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Hi everyone, I’m Peter Brett and I’m Blackmores’ running trainer for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. I’m looking forward to chatting with you and answering any questions you have about your training as you prepare for this year’s race. Please feel free to ask me anything about your training – I’m here to help!
Hello!My name is Bree. I am 18 year old young woman. I was wondering if you knew anything about the amount of calories,carbohydrates,fats,protein etc I should be consuming a day. I train 6 days a week for 2 hours. I weight train different muscle groups 4 days a week and cardio train 6 days. When I train, I sweat a lot and do my cardio training with resistance and/or speed intervals for an hour and 20 minutes. I mix it up with the bike,cross trainer and treadmill. I have no medical conditions or health issues. If you need extra information, please ask.
Hi Peter, my name's Ashley and I am starting the half-marathon pretraining tomorrow in the intermediate level (I'm considering advanced, but have been sick for 3 weeks so am a bit out of practice). I want to finish the half marathon in 1:55 and was thinking of supplementing the training program with one rpm class per week instead of doing the 3km run on Thursdays. Do you think this will suitable?Also, I haven't done weights training for about 3 months, instead I do 3 pilates classes a week. do you recommend adding weights training each week, or is running + pilates sufficient? Thanks for your time!Ashley
Hi Ashley, good idea to start off with the slightly easier program. You can always add a few km's to the odd sessions if you are feeling fresh still at the end of workouts. Swapping a rpm class for a 3km run is fine too, and if you get the time, you could always do both as you get fitter - with the run first as a warm-up? Not too much for a half marathoner!As for weights - it's a question of how much time you have I think? If you can squeeze in your runs, pilates ( excellent for runners ) and a rmp class......plus a weekly circuit or weights sessions - then perfect. But I wouldn't drop one of the other sessions for weights. You can start them up after the race over Summer again. If you want to run strong over 21.1km - best to focus on running training. Good luck the next few months Ashley! Regards, Peter
hi there, im a busy mum of 3 that has completed 2 marathons (NY + London) in 4.28 / 4.13 4 years ago and would like to know if its realistic to think i can finish the Sydney Marathon in under 4 hours without training for a zillion hours a week???
Hi Clare, a zillion hours would translate to how many K's again? You have time on your side, ( months I mean ) so 4-5 runs a week from now til the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in Sept would give you a preperation to run 4hrs given your experience I would suggest. It's 42km's, so must be respected, but if you are consistent, and start now.......you can just do it :) cheers, Coach PB
thanks Peter,Soooo...My training currently consists of 5/6 sessions a week ( ill try not to bore you)1)An outdoor run of 10-15k, yesterday i did the spit-Manly as i find this kind of trail run kills 2 birds with the preverbial one stone.. ie. distance plus hills. Ive done a couple where i do there + back ( approx 18k)2) 2 x gym t.mill sessions that , depending on wine intake the night before (i have 3 kids!!!) will be either a speed session with say 6-8 x 600m + recovery or steady 8-10k "plods"3)2 x lazy x-training session for an hour, either on the bike of eliptical4) 1 x an-other sessionDo you think ( honestly) this is enough to build upon???C
Hi Clare - in reply to your summary below...... No doubt you have a very solid base for which to build upon for a sub 4 marathon. I've done that manly-spit run often, and agree it's a brilliant training run. Sessions 1 & 2 are good, so if you can increase the weekly long run gradually til you are running 25-30km's by Sept, and make one of those lazy 1hr sessions a lazy 1hr run - I reckon you will be in good shape to run a good marathon, even allowing for the wine sessions!
Hi Peter,i want to finally make the big step into a full marathon this Sept .I have completed 3 halfs in 1.45,I have just commenced my running again in the last few weeks doing runs for 1 & half hours and 2 hours on a sunday.mid week at this stage is a mix up of boxercise and different drills which i have maintained all year round.Im just a bit scared that if can go the distance .I seem to get a fair bit of muscle spasms after these long runs which is quite painfulIs there enough time from now to be able to train for a marathon in sept.Please help.Muchacho!!!!
Hey Mario - you have plenty of time Mario, but you must be careful not to increase your training runs too suddenly. Drop back the distance every 3 weeks or so, as a recovery run of sorts. So 2 x 2 hrs, and then a 90 min run on week 3? Week 4 could then be 2:10hrs as you should be fresher and stronger. Also, you must allow for fatigue during the week as a result of the new longer runs - so maybe go easy on too many hard drills or the boxercise. Replace with running friendly x-training sessions like swimming, yoga or spinning ( non weight bearing ) every once and a while between now and Sept perhaps? But you still have 15 weeks til the race - whick is plenty of time! Good luck Mario - you are on the right track for sure.
Peter Will do,Thankyou for your reply,very excited and anxiousMario
Hi Peter,Any advice regarding hitting the wall about the 15klm mark. I'm usually ok by 18klms again but making it hard on myself losing time during this period. I ran the SMH in 1:59:48 beating my PB by 10 minutes (Sept Blackmores 2.09) but really think I have another 10 minutes in me. Running 3 times a week at the moment around 8 -12klms each time but will add in a Sunday long run in about a months time and build the distance up leading to Sept. Used a gel at the 16klm mark, thinking I should have used this around the 10klm point. Just after some ideas. Thanks Janelle
Hi Janelle - I think you answered this yourself. Take your gel around the 12km mark and another at 18km's if required, and I think you will avoid that flat period around 15km's. Congrats on the 10 min PB too :) Regards, Peter
Hi there, I have signed up to do the Half Marathon in September and am looking for some tips.I have done the 9km run the past 3 years, going from 61mins to 54 mins to 48 mins last year.I have started training this week with 2 x 5km runs. At present I play soccer twice a week (1 night training and 1 day for game) and do an rpm class and 2 body pump classes.My soccer season runs till August and I found that last year I didn't need to train too hard for the 9km last year because of this but obviously for the half marathon I will definitely need to train a lot harder. What would be your suggested weekly training regime?
