With just over a week to go to the 2016 edition of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon runners from all over will decent on Cape Town to be part of this iconic event on the South African running calendar, the race we all know as “The most beautiful marathon in the world.”
On Saturday the 26th of March I will once again be one of 11,000 runners who will line up at the start to take on the long run of 56km from Main Road in Newlands, Runners will once again line the streets though areas like Claremont, Kenilworth, Plumstead, Diep Rivier, Bergvliet, Lakeside, Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Sun Valley, and Noordhoek. From there runners will run along the stunning Chapman’s Peak Drive to Houtbay, then over Constantia Nek, though Constantia, Kirstenbosch, Bishops Court, Newlands and Rondebosch and then the final stretch to the finish at UCT rugby fields at Groote Schuur Estate.
Last year I had a really bad run at Two Oceans. It was by doctors’ orders that I did the Two Oceans Ultra-Marathon and this was purely because I was dealing with a severe case of plantar fasciitis I had to see how my foot would react to the long distance and hammering. I ultimate goal for 2015 was to secure my back to back Comrades medal and this was only going to be possible if I knew how to deal with my injury. Doctor was clear about this, “Your best shot at this medal will be if you can deal with the pain…” I finished seven minutes after the 7 hour cut-off time, but the lessons learned during this run enabled me to change my “game plan” for Comrades and I know for a fact that my bad day at Two Oceans enabled me to finish my Comrades, securing that very special back to back medal.
This year I am far better off than last year this time. The plantar fascia issue is not something of the past, yet, but I can confidently say that I am not even close to where I was last year this time. I am looking forward to going back to do the Old Mutual Two Oceans again. I told my friend Two Oceans this year is a given because I have to go and pick up the pieces from last year, but it is not that bad. We learn lessons with every run and yes, although it is really not a great feeling not to finish in time, it is then the time to get up and try again. I see my bad day at Two Oceans last year as a welcome stepping stone towards my Comrades success.
This is taper time for most of us who are going to take on the Two Oceans Ultra-Marathon. Tapering is crucial; it allow runners to be as rested as possible to maximize race day potential. I have learned that tapering is one of the most important aspects of the marathon training cycle and yet, it is also one of the most difficult to implement because we “fear” cutting back on training. In theory, tapering sounds great- cut back on mileage, sleep in, and eat. Some runners however find this to be really difficult and even stressful because they fear losing fitness and gaining weight. Be assured, reducing mileage is vitally important for full recovery now and for peak performance later.
To everyone taking on #OMTOM2016 next weekend, good luck. Give your best, run your best possible race and most of all, enjoy every moment of it.
Happy running everyone !