My body on the surface seems to be built for long distance running. I have really long limbs, I love cardio, and I love eating carbs – total proof right? ;)
The problem is, my mind is absolutely not built for long distance running.
The reason I love switching up my training with so many different activities, being involved in group training and hammering myself with HIIT workouts has more to do with my mind getting bored easily!
After about 45 minutes to 1 hour – I tune out. If I’m doing one thing consistently, 30 minutes is usually my limit. Hopeless huh? Time to set a new challenge to keep me interested and focussed!
I’ve been asked to join the Body Science team for this year’s City2Surf in August. The City2Surf is 14km in distance, starting from Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD, all the way down to the famous Bondi Beach.
It’s not a cruisy run either, it twists and turns along the beautiful Sydney coast line, and the notorious Heartbreak Hill is only at the halfway point! This is going to hurt a little.
While I feel fitter than I have been in a long time, running long distance is not my strength, so I want to go about this the right way. I’d like to start my training early and progress steadily, so I consulted one of Sydney’s best exercise geeks – Michael Cunico, health and fitness expert and National Fitness Manager for Fitness First Australia, for his advice on preparing the right way.
Most people would just go and lessen their strength training in order to favour clocking more kilometres each week, but apparently it’s imperative to build strength and mobility to improve running efficiency, prevent muscle breakdown and most importantly, avoid injury.
Because I have rather crappy ankle mobility (probably from wearing high heels too much – hazard of my job), according to Michael I should work on building single leg stability, and adequate hip and ankle mobility first.
So in Phase 1 of my preparation, I will be introducing a lot more single leg work (split squats, single leg deadlifts etc) and really focusing on proper form through the movements to build that stability and strength in the smaller stabilizer muscle groups that protect my joints.
Phase two will include introducing more intervals to prepare for speeding up, running up hills and generally increasing my anaerobic threshold – more on that in the coming weeks.
So while doing all of this, and then trying to add about 1km to my distance run every week, the hardest part will be that I’m likely to be in Miami and Las Vegas one month before the race – not places you want to be running outside in during the middle of summer.
Who could forget one of the most important parts: I need new running shoes! Nothing builds motivation for a new challenge quite like new activewear, so I’m heading down to the Athlete’s Foot to check out some new kicks and get their advice on which ones are perfect for running. Which shoes are your favourites for long distance?
If you’re also planning on doing the City2Surf or you’d like to keep up with my training, let me know! Until then, keep on runnin’!