Hi, I think you have an excellent training regime at the moment, and my only suggestion would be to swap a body pump class with a weekly longer run, to train for being on your legs for the longer race distance. Rather than km's, you may wish to start with 1 hr, and add 5 mins every week so you gradually increase the length of the run. The soccer is perfect for speed work and being on grass is kind on the legs. You may wish to include some road running during the final 50% of your long run, to condition yourself for the harder surface too. Regards, Coach Peter
Hi PeterI did my first 1/2 marathon in Feb this yr in 2:31. The furthest I had run before that was the city2surf (14klms) last year. I wanted to beat that time so I did the SMH 1/2 this month and finished in 2:26 (after having to stop for 7mins to wait to go to the loo). Before this race, the furthest I had trained was running 10klms a couple of times. My goal is to run the Blackmores 1/2 in 2hrs or less if I can. I have joined the marathon guru training site through Blackmores so I am hoping that will help me. I don't want to break any world records, but I would like to achieve this goal. Do you think a 50yr old mum is capable of doing that? Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks.
Hello Janelle, it sounds like you are motivated and have enough experience to achieve you goal. Racing the C2S again in Aug might be a good stepping stone and training run for the Sept Blackmores Half. Be consistent with your training, listen to your body when it needs rest or a recovery session, and you will be great! Good luck. Regards, Coach Pete
Hi Peter, I am 40 years old and have been training to enter my first half marathon this year with 2 x 6-8km runs during the week and a longer run of 10-15kms on a Sunday. I have been doing this most weeks for the past 12 months or so (I started running again after a long absence about 4 years ago). Was just about to up the kms with 16 weeks to go, but have been suffering with very sore knees for the last two weeks, during and after each run. I have decide to stop running for two weeks to see if this helps, thinking my poor old knees may just need a rest. Would really appreciate your opinion on this and also do you think I will still have enough time to train to finish in around 2 hours (I have been averaging 5.20 min/km).Thanks, Carolyn
Hi Carolyn, you have plenty of time, and with your solid 12 month base, you don't need to change much in the final 4 months to break 2hrs. The knee soreness is a worry though, so you need to address the cause? Are you training shoes getting worn out? Running on roads too much? Not stretching of getting any massage perhaps? Running does make muscles tight, so it's important to incluse recovery sessions in any program. Swimming is one ideal such session. Tight quads, ITB's and hamstrings can all cause knee soreness? As for training, if you increase your runs to 2 x 8-10km's and 13-18km's on a Sunday, you will arrive on the start line in great shape Carolyn, without changing things too dramatically. Cheers, Coach Peter
Hi Peter!I'm following the Marathon-Guru program (marathon). Is it OK to swap the Long Run on Sundays to Sats and run the Easy short run on Sundays instead? This is my first marathon. What weekly mileage should one run?
Hi Jenny, I can't really speak on behalf of the MG program as I've nothing to do with it sorry. But any program can be tweeked to suit a runners lifestyle, so I certainly can't see why not, as long as you have a pretty easy day on Friday so you don't start the long run fatigued, and then you go easy Sunday for recovery. As for how many KM's per week - that would depend on quality vs quantity of sessions, and differ at different times of the program? Some people need more than others, while some runners break down easily so get away with less? I wouldn't like to put a number on it sorry Jenny - too many factors to be considered. Better to consider how many runs per week I think when it comes to your first marathon. Regards, Coach Pete
Hi Jenny, Michelle from Blackmores here. It's so exciting that you're running in your first marathon! Just wanted to let you know that if you're doing our Marathon Guru program, we have Olympic marathon runner Lee Troop on board and he will be able to offer you personalised advice about your training. So if you log in to the program you should be able to ask him about any specific concerns. Good luck!
Thanks, Peter and Michelle!I now realise it's a "separate thing" altogether! I have since sent the question over to Lee Troop and I am awaiting for their response. Fingers crossed, pray to God, I won't get injured!Thank you, guys!
Hi Team, I plan to walk the 9km - Bridge run/walk. On the weekend I walked 7km in 59 minutes; I walk most weekdays 4km - I was very happy with my 59 minute time, but I dont know how much more I have in reserve. I am 60years of age, and consider myself fit. Would appreciate advice on 'finding that extra'. thank you very much
Hi Vive, you sound very fit already, and it's only June! I'm sure if you keep doing what you are doing until Sept, you will be stronger again and will enjoy the 9km's with some many others joining you. Changing the routes of your walks and the speed/distance just a little may help add extra strength too, but consistency is the most important thing, so I don't see the need to change much to be honest. You are an inspiration already! Cheers, Pete
PeterCould you provide some insight into a sensible path to hitting a 90min half marathon PB?I started running last year and did a couplde of marathons but have set a goal of improving my half time this year having really got into (possible mild addiction) running. I'm running 50-70km a week but to date have just focussed on building base so haven't done anything structured in terms of speed sessions. Invariably all my sessions are hilly as I live at the top of heartbreak hill and I typically just run whenever I can 4-5 times a week mostly 10-15kms with weekend long run pushing between 21-28km. I took my half time down from 98min at the CBR to 95min for GOR and Noosa but my pacing was all off (starting at 4:20kms for 1st 12kms and fading to 4:50kms). I have the Mcleay river half next week and then HUnter half in July and obvisouly Blackmores in Sep. Just looking for some advice to stop me from getting over excited and running at an unsustainable pace so just targeting nice incremental improvements in pacing until Blackmores with accompanying training.Sorry for the length. Look forward to your wisdom as currently I just run like Forest....
