Meet Scott (aka Dr. Scott). Scott ran the Gold Coast Marathon with guidance and coaching from GoRun. Running one marathon is impressive. At the time of writing, Scott had run 7 marathons, which is really impressive. Running his fastest of all seven, by 73 seconds is super impressive, but none of this comes even close to Scott’s real story….
The Melbourne Marathon Festival is now not far away! Many runners are in the midst of their training for one of Australia’s biggest and most prestigious marathon events. The finish line at the MCG awaits but first the real work of training has to be done. The few months of running, recovery and planning will be challenging, but there are a few fundamentals that each of us need to stick to, no matter what pace or distance goals are.
Here are five of my top pieces of advice to surviving and flourishing over the next few months before your victory lap around the G’:
I was contacted recently by a woman looking to improve her 5km parkrun time. She was weighing up whether a coach and a training plan would work for her and wanted to hear more about what was involved.
As we chatted on the phone, we asked each other questions and it became apparent that she would benefit from more accountability, more structure and from someone taking the guess work out of her training, so we decided to begin working together on her goal. I have had similar conversations, where it quickly becomes apparent that my coaching would not suit the other person. From my experience, certain types of people respond well to coaching and training plans. Others, not so much. That is absolutely fine. I have plenty of close friends who would never dream of getting a running coach. For others, with the help of a coach, they have improved beyond what they thought possible and are getting the personal best times that they were after. Running, training and exercise is highly individual.
So what can I honestly advise people who are asking themselves,"Do I need a coach?”
We love to share the stories behind our awesome runners, and this one is a treat. This is Trev, who is the first runner that Coach Chris ever coached, and his dad!
Trev is now a spritely 65 years old and has run for recreation and fitness for over 30 years, completing 6 marathons (all of them under 4hrs 15 mins), over 20 half marathons, plus many other shorter races road and trail races. Over a 14 week period, he was coached and prepared for the Great North Run half marathon, which takes place in his home town of Newcastle (UK) in mid September every year.
It’s 5:30 AM. I roll over and think, “I can’t be bothered.”
I’ve got a slight hangover after one too many wines last night, but I’m trying to get back into a routine of exercising regularly. The battle rages in my slightly hazy head.
"Do I get up and run, or do I stay here in bed and potentially feel guilty about it for the rest of the day?"
No movement. No movement in the rest of the house either. Not even the dog wants to go out, and she probably needs to pee more than I do.
"Why is this so difficult? I hate feeling like this. Just get up and go! This was so easy 6 weeks ago!"
"Did I get my shoes and running gear together last night?…. No. Eurgh. It’s too difficult. I’m going to leave it. Oh come on…"
….and so the battle rages until I decide one way or the other. To run or not to run, that is the question.
It’s a rubbish and emotionally exhausting way to start a day, but it’s the way that so many people start theirs. Welcome to unstructured training and time off for the Type A runner! After 6 months of solid training, dedication and commitment, with almost no morning procrastination, now is the time for rest and recharge, but like many runners after their big race, I feel like this.
Sydney Marathon (Marathon 13) was a really tough experience, both on the day and in the week after. I felt like I had lost fitness, re-injured an old achilles problem and gotten very glum in the process of it all. Not ideal.
Fast forward 3 weeks and the 17 marathons fun bus was heading over to Western Australia. This was my first ever trip to W.A and I was travelling there to run Busselton Marathon on Sunday 8 October. Whilst I still had the nagging achilles issue that was stopping me from running, I was grateful to be feeling way more positive in the lead up to this one. I was worried about my ability to complete the run, but positive nevertheless. I was particularly worried when I discovered the day before that I hadn’t actually signed up to the run at all! OOPS!! I am starting to believe that there is such a thing as 'runners brain’…. its a thing….
I’m nervous about writing this post. I thought about not typing this up or waiting until I felt differently. I even started a different post to reflect on Sydney Marathon and the weekend that just past, but this is how I have been thinking and feeling for the last couple of days.
I feel fat, unfit, injured and well…down. I can barely listen to any semi-sentimental music in the car, have any emotional conversations without wanting to cry or shout at someone. I just beeped the car horn at the builders in our street because they are taking up the whole street and all the parking spaces. That’s Kath’s territory, not mine. I’m telling you that someone is going to cop a random outpouring of emotion soon. Who will be the lucky winner?? This is the part of the 17 marathons challenge that really sucks. The downer. The post marathon blues. The supposed calm after the storm of the marathon a few days ago.
