It’s over, gone again till next year. Each year the event captures the hearts and minds of runners and people looking for that next great challenge. But what to do till January comes around and the business of training for the big C starts in earnest?
Here’s what NOT to do. Lay on the couch till January 2016 before lacing up a running shoe. Continue eating as if you are running 70 – 120 km a week (unless you are!). Neglect your strength and mobility training.
The best thing you can do right now is to restore your body to good functional movement patterns and if you’re an ultra newbie then create a body that has good functional movement patterns. Get yourself assessed to see just where your running functional weaknesses are, typically for runners its in the hips, glutes and hamstrings. Then sign up with a knowledgeable running conditioning coach and work your way through the dark winter months improving your running body. Just 10 weeks of training can make an enormous difference to your preparation and finishing time for next year.
The next thing to look at is working on your speed. Ultra training will have slowed those muscles down. Time to focus on getting them moving fast again. Strength training combined with good quality speed training will see you building and recruiting the maximum amount of muscle that you can. That means that when you do return to the long easy base mileage of your ultra program you’ll be a more efficient runner, able to go further, faster for longer.
The 10 km and 21 km events are a wonderful place to go and play and test out your new found power and quickness. A good race to re-ignite that engine and passion is at the Northgate 10 km on 28th Jun which is followed shortly by the Pirates 10 km on 5th July for those in Central Gauteng. But all around the country the 10 km events will be happening followed soon by 21’s and then come the end of January we’re back to predominately marathons as local clubs look to stage comrades qualifiers.
For those who would like a real change of pace try some TRAIL running. Between now and end of Feb 2016 is the business end of trail in SA. The Spur Winter Series will be run in both Gauteng and Western Cape through June and July. The SkyMarathon series is another great initiative, you can find more details on their site. Cape Town is staging the UTC – Ultra Trail Cape Town in early October 2015, this looks set to become an iconic event on the world stage. There is the Cederberg 100 later in October, the original SkyRun towards the end of November, Lesotho Ultra on the last weekend of November and of course the biggest of them all the Addo 100 Miler Feb/Mar. In between all of the big ones is a smattering of smaller events being offered by local race organisers.
Trail will help with your strength and climbing ability and its excellent for practicing mindfulness. You have to be completely present when you run trails or you’re likely to fall. Practicing mindfulness really makes a difference at the sticky end of a long race. When you’re tired, bonked, nauseous, muscle sore and blistered it makes a massive difference that you’re able to maintain a mental focus and not get sucked into the drama of the moment.
If you’re looking to get an assessment of your current strengths or your running form, if you’re looking for a place to get strong for running, if you’d like to be coached for road or trail OR you’re looking to improve your mental game then visit us at Mindful Runner in Emmarentia or drop me an email [wpml_mailto email=”email@example.com”]My Email[/wpml_mailto] to set up an appointment. We have training for groups and individuals, in the mornings and in the evenings Monday – Saturday.