Hi Dave - sounds like it won't take you long to dip under 90 mins from what you've done thus far in such a short time. Suggest you just vary your weekly sessions a little, e.g building up to 5 x 1km in 3.50's mins with 2 mins recovery jog between each; or 3 x 2km in 8mins with 3 mins jog recovery? A once a week speed workout like that will make a big difference to you half race speed. Also, try and do a few 5-10km's races, to work on that top end speed. Any small improvements over the shorter distances result in big gains over a half or marathon. Once you are happy with the pace during these speed sessions, try reducing the recovery time! Good luck Dave - I've no doubt you will achieve your goal in September. Regards, Pete
Hi Peter, my name is Brett. I have started training towards completing the half marathon. I weigh 111kg having already lost 6kg and hope to get under 100kg by race day. I ran 20km in traning this week and that will double before the race. Am i aiming to high or for to long a distance at my current weight.
Hey Brett, congrats on setting such a goal and for your weight loss to date! You have over 3 months til the Blackmores Half marathon, so will a gradual and consistent training regime, healthy diet and generally looking after yourself while you are training, you should be well prepared for the event. Include some off-road runs, and some non weightbearing x-training sessions like swimming and cycling and even walking between your run sessions. Keep your shoes in good condition so you have support, and inc stretching, yoga and massage if possible over the coming weeks to help stay relaxed and prevent injuries. The running is only half of it. Looking after yourself and preperation is the other half. Good luck Brett. Regards, Peter
Hi,I've got a knee injury that prevents me from running but would be keen to take part in a beginners cycle race - can you recommend any in Sydney at all (I've never competed before).Thanks!
Hi Kat - would depend where you live? Just google 'cycling club' and your area of Sydney and I'm sure you will find one easily enough and get help from the club regards racing for the first time. Cheers, Pete
Hello,I completed a 50km walk on Saturday and would now like to challenge myself with the 9km run. The thing I find is that my hands and feet swell over distance. My feet in particular were rather squashed in my shoes by the end. Can you recommend anything to overcome this swelling? I was drinking Gatorade and water which does seem to help a bit. I'm concerned that if I get bigger shoes my feet will slip in the earlier stages and blister.Thanks
Hi Belinda, congratualtions on walking 50km's! I doubt you will have the same problems with swelling when running 9km's as it will be over much sooner than walking 50km. Normally just starting off with your shoe laces a little slack so your foot has room as the feet swell once running does the trick for many people, but not so loose as to cause blisters as you point out. Try a few different methods over shorter training runs between now and the run in September, and even try a new pair of running shoes if possible, as many that will make a difference? Regards, Peter
Hello! My name is Bree. I am 18 years old and a young woman. I was wondering if you knew any details about how many calories,carbohydrates,protein,fats etc I should approximately be consuming a day. I train 6 days a week for 2 hours. I do cardio every one of those days and I sweat a lot for about an hour and 15 minutes. My cardio routine varies between cycling,cross trainer and the treadmill. I also do weights 4 days a week, training different muscle groups. All this is constructed on a program for me at the gym. If you need any extra information, don't hesitate to ask
Hi Bree – thanks for your question. As you’re after specific nutritional advice I would suggest you contact a qualified healthcare professional who can advise you on the right amounts of nutrients to suit your training schedule, as everyone is different. You can also contact a Blackmores naturopath for free by phone, email or chat – visit www.blackmores.com.au/ask-a-naturopath for more information. You are training very hard with only one rest day a week, so beware not to lower your immune system as that could result in sickness and fatigue problems. A hard day / easy day is a safer routine to follow so keep that in mind. Regards, Peter
hye...i'm jue'an from malaysia. and i'm 26 years old...and i'm wondering to ask you what product is best for a person suffering from low blood pressure. and what foods are good for increasing blood?
Hi,I wanted to see if you could recommend a programm to get me started at present I am doing very little or sparatic exercise and wanted to start working towards a goal of running at the Mothers Day Classic next May but am not sure how to start
Hello Kate, a great way to start is to begin with walking on a regular basis, e.g 3 x 40 mins a week. Then introduce some jogging into those walks, maybe 100m's of jogging followed by 400m's of walking, and so on for a few minutes. Gradually increase the running ratio at your own pace, and when you can jog for 30 mins without stopping, you can probably start to run 3 x a week and you are away. I hope that helps. Regards, Peter
Hi PeterI am 54 YO just getting into running and want to do the 9km Bridge Run. Currently the best I can do is 3km in 25 minutes on a treadmill. I am reasonably fit compared to where I have been which is seriously overweight...now at goal weight. I want to know how often and for how long I should be training each week for this event. Also should I maintain my weights training too and add running or run instead? Also, should I be attempting to run a 9 k to practice and how often/how much before the event?Sorry, so many questions.RegardsVirginia
Hi Virginia, sounds like you are going really well. Three runs a week will be enough. Start by trying to run 3 x 3km's for a couple of weeks, and if that is OK, start to add 1 or 2 km's gradually to one or two of the runs per week during July. If you can run 2 x 4km's, and 1 x 6 km's per week during August and early Sept, then you will be fit enough I think to run the whole 9km's come race day.No need to run that far before. And keep your weights training going too Virginia, on non-running days as part of your cross training program. Once or twice a week will be perfect. Great stuff and good luck! Regards, Peter
Hi Peter,Could you please recommend a good RECOVERY SESSION for sore knees ?... I've been trainning for my first SRF 9k's for a couple of months already ( averaging 20 K's per week )... 90% of my training is on roads... I'm overpronator and my shoes have a good support system... May be too much road ??.. Can you please help me before I get any worse ?.Kind regards,Juan
Hi Juan, it could be too much road running, so try training off-road on grass or dirt for a week or two and see if it improves your situation? Lot's of stretching - quads, hamstrings, ITB's....can all cause sore knees, so keep them lose. Massage is ideal too, or hot baths work wonders also. If the pain gets worse, take a few days off and get a deep tissue massage on your legs. If that doesn't help, visit a physio for professional advive Juan. Don't run through the pain and just ignore it! Cheers and best wishes, Peter
Great thanks for your advice Peter. It sounds easy enough..lets see how I go.