Last weekend was awesome...
Marathon 12 was back on home turf, running 11 laps around the Tan Track in Melbourne, following some time away for Alice Springs Marathon the previous weekend. I was really pleased with what I had done in Alice Springs and my aim for this marathon was simply to improve on that time of 3:22, only 7 days later. I enjoy the challenge of backing up marathons one week after another and it gives the second run a bit more purpose. I seem to get that little bit more determined to not be slower or fade at all. It’s like a giant 'negative split' I suppose.
On race morning, I had woken up early to the sound of torrential rain and howling wind at about 5 am. Bugger. The thought crossed my mind to just drop the run, eat lots, drink wine and simply reschedule, but the thought of then trying to fit another marathon into the remaining 4 months of the year, persuaded me to get my arse out of bed and get cracking on some coffee and breakfast.
Well its been a while since I wrote last, but marathon 11 is now done and dusted! I’m at the airport in Alice Springs, the sun is shining and I am on my way home, back to Melbourne. I am growing to like this place. This is my second trip here in a couple of months and I am starting to learn my way around, meet new people, see new things and feel a little more comfortable.
The last marathon I ran was Cairns Marathon on 9th July, so this was the longest break so far within the 17 marathons journey. I definitely needed it after nursing myself through 3 marathons in 3 weeks back in June / July.
Q: What are you doing for your wedding anniversary, Chris...?
A: Going up to Noosa to run a marathon with a mate.
In fairness, I did a bit more than run a marathon over the weekend of 15 May. I ate a significant amount of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, caught a (kind of) tan and got to run with / watch our good friend and fellow coach Michael Harvey compete in the Australian Ultraman event. Epic-ness!
On a serious note, I got so much from this trip, but before I go into that I need you to understand that Ultraman is simply beyond anything I have personally ever done, trained for or wish to do. It is a triathlon, done over 3 days, with the total distances being a 10km swim, 421km bike and 84km run. Yes, you read that right…. So as you can see, my marathon effort kind of gets lost in the midst of all of that epic-ness! That, together with the fact that this was not an event about me, with no official marathon time, no medal, no pacers, no bibs, no kilometer markers and no aid stations, but a monumental triathlon over 3 full days undertaken by only 54 athletes, made this a weird and wonderful experience for me, which I think will be unlike any of the 16 other events I do this year.
In Episode 2 of 'The Go Run Show’, I the had the pleasure of chatting to world class ultra / trail Runner, Kellie Emmerson. Here is a runner that does things for the pure love of the sport. She is a coach, brand ambassador on top of being a world class runner and seems to love the role that she can play in helping people to run better.
I chatted to her about her first fun run, her recent trip to the Trail Running World Championships in Portugal where she represented Australia, her diet, training, coaching and pieces of advice that has received in her career so far. I also discover a great motto that she tends to live by and that she (like me!) is a bit of a foodie with a liking for all things chocolate!
I really hope you enjoy this discussion and that you feel like me by the end, that we are very lucky to be part of a community of runners with supportive and engaging people like Kellie as part of it.
How do you deal with the final nervous days before your big run??! With this guest post on Running Fit Box blog I want to help you work through and answer some of the normal questions that you will have to face in the days leading up to your next running event. Questions like "should I be carb-loading," "have I done enough training" and more!
Even as a running coach, I get frustrated with 'running chat’ at times. As runners, we seem to have developed our own language, which nobody outside of running knows about. This guest post on the Tri Chicks website is designed to help you translate some of the main phrases that you may hear from other runners. Head over to the awesome Tri Chicks website and check out my guest post on this issue.
What do you think are the main things that stand in the way of getting back into running for new mums?
This guest post with Sheree Brown from the awesome Port Melbourne Physiotherapy and Pilates explores exactly that! Sheree and I explore accountability, motivation, overcoming excuses and how to safely get back into your exercise after giving birth.
The awesome guys at Nokkon have done a list of 10 things to consider with your running form. This post is number 6 on the list and focuses on one of the least considered areas of running form, I believe, head position.
When we think about running form, head position is often towards the bottom of the list of things we look at, but it is actually very important for our body alignment, as well as our overall attitude.