We help Margaux put a plan together to run a sub 3 hour Two Oceans Half Marathon

We help Margaux put a plan together to run a sub 3 hour Two Oceans Half Marathon

On this episode of RUN with Coach Parry we catch up with Margaux Truter who is training for the Two Oceans Half Marathon and we help her put a plan in place to run her first sub 3 hour 21km. (You can click here to listen to the podcast on your favourite podcast player)

This is what we covered in the podcast:

  • You will discover how she started running and some of the obstacles she had to overcome like stopping smoking.
  • We put a plan in place that will enable Margaux to complete the Two Oceans Half Marathon in under the 3 hour cut off.
  • We look at how to approach your training runs, so that you run them at the correct paces.
  • We discuss how to choose the training routes that are going to give you the biggest benefit
  • We also spoke about the best way to adjust your running stride for maximum impact, particularly when running up and down hills (If you're interested in the impact of stride length on your running then this post on running cadence is well worth reading)
  • We touched on what cross-training should Margaux add to her plan that will help her reach her goal
  • and also why regular visits to a physiotherapist is important (even if you're not injured)

 

Resources mentioned on this podcast:

We also previewed the first episode of the brand new Ask Coach Parry Podcast. You can listen to that podcast by clicking here.

You can register for our upcoming Comrades Marathon Training Webinar by clicking here.

You can read a full transcript of this podcast by clicking here.

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 Short videos showing you EXACTLY what to do (Number 6 will turn you into the "Marathon Slayer" so that you don't hit the wall and implode later in the race)

Transcription

Lindsey Parry
Hi, Margaux, how are you doing today?

Margaux Truter
Morning very well. Thanks. How are you?

Lindsey Parry
Ja, very good. Very glad to have you on the coaching podcast. I had a brief look through your questionnaire and it seems you are fairly new to running. For everyone listening out there before we give you advice to achieve your goals that have a little bit about your background, what got you into running and where you are now in the process.

Margaux Truter
Awesome, thank you. So if you pretty much take your idea of a runner, and you then imagine the complete opposite of that. That is exactly what I am. It was late 2018, I was stuck in the corporate world. My blood pressure was really high. My stress levels were really high. My mood really low and something had to give. So I quit corporate went freelance and hit the road. Well, I mean, when I say hit the road, I literally started walking from pole to pole and trying to jog the next set of poles. So, realistically, I am a very slow runner, a very slow jogger, rather, I signed up for the Soweto 10km in 2018. And as you have it afterwards, you're on an endorphin high and I decided I wanted to do the Soweto 21km last year (2019). So everyone kind of tried to dissuade me because it's really tough and rough. But that's exactly what I wanted. I wanted a challenge. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. So I finished the Soweto 21k, and it was rough. But my head is completely clear. And this is exactly where I want to be. So I've decided or I've signed up for the Two Oceans Half Marathon. I this is currently where I'm at. I am still very, very slow. I'm struggling to pick up my speed. I'm not too concerned about a DNF. But I would like to finish the Two Oceans Half Marathon within the three hour cutoff.

Lindsey Parry
Okay, cool. I guess there is a lot of confidence derived from the fact that you know you can do 21 kilometers. And the next step in the journey is to get a little bit quicker. One of the things that I picked up in your questionaire is that you were quite a heavy smoker. Hhow easy was it to give that up? Did that become before the running? Was running an integral part of you quitting smoking? Because I think it's been three years now that you haven't, haven't smoked?

Margaux Truter
Yes, that's right. Quitting smoking happened by accident. And it was by far the hardest thing that I've ever done. I'm glad that that I've stopped and it's in my past but it did come before the running.

Lindsey Parry
Okay, cool. So they're not linked directly but obviously it was also just part of you getting healthier and fitter and looking after yourself. Okay, so obviously, you do need to carry on training consistently and speed right now is your biggest worry. I do want to work something interesting out for you. Before we start getting into the training and what you need to do. What time did you run at Soweto?

Margaux Truter
3 hours 22

Lindsey Parry
So we're essentially looking for 22 minutes as a minimum. Just by dropping down to sea level, and the nature of the Two Oceans course is probably also going to come into play, that takes your time down to 3:14 as an equivalent effort at sea level. So, essentially I'm just telling you this to make you realize that how close that sub three hour finish really is. We're looking for 15 minutes as opposed to 20 odd minutes. I firmly believe based on where you've come from that you absolutely can do it. Subsequent to the Soweto Half Marathon or in the build up to Soweto did you run or have you run any any 10k's or 5k parkruns where you've pushed yourself to see how fast you can run?

Margaux Truter
Um, no, because my goal is always just to be able to finish the distance. So the very first 10k that I was able to jog, completely without stopping, was the Edenvale one last year. I didn't have the Vitality Series that I did in 1 hour 21, that was an average of 8:06 per km. And then in December I did my very first time trial, which was only a 3k, which I did at an average of 7:36 per km. So I know I have that in me but my concern is I know I can do that for 3kms, but I can't keep that pace for 21km.

Lindsey Parry
Look, those are important. In both that 10k and that 3k, how would you describe your physical exertion? Were you running as fast as your legs could carry you? When you got to the end of those two races, were you pretty exhausted? Like if I came to you and said "Come, we're doing one more", would you give me the middle finger? Or would you go 'Yeah, okay, sure I could do another km"?

Margaux Truter
I could do another km

Lindsey Parry
Ok. Those are important questions because I am going to use that information. So based on your 10k, that 1:21 which wasn't a full out effort, you are definitely capable of a three hour based on as you sit right there, your 10k time that you ran predicts to a three hour, on the dot, half marathon. Then, for that 3k, so you said the average was seven?