Hi Peter, I have a 14 year old son who enjoys his football but he wants to gain more leg strength and also improve his endurance.. he got 10.8 on his beep test. Could you please advise some training tips and type of diet that could assist him in his quest?
Hi Kym, being only 14yrs and hence still developing and growing, be sure he avoids road running. A couple of sessions on a grass 400m track or sports fields is best. Start with 10 minutes of easy jogging, followed by some stretching and some 100m strides to warm up. Then have him do some reps - e,g 8 x 1 lap of the oval ( or about 1 minutes of hard running ) with a walk lap to recover between each? Of try and find a grass slope or hill and do 10 x hills sprints, with a walk back recovery? Finish with another 10 minutes of jogging. Variety is good, but the warm-up, speedwork, cool down is the model to follow. As for his diet, again at his age he should be eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, plus carbs, proteins and fats - e.g a well balanced diet. Pasta, rice, wholemeal bread, oats are all good energy foods when training hard or often. I hope that helps a wee bit? Cheers, Peter
Hi i am walking 7km at leat 5 days a week i was wondering how i can become more motivated to run this.Ta R
Hi Rose, one excellent source of motivation is training for a particular event, so you have a short tern goal to work towards and focus on. The BSRF 9km Bridge run would be ideal for you, as 1000's run or walk or do a combination of both. I'd suggest you slowly introduce some slow jogging into your 7km's walks - even just 100m's at a time to begin with to feel the water! Before long, you will find it comfortable to extend the jogging and require less walking as recovery. Work towards 50/50% jogging/walking ratio and you will probably fit enough to cover the 9km's jogging the whole way come September. With regards, Coach Peter
Hi Peter,I have a few runs coming up, half marathon in early September (local) as well as the Blackmores and City to Surf.I was running 9km 6 days a week in the mornings which takes me about 40mins, but have now broken it down to 3 to 4 days a week with weight/ resistance training on alternate days in the afternoons. I have been completing 8000km on the rowing machine in the afternoons also which is a complete body workout at least 3 days a week in about 50mins. I hardly get a sweat out of it but definitely feel it the next day!I'm on a high protein, low carb diet but lately have slightly increased my carbs due to an increase in training levels.Is there any other way i can improve or slightly change my training routine so i can better myself in marathons and other events?Thanks : )Christine
Hi Christine, sounds like you could add a weekly long run to your program, and perhaps some swimming or cycling so it's more cardio tilted, and more related to distance running if that's what you are training for. Variety is the key. Mix up your x-training sessions, but keep the running consistent if that is your goal - to run in a race. Muscle gain is good, but it's extra weight to carry when running, and in a marathon, you don't want extra weight. So keep changing workouts, and swimming/cycling are non weight bearing and conbine with running quite well. Training over hills will strengthen you for the C2S and marathon distance also, so try to include them as part of your weekly program. Regards, Peter
Hi Peter, Just a quick question about cross-training. I'm currently training for the Sydney full marathon, having completed one full marathon before in 2009. I'm following a similar training programme to the one I used successfully in 2009, which involves 5 days a week running and 1 day cross training. At the moment on my cross training day I am doing a BodyPump class because I really enjoy them and would like to try keep my strength up so that when I return to more weights work post marathon I don't have to start completely from scratch! It does have a bit of a cardio component to it but is primarily a strength training class. If I can't make a class that week I've been tending to just do my own weight session in the gym, focussing more on upper body to give my legs a rest.My question - is it ok to do weight training as cross training or would I benefit more from cycling/elliptical etc? I was thinking of continuing to do BP as my cross training until 5 or so weeks out from the marathon then switching to a more cardio based cross training session... What do you think?Thanks very much,
Hi Emily - I think what you are doing now is ideal. Strength above the waist is important as a runner too, especially on hills and to hold a good running technique and posture when fatique starts to take hold later in marathons. So the variety of a BodyPump or weights or circuit work in a gym once ( or twice ) a week is perfect. You will be getting plenty of cardio exercise from your running, especially if you are including hills and speedwork or tempo sessions. Personally I would keep the X-training strength session going up til the final week of training, rather than change or drop it 5 wks out. Keep the routine! Have a great race Emily. Cheers, Peter
Hi Peter,I have jut completed the Gold Coast Marathon and am running in the Blackmores Sydney running Festival Marathon. I completed the Gold Coast course in 4hrs 28 min. When resuming training, should I resume with the Marathon Guru or undertake a modified training program taking in to account the different course (Hills!) of Sydney. Thanks in advance for your help.
