As some of you may already know, I am from England and have recently moved to Durban, South Africa. As a passionate runner, the first thing I wanted to do was to get running in events over in SA! I knew it was a country that loves running, so I was excited for all of the opportunities ahead. I very eagerly entered the Cape Town Marathon, where I will be representing Africa Marathons. The marathon is on 15th September and at the time of entering I had plenty of time to train.
With over 16 weeks to go, I set out with my marathon training plan, aiming to get running regularly and gradually building up the mileage. I also started to focus on strength training, which in my last marathon, I did not do enough of. I am convinced this is one of the reasons why I had injury troubles then, so I was determined this time to reduce that risk. I did Pilates and Barre (a combination of ballet, Pilates and yoga), which I found great. They both focused on my core, gluts strength and overall flexibility, which are the areas I know I needed to work on, and I soon started to feel the benefits.
What I didn’t anticipate was that during this time, life would get in the way a bit, which would make finding the time for the long runs difficult. I was about to move abroad and with this came all the organising, packing and finding the time to see friends and family, all while working full time as a Physiotherapist. As a result, I started to get behind on my long runs.
Having played catch up with marathon training previously after a time out with an injury, I knew this wasn’t a wise thing to do. The problem with doing this is I knew that I was putting myself at risk of an injury again. I did feel internal pressure to run the Cape Town Marathon, as I was representing Africa Marathons, and I had made what I was aiming for clear to all of my Instagram followers. I think when social media is involved; this can increase the pressure even more.
I deliberated what was the right thing to do for a while, but I knew, in the end, the best decision was to withdraw from the marathon and downgrade to a shorter race. Thankfully, Cape Town Marathon also has a 10k race on the same day as the marathon, so I decided to go for that instead. I’ve done plenty of 10ks before so I knew the training would be manageable for me. The great thing about running is there is always a goal to aim for, so while the 10k distance wouldn’t be a challenge for me, aiming for a personal best (PB) time would be!
So since I made the decision to do the 10k, my training programme has changed to include shorter runs, hill training and speed work. I have been able to fit it into my life easier and I have really enjoyed it too! I think with the marathon pressure off, I’ve just been able to go out there and enjoy all of my training.
It is just over two weeks now until the Cape Town 10k and I can’t wait! I’m excited to still be part of the big marathon event, and I am looking forward to exploring the beautiful city of Cape Town. Will I get a PB? At this stage I am unsure but whatever the outcome, I am going to get out there and enjoy it all! So watch this space for my race re-cap and highlights!