Margaux Truter
I think it was 7:36 per km

Lindsey Parry
I'm just doing a calculation for anyone who is listening and wondering why we've gone silent. So that is the equivalent to a 22:48 for 3km. So your 10k was actually a relatively better performance. So that's why I always like to do work out both, but I think the short version of where I'm going is now is that you are absolutely capable of running under 3 hours for 21km as you sit there now. However, we do need to get you to that level of edurance that you can maintain and go long. I reckon what we do also need to do along this process is for you to do a couple of either parkruns and or one or to 10k's, where you push yourself a little bit so that we can then ultimately dial in your potential. So for Soweto, I'm going to assume that you followed one of our finishes programs on the website?

Margaux Truter
Yes, and I was on the finishes program and then just a month before Soweto, there was a death in the family. So I did take some time off running but I still tried to follow it as closely as possible.

Unknown Speaker
Your next step really is going to be to get onto the Two Oceans sub 3 hour training program. There is going to be a time that you need to work on actual speed. But for now, if I just look at the evolution of your running, and I look at the speed that you're capable of running over 10kms, you still need consistency and out of that is going to come the ability to run slightly faster and faster, as you go. I reckon you probably another two half marathon cycles away from getting to a point where you physically need to run faster. as in doing interval type of things, where you plateau and therefore the only way to get faster is to do some speed work. One of the things that I would recommend that you do is in the build up to the two oceans half, so once you've downloaded that program. In that process is that you select three weekends with the last of those weekends being roughly 4 weeks before Two Oceans. So that's the 14th of March, you select a 10k that you push yourself quite hard in, and then in the build up to that 10k, you choose two weekends where you go to 5k parkrun and in both runs you also push yourself quite hard. And what that'll do is it'll start to give you confidence, after you've done those rounds and you jump into the forum, you will then get a sense of confidence because we will be able to go "look Margaux, based on your 5k and your 10k, you actually capable of a 2:45 or 2:50, whatever that is, and it just gives you that that little bit of confidence. And of course, in the meantime, because you've been on a sub 3 hour program, you're regularly running the kind of distances that you need to on the weekend, your confidence will just slowly start to grow. And over that 16 week period, you will really feel confident that you can go to Cape Town and get your sub three hour finish.

Margaux Truter
Thank you. You often speak about a race strategy, but can you help me with the training strategy? Because what I could do is I put my running shoes on, I have a route that I do and my aim is literally just to put one foot in front of the other. Is that the correct way? Do I need to try and incorporate speed or what is the best way to approach my training?

Lindsey Parry
So at the moment, what you want to do is to look at the sub 3 hour paces on that program and you want to be in the middle to the slow end of that.

Margaux Truter
Okay.

Lindsey Parry
That's really where you want to spend most your training. Now that makes you feel like you're not going to be able to run fast enough when you get to the half marathon because it's a bit slower than what you think you need to run to do the sub 3. But it's all part of building the aerobic engine that you need to be able to maintain the pace over the duration and that's exactly why I want those two 5k's and the 10k so that you can see how running at those paces is actually preparing you to be able to run faster on race day.

Unknown Speaker
Okay, that's epic. Thank you so much. It makes sense. And then in terms of choosing routes, what's the best way to do that? How do you approach something like that?

Lindsey Parry
So you've got four running days in your week typically and you probably fairly consistently do three and most of the time four. What you want to do is at least one of those runs, maximum three of those runs, you want to select a hilly route, but on the hills, you are not trying to run all the way up the hill. You are doing a run walk strategy. Look, over time, you can run more and walk less, but the idea isn't to completely wipe yourself out by "I'm going to run from the bottom of the hill to the top". So, I would say if we've got 16 weeks left, I'd split it up into four week blocks. In block one, you want to run one minute walk one minute. In block two, one and a half minutes running and one minute of walking. Block three, two minutes running one minute walking. Block four, 3 1, So you go one, one and a half, two three minutes of running and then on race day, that's roughly the ratio you're going to work in, Running two to three minutes, walking one minute, so that when you get to the downhills and the flat sections, you can run and your legs are fresh.

Margaux Truter
Fantastic. Thank you. Can you talk to me about stride? And I spoke to somebody the other day he said to me on the hillls, I should also just kind of look down and shorten my stride. What's your opinion?

Lindsey Parry
So on the downhills, and on the uphills actually, that's a really good piece of advice. Because when you shorten your strategy, reduce the impact forces as you're going down the hill. And also when you're going uphill, you're not taking like strong, powerful strides, so you're relying on doing the same amount of work with smaller amounts of strength being used with each step. So that's actually very good advice. When you're going downhill or uphill shorten the strides slightly and increase the stride frequency.

Margaux Truter
Fantastic. Thank you. I do strength training once a week as well, I've also got a fantastic physiotherapist just because I am afraid of injury. Is there anything else that you think that I should incorporate into my training to assist me?

Lindsey Parry
No. So that's actually brilliant. The strength training, that's really going to go a long way to both keeping you injury free. But also in this early stage of running, it's really going to improve your running because it's going to make you physically stronger. And the physiotherapy is great because then you're going to pick up any problems before they show up. So if you get any tightness or stiffness, sometimes it develops before we physically feel it. That's also a really good injury prevention strategy. And then the second part of it is if you ever do hurt yourself, the physio have a really good history of you, and then be able to get you back on the road much quicker.

Margaux Truter
Fantastic. Thank you very much.

Lindsey Parry
Cool. All right, Margaux. Yeah, that was awesome to chat. I look forward to seeing you in the forum. You all one of our active members in the forum. So I look forward to seeing you achieving more of your goals as your journey continues.

Margaux Truter
Thank you so much. The forum is absolutely amazing. I've learned so much.

Lindsey Parry
Brilliant. Thanks so much Margaux. Thanks for joining us.

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