Hi Michael, good job on the Gold Coast! Was that a PB? If I were you, I'd sign up for the Marathon Guru program ( since it's free ) and then take a look at it, or trial it for a while to see what you think? You have the experience from the previous marathons' training to compare it with now, so you can be the judge. But having just completed a marathon, you need to ensure you are recovered properly before resuming a hard program or too much running ( especially on hard surfaces ) too soon. The risk is high in the first 4-6wks post marathon to get an over-use or stress related injury - so be careful mate and listen to your body. Don't train dog tired all the time. Freshen up for a bit first, and include more rest days than usual in these next few weeks. Cheers, Peter
Hi peter, i am faith wanthana from thailand, i am member of runnerthai team in thailand, i train with many kenyan include last year number two kenndy in sydney marathon. i am 11 year old, last month i ran marathon with 2hrs 57 mint and got number five. my full family like blackmore vitamin, my body weight 31kg and 148cm. pls. give me the celaries chat, what kind of food i eat every day or 7 day a week. i train 1hrs morning and 40mint in evening. 6 day a week, and what kind of vitamin i take ..... and if i feel pain in body or leg, what supplment i will take.... thanks and waiting your reply.
Hi Faith, I will leave it to the experts to discuss your vitamin questions, but as a running coach, I must offer some words of advice. You are very young to be running marathons, and if you wish to match the Kenyan athletes when you are older, it may be better for your long term development to concentrate on improving your speed over shorter distances for the next few years. Please consider training and racing on the track from 800m upwards while you are so young, and races between 2km-10km over the winter season. You can run marathons again when you are older and when your bones are fully developed. Atleast consider running a marathon only once every 2 years if you must do them as part of your team? You are welcome to email me if you require a free training program for shorter distance races Faith. Regards, Coach Peter ( email firstname.lastname@example.org )
Hellomy name is David, I am at about the 7th week of a half marathon training schedule. Over the last two weeks my training times have slowed. I do 2 X 7kms runs and a 14km run a week. i am also cycling to and from work 9km each wayIn the last week i started some gym classes, circuits and boxing so weekly I would be doing at least 6 sessions of 45mins excercise. My question is that in the last two weeks I am gaining weight. I want to lose 3-4kg for the half marathon , not gain weight. Any advice?
Hi David - you are likely gaining weight from your muscles gain from your indoor sessions, or you are eating more calories than you are burning in a week? While it's not clever to diet when training hard, you must still avoid too many fats or over eat. I'd suggest more running training. Currently your weekly total is 28km's for a 21km event. You could try to gradually increase that total by about 10% a week until September. Add 1km to your long run every week until you hit 18km's, and either increase those 7km runs or add a third shorter run session David? Eat fresh fruit and veggies. Drink water and not sports drinks or fizzy drinks. Aviod junk food. Then you will lose weight I predict. Cheers mate. Regards, Peter - PB Running
Hi Peter, I am considering doing the Sydney marathon but not sure if ten weeks is enough to train for this? I can commit to a training schedule and am not too concerned about how long it takes me to finish but as a relatively new runner I am interested to know if you think it's possible. I have been running for about 5 months. I did the Gold Coast Half last week in 1.51min and have entered the Brisbane half in a months time. I have so far done about 3 x 20km runs and 1 x 30km run and many 10-14km runs. Aside from a long run each week I do either some interval training, short quick runs or cross training about 5-6 days. If I committed to a 10 week program could I do a full marathon or should i wait until I have a more solid base?? Thanks, Donna. PS. Kurt says hi!
Hi Donna, thanks for your question and regards to big Kurt for me. From what you have said, I think you are well positioned to run the full Blackmores Sydney marathon in 10 wks time. Running 2 half marathons as a preperation is perfect, and your base sounds solid enough to start building on. I'd suggest 8 weeks of marathon training, followed by a 2 week taper so you are fresh for race day. Just pace yourself properly. If you run another 1.50 in the Brissy Half, then don't go quicker than about 2.10 for the first half in Sydney. I'd also suggest you try and run a few more 30km's runs weekly from now until early September. No need to run further than that, but a few under the belt will service you well. Believe you can do it, and go for it Donna. Ten weeks is ideal. Cheers and the best of luck, Peter
Hi Pete I'm running the Blackmores half marathon in Sept ( in about 2 hours) and also want to do the Melbourme 1/2 three weeks later. Is this sensible - I don't mind taking the Melbourne 1/2 really easy but what is rhe recovery advice after a half?? thanks Nikki
Hi Nikki - it's fine as long as you take good care of yourself post Sydney. Rehydrate and keep your energy levels high during and after the race, and eat well ( inc proteins to help rebuild damaged muscles fibre ) the next 72hrs especially. Aid recovery by walking and swimming for the first 3-4 days after the race, and invest in a full body sports massage about 48 hrs after the race. Then you can begin running training again, but you only need to do shorter runs and try and run on grass as much as possible too. You have 2 w/e's between the events, so I'd suggest a 1hr long run the week after, followed by 90 mins easy on weekend two. Then taper your training back again before the Melbourne race. After that race, you can let your hair down!! Cheers, Pete
Hi Peter, I'm just getting back into training following slowing up after being diagnosed with shin splints. I'm really nervous about overdoing it again and ending up in the same position and most particularly because I have quite a few runs lined up this season. It sucked to watch the pack leave without me on the Gold Coast a couple of weeks ago and I really don't want to repeat that. Any suggestions for keeping the training light but still ample to make the Half Marathon would be greatly helpful.
