes don’t move
📎 perform the opposite of above - big toe doesn’t move while others are pulled back.
📎 perform both movements of both feet at same time AND independently.

🖊 NOTE the difference between both sets of toes. (My left foot doesn’t have the same control nor ROM as my right).

Look after your 👣 as they carry us around everywhere and as runners, foot health is important in ensuring injury free running.
Simple exercises like this which takes 5min of your time will assist in keeping your toes and feet in optimal health and potentially prevent injuries associated with running.

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✏️ Technique Tuesday ✏️

Today’s post is aimed at runners looking to improve their performance WITHOUT the need of gym equipment.

I have choose two body weight exercises that will target muscles of the lower extremity specially designed to help improve running strength.

The first video shows a SPLIT SQUAT movement. It doesn’t require a balance pad, a pillow or something soft can be used instead to protect the knee cap.

Target 🎯 muscles: Quads

Here are some tips to execute the movement correctly:

📌 start from the bottom up.
📌 both knees should be at ~90 degrees
📌 front foot weight is on the heel while back foot is through the ball of the foot.
📌 drive straight up as in a vertical movement
📌 movement ends when front knee is extended.
📌 ensure knee and ankle of front leg maintains a “straight” line. Avoid the knee buckling as you move up and down.
📌 same holds for back leg, watch that the leg doesn’t rotate inwards and that the ankle is facing the ceiling. (Those with limited ROM on ankle joint might struggle with this).

The second video shows a SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT (SLDL) movement.

Target 🎯 muscles: Hamstrings and glutes.

Here are some tips to execute the movement correctly:

📌 balance on one leg and place weight towards the back of the heel.
📌 the supporting knee ISN’T locked but has a slight bend (knee flexion)
📌lower the hands towards the balance pad
📌at the same time the “free” leg moves backwards being used as a cantilever or a “rudder”
📌hinge at the hip, maintaining a neutral spine and level pelvis.
📌 slowly lower your trunk to the point where your supporting leg allows before too much strain is placed on the hamstrings.
📌 slowly return to the starting point, maintaining good posture.
📌the whole movement is akin to a seesaw action.

Why I recommend these exercises is because they target muscles that are working repeatedly during the running action. Specifically, the SLDL is great to improve hamstring strength, hip ROM and ankle stability - much of which is ignored by some runners.

Perform 10 reps per leg and 3 sets in total.
After about 4 weeks you can increase the reps or sets to challenge the body more.

#RaceFitGym #runners #strength

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Words of wisdom from Bart Yasso out of the latest Runner's World Magazine South Africa on how to run forever!

1️⃣️ STRENGTH TRAIN - "supplemental work can reduce injury risk, improve running economy, and contribute to good running posture"
2️⃣️ HAVE A GO-TO WARM-UP - "before a run, do some dynamic movements that will help wake up the muscles."
3️⃣️ CROSS TRAIN - "cross-training can help increase cardiovascular fitness if you engage in forms that keep your heart rate up."
4️⃣️ GIVE YOURSELF THE BEST FUEL - "better foods leads to better athletic performance, and a higher quality of life."

At RaceFit we are a firm believer in all the above principles and our clients are encouraged to follow them closely. As much as consistent running makes you a better runner, don't be scared to look to alternative methods to help get that edge and to improve your performance.

#RaceFitGym #RunnersWorld #OMTOM

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💡Watt Bike Wednesday 💡

With about 4 weeks until the Cape Town Cycle Tour most of the roads are full of the roadies getting in the last of their big rides/races before the big day! However, during the week its tough to get the hours in, so sitting on a spinning bike or Wattbike for 30-45min and working on speed, hill or sprint work is a great supplement to the longer weekend rides.

Here is an example of some speed work (higher RPM) for those long flats where you can make up time.

📍10 sets of 1 minute ON followed by 1 minute OFF
📍set your cadence as 95-100RPM for the sprint WORK
📍set your RECOVERY cadence around 80RPM
📍give yourself a challenging yet attainable power output.
📍5 minute warm-up where you slowly increase the cadence
and power output (75-85RPM AND 150-200RPM)
📍5 minute cool down with cadence at 85RPM
📍Total time on bike = 30 minutes.

For my workout I tried to stay above 300W for the minute but depending on your level of fitness and strength you can increase or decrease the power output.

Remember that you need to be able to REPEAT these 1 minute efforts across 10 sets. DON'T try go too hard for the first few sets and then drop off as the REAL work begins. The goal of the interval training is to build up a base consistently throughout the WHOLE training session.

Enjoy some time in the pain cave so that when you on the bike you can throw some 🔨 🔨🔨 down!!

#RaceFitGym #CycleTour #PPA #WattBike

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👏 Motivation Monday 👏

Today I decided to test my 2000m Ergo test! Frankly, I hate this test as it really mentally pushes me to keep going through the so-called "pain cave". I haven't done the test in about 2 years so I was due a retest.

So for Motivational Monday, here are few findings from my test this morning.

🚩 Two years ago I scored the same result 7:20 - therefore I haven't gone backwards in performance. #winning
🚩According to Concept2, Inc. I rate in the 75th percentile for my age category (30-39) and for my weight division (78kgs).
🚩Also according to their VO2 max calculator my result gives me about a which is way above average 💪😁
🚩I performed this test alone which is even harder as you don't have anyone to pace or compete against. I'm a firm believer in the power of competition and how it brings the best out of individuals.
🚩Lastly, I'm not as unfit as I thought I was (my current achilles injury is keeping me out of running and therefore I'm losing CV fitness daily).

Ultimately, this test has MOTIVATED me to get below that 7 minute marker which is a real benchmark of "superior" CV endurance.

I'm not as unfit as I thought I was and that I need to keep up the strength work to help supplement that lack of CV training I've been able to do.

For more info on the 2000m ergo test, results and rankings that Concept2, Inc. has, go to their website, for more info.

Happy Monday to you all! 💃🕺

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