Hi Nicole, there are a few tips for keeping your calf muscles loose and supple, which is what you need to make a priority. It's still possible to train hard on certain days, to stay competitive, but you need to respect your recovery days inbetween, with plenty of stretching, deep tissue massage, SKINS compression, aqua therapy and light jogging on grass. Avoid hill reps or excessive road running and speedwork that involves mainly forefoot running. You really need to nurse your calf's some days, until they loosen up again after a race of hard session. It's possible to find the balance between 3-4 days of good running training a week, plus some cross training and recovery sessions between, that will still result in PB's during the season. Two massages a week is a good place to start if you can afford it! Regards, Peter
Hi Peter,I was just after your thoughts on allowing my 12 year old son to run with me (or more likely ahead of me) in the Blackmores half marathon. He has been training with us at least 4 days a week, usually 8klms x 3 (on road) and a challenging 15klm plus (through bush) on Sundays. He seems to be handling the distances really well, even better than I do!! My personal trainer seems to think he's up to it, but just wanted to get a second opinion because I'm a Mum and I worry! He is extremely keen to do this.
Hi Janelle, the growth and development of a child should be considered carefully in this situaton. I guess the question could also be should a 12 yo be running 39km's a week in training? Should a child be running on the roads at all given the jarring on developing joints and growing bones? Personally, I like children to be playing sports on grass in their youth, which is a far more forgiving surface. But on the otherhand, it's great to encourage children to enjoy running and sport in general, so I wouldn't deny them the experience either if they love it! It's your call Janelle. I would suggest trying to cut back on the road runs, and be sure to have a long recovery period ( atleast a month ) after the race and not run another road race for atleast 6 months afterwards. I would play it safe. He has his adult life ahead to compete in such events. Regards, Peter
Hi Peter,I am currently training for the Blackmores half-marathon. Everything is going well except for after my Sunday long runs I spend the rest of the day with a terrible headache and feel generally unwell. This usually comes on about 2-3 hours after I complete the run. I presume this is due to dehydration. I do drink during and straight after my run and I also eat stright after I finish. Is there anything I can specifically eat or drink before or after my run to fuel my body better for the long runs?
Hi Sarah, I agree that it sounds like dehydration. Perhaps you need to take in more fluids ( mainly water ) the day before and morning of your long run? If you are starting well hydrated and then continue to "top-up" every 20 mins of so during and immediately after the run, you shouldn't get those headaches. How much water you ask? Try to drink about 2 lts of water on the saturday. Then when you first wake up on Sunday, drink about 300ml's. During the run, try and drink every 20 mins after the first 45 mins. Carry a drink belt if need be? Post run, try and drink 1 lt. within one hour of finishing - a few mouthfuls at a time is fine. Watermelon is perfect to eat immediately after your run, as it's very refreshing and has a high water content too. All this drinking means you'll need to visit the loo heaps, but it's worth the hassle if it means you stay hydrated and avoid those headaches. Are you wearing too many clothes on your run and hence sweating too much? Or too many coffee's on Sat or Sun morning? Good luck Sarah. Regards, Peter
Hi Peter,I have never been a runner but at 45yrs of age entered my first 5km fun run in April 2011 and then 10km Mothers Day classic and are now hooked on running. I want to work on my stride and look to improve my times. If I begin to increase my runs from 17km to 25km total a week what would be a realistic expectation of improving on my current times? (I find myself running at a slow pace (10km = 1hr 10min) at present - and would like to set the first goal of running 10km under an hour by September 2011 - is this possible with simply upping the km?) Grateful if you have a good website for joggers to view what is a correct stride, and how to increase speed over time with 25km a week.
Hi Jo, sounds like you are going great. As you run more, after months of training, your technique will change and develop as you get stronger. The stronger your muscles get, the more power you will have to run quicker. Speed without endurance isn't much use, but together they deadly! To improve your running speed gradually, it's worth adding some "relaxed sprints" into your weekly program. Find a grass oval, and run 10 x 100m's at a quicker leg tempo than your normal training speed, with a walk back recovery. Think about keeping your knee's high, and swing your arms so that your hands come up near your chin. Stride out a little further than normal too. Don't strain though. Keep relaxed, as the more you do these, the more natural and faster you will become to them. Just twice a week is enough, and do them after a training run rather than before, so you are well warmed up. Also try and run at a quicker tempo over 2-5 mins at a time if you are looking to improve your 10km time Jo, but first just get a few more months of easy running under your belt first to build a base as that will help the most in the short term. Regards, Pete
Hi, can anybody help me with info on Adrenal Fatigue and what i can do about it as a sufferer?
Hi Sharon, adrenal fatigue is a term that explains a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as fatigue, body aches, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. If you think you may suffer from it, you should see your healthcare professional as they will be able to give you a personalised treatment plan. All the best, Michelle
Hi Peter and Michelle et al, I'd love to start running, but I feel like SUCH a klutz. I'm interested in paleo health principles, which suggests moving frequently at a gentle pace, mixed with occasional intense activity such as sprints and heavy lifting. Slow jogging is easy enough, but I've never been an athlete and I just feel all over the place when I try to sprint and I'm sure I look like an idiot. Will my body just eventually figure out what it's naturally supposed to do?
Hi Helen, I know exactly what you are talking about! Sprinting is a forgotten art and seldom required so it feels very strange when we try it as adults. It's a great concept though, this paleo principle. The answer is yes, your body and mind will adapt over time and practice so it will feel more natural eventually. The key is to gradually get faster and extend those tendons and muscles over many weeks though, otherwise you risk pulling or tearing a muscles if you try and sprint too quickly too soon. So strecthing and/or yoga should be included for sure. Also, try some sprint drills as part of your preperation, as this will help with muscle memory and flexibilty/range of motion. Regards, Pete
Hi Peter,I am a 31 year old female, in good health now but had a nasty bout of glandular fever which has resulted in significant weight loss. I am 161cm and 39.9kg at present, my usual weight is around 45kg. I LOVE KEEPING FIT! What exercises/training regime would help me build up again?? Cheers,Mandyp.s diet is good, I eat lots of vegies and lean protein ie chicken and fish!
Hi Mandy, I would recommend non weight bearing activities like swimming, walking and cycling until your weight returns to it's previous 45kg's. Having lost more than 10% of your weight means there will be stress on your heart and immune system, so please keep your exercise at a relaxed and gentle speed so that your heart rate stays pretty low in the meantime. You should perhaps seek professional advice about what diet can help you return that lost weight back quicker also. With regards, Peter
I ran Gold Coast Marathon this year in 4:47:00. This was my second marathon ever. I am running 42 km at Sydney. Being a hillier course, should I expect my time to be around the same or much slower?
Hi Michelle - congrats on your 4.47 marathon. The GC course is probably the fastest in Australia, being pancake flat as it is. But sometime racing over a route with a few inclines and declines helps engage different muscles and your running position - which may prevent fatique or cramps and the change can feel as refreshing as a holiday during a marathon! So just because Sydney has some hills, it's by no means a slow course, so you shouldn't expect to run much slower Michelle, and if you are a strong hill runner, you may just run faster now you have that GC run in the training bank? Good luck! Kind regards, Peter
Hi Peter!I am 28 year old female and currently training for Blackmores half marathon. I was in good shape four months ago when I was able to run 15 km in 1hr 15min. I had a pain in my calf for a long time and eventually I had to take a rest period. I have started training again about a month ago and it seemed like I never have run before,couldn't even run 2km which was so disheartening!!!. Now I am getting my fitness back and ran comfortable 7.5km in 37min. I would like to ask what would be the way to train every week? In the past I always tried to run further and further every running session( 2-4 times a week) and although I became fit very fast I suffered from stress fractures and my legs were always sore.Thanks!!
Hi Taija - a simple system to follow is Hard/Easy training days, so you can run further and faster on some days, but follow it up the next day or session with a shorter/slower run to aid your recovery which will help prevent those injuries. A long run on the w/e is ideal if you wk Mon-Fri? Maybe a session of 10 x 100m short sprints on grass once a week, or 3 x 5 mins hard with 3 mins walk recovery also?The more variety the better Taija, but have atleast 1 days rest a week, and no more than 3 hard running sessions aweek, and always with an easy day afterwards. That would be my advice in a nutshell. Regards, Coach Pete
Hi there, my name is Sue and I'd like your advice please. I'm 59yo, and started running in May this year. I ran the City2Surf 14ks last year with absolutely no training and managed 2hrs 10min. So I took up running earlier this year, hoping to beat that time. My question is, I am really not sure how often I should be running - can you run every day without doing too much damage, or is this too much. I weight train 3 times a week, not a full on session, mainly just my arms and legs, but only for about 30 mins. I have been running nearly every second day - about 7ks, then once a week I will do a longer run 10-12ks. Should I break up the running with some sort of cross training, ie elliptical, or spin bike. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. thank you.
Hi Sue, while it's possible to run everyday in training if you are smart about it and inc recovery and stretching sessions into your program, it's wise not to attempt it unless you have a few years of running experience first. Running every other day, with X-training sessions inbetween is ideal in your situation I think. Gradually, you could add a running day to 5 x a week though perhaps. But then also try to avoid pure road running. Try and run on grass or trails, especially on your long runs if possible. The X-training sessions can be numerous - cycling, spin, zumba, yoga, swimming, weights, rowing. The greater the variety the better for overall strength and conditioning. Also, try to inc some speedwork in your running program, not just steady state running between 7km and your longer run. Cheers, Peter
How to combat sore knees. I can deal with all the other aches and pains but sore knees, during and after a run are a real problem for me. Any suggestions please. I do take fish oils and glucosamine, but a bit eratically!!Many thanksKaren
Hi Karen, have you tried changing your running shoes? Perhaps they are too cushioned, or worn out a little? Running on grass or uneven surfaces sometimes helps knee pain also. Maybe it's your running style that needs looking at too, with just a slight adjustment helping reduce your discomfort? Avoid downhill running for sure as that adds stress on the joints. But it might be muscle tightness so stretching and massage may also help. Daily fish oil may also help the best! Cheers, Peter
Hi Peter, I'm attempting the Blackmores half marathon for the first time this year. I finished City2Surf in 1:45 (probably would have been better if it wasn't for Heartbreak Hill). My longest training runs has been 8-10kms but after the City2Surf last weekend, I will aim for a 16km long run this week. Is that too much of an increase from 14km to 16km? There's only 4 weeks left till the run. Should I increase kms gradually in the next 3 weeks and the week before the half do I taper and rest until the run? I'm worried that I won't have had enough long runs under my belt to be able to finish the half. I'm not the fastest runner but my goal is to make sure I make the cut-off times for the 14km and 16km mark of the half marathon. I'm hoping for a time of 2:40 to 3 hours.
Hi Nerizza, it's important not to try and run too far this weekend as you will probably still be recovering from the tough 14km's you have just raced. I'd suggest you wait and see how you feel first, before deciding on the actual distance. Perhaps aim to run your usual 10km run, but if you feel good, then add an extra 2-6km's if you wish? Otherwise, wait til the following w/e before you committ to that 16km run. The following w/e an 18km would be ideal, but than taper back to 12km's the w/e before the Blackmores Half so you freshen up. No point cramming like crazy now and just getting fatigued or picking up an injury. Also try adding a few extra 5-8km runs during the week, as they all add up too! Good luck. Regards Peter
Hi Peter, I am brand new to running, but a goal of mine is to run a half marathon, and im determined to see this goal thru!!! I am a 28 yr old woman with an 11 month old bub, so time is a precious commodity for me!! I have just now completed week 1 of the c25k challenge, and hoping you could give me a few starting tips and strategies to help me along the way and to stay focussed!! Thanks!
Hi Emily, welcome to the wonderful world of running! Have you bought a running stroller yet? That could help combine getting bub to sleep and training sessions? Signing up for a half marathon race and being committed is also a good carrot for motivation as the fear factor kicks in then. But consistentcy and a slow, gradual increase in your training is the secret to success, so start off easy and slowly build your running fitness. To build a house, first we must lay a solid foundation! Running is the same. Also, try to find others to run with, be it a social group or just one other person, as a good chat makes the time fly faster, and also having to meet people for a workout means you are less likely to skip a session. Good luck on your running journey Emily :)
Hi Pete,Yesterday I was doing my morning training ( Hills day ) when I tore my left calf muscle..It felt like a stab in my calf but after one day putting ICE PACKS continuously the pain has reduced to 50%. How can I know if is just a sore muscle or a tear in the muscle ?..... there is any exercise you recommend ?....and lastly... WHEN can I go back to running ??... SRF is just in the corner...Can I be able to run my 9K's in 4 weeks ?...Cheers,JUAN
Hi Juan, very sorry to hear about your injury! I'd suggest just walking on it for a couple more days, all the while stretching it and perhaps getting a massage. Then go for a very slow jog. You will know right away of it's a tear or not then. If it's hurting or pulling still, I'd suggest investing in a visit to a physio straight away, as with treatment there is a good chance you'll be OK to run the BSRF 9km's in a month. Deep tissue massage and stretching are excellent treatment for tight calfs. But I'd see a physio and get their opinion Juan. All the best mate, regards Peter
Thanks Pete, I'll keep you informed of my progress.Cheers,Juan
Hi PeterI am 54, female and want to start a running program. I ran the sydney city2surf this year in 1 hour 50 minutes and would like to improve on that. I rolled an ankle a couple of years ago and sometimes still have swelling and pain. Apart from that no injuries and healthy. I found in the city2surf that I had trouble jogging the first half but jogged most of the second half. Can you advise a program for me?
Hi Leigh-Anne, thanks for the email. May I ask what you are wanting to train for or achieve from following a program? Many free online programs are for a certain distance, like a marathon or 10km. All good programs will start off easier but build gradually to a certain goal or event, over a set period of time usually? So as much info as possible will help. Cheers, Peter
Hi PeterI am a 22 year old male, and was wondering if you could give me some pointers on long distance running techniques? I have been running about 4.5km home from work (which incorporates hills) Monday to Friday, and then a longer 7km bay run on a Saturday or Sunday.I have done short distance athletics training in the past, and just wondering if the technique is similar for longer distances. Basically the points I would like to know include:- Is the power supposed to be generated from the top of your foot? If not, which part of the foot do you suggest?- How high do you bring up your knees in a typical stride?- Do your feet kick back up near the glutes in a typical stride?- What do you recommend for arm position? e.g. 90 degrees, hands splayed etc- Should my technique change when going up/down hills?Any information you can provide would be highly appreciated. Thanks Peter.
Hi Nick, a runners technique can be similar over shorter distances to running longer, but usually the leg tempo is slower, the stride shorter as we try to conserve energy for the longer journey. The foot should be relaxed on contact, usually heel first when running distance, rather than on the forefoot when sprinting or running up hills. Knee lift again depends more on the speed you are running? If running 4 mins per km pace ( e.g 40 mins for 10km pace ) then knee lift will be higher and faster then if running 60 min 10km pace? Good knee lift will mean a nice stride length - which shouldn't be too short nor over-striding. Your feet won't be anywhere near your glutes unless you are running quite fast also? The goal is to be economical with your movement, and that is why many people shuffle rather than run with good technique, but it's what suits them and their pace.Arms should be between 45-90 degrees, with hands relaxed and slightly closed rather than splayed like Carl Lewis! Your technique will change going uphill. Take shorter strides and lean slightly into the hill, landing and pushing off the forefoot rather than on the heel of your foot. Use the arms to help drive up the hill also. Take it slower going downhills, to help prevent jarring and possible injury. You can gain strength from running uphills, but use the downhill to recover rather than smash your legs by running hard down them unless you are racing or chasing some PB? Finally, I would say there is good technique, but no perfect technique. No two runners do it exactly the same, so try and find what suits you personally. I hope this has helped a little Nick......best of luck hey mate! Regards, Peter
Hi Peter,Nice to see that I can have some help here. I'm 29 years old and I'd like to start a trainning. I dont have done any kind of exercise lately, but by over 3 years ago, I used to participate in race of 10km and 12km. But question now is What can I start with? Thanks !!! Patricia
Hi Patricia,We have a new trainer for this year's Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. Please feel free to ask him any questions you might have here - http://bit.ly/NWAaZl
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