By Rachel Grunwell
It’s less than a month to go now before the Rotorua Marathon event on May 5. So I turned to top coach John Bowden for some tips for final prep and training for all those taking part in this epic event.
John is an absolute run legend. He’s a former elite athlete himself and former teacher (Auckland Grammar by the way). He competed for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, and has been an Athletics New Zealand selector and coach. He now trains a lot of elite runners in NZ who win marathons, half-marathons and represent NZ at the Olympics. He trains Lisa Cross who won the Waterfront Half Marathon in Auckland on April 8. He also trains weekend warriors like me (bless him)! And if you didn’t think the bloke was a legend already, then you will after I tell you he is the head of Achilles NZ (a charity that helps Kiwis with disabilities to participate in run events). John will be at the Rotorua Marathon event cheering on some of his runners.
Here are some of his top tips leading up to the Rotorua Marathon event. Take note, these are gold! Better still, really listen to him. We are lucky to tap into his knowledge.
Marathon Tips by John Bowden from The Road Running Collective:
- Despite the weather now cooling and that we are into Autumn there is a tendency not to drink as much either during your day or on your training run… DON’T STOP hydrating. So, during the day the famous 8 glasses of water per day is still a good guide to go to (or two litres)-if anything by doing this you will not be as tired by the end of the day.
- On your training runs (usually the long ones) it pays to practice drinking what you will use on race day. You can also practice taking water at various spots on your long runs these next 4 weeks (by either having someone on the side of the road handing them out to you, or you can place them there the night before in a secret and safe place). Practice makes perfect when it comes to these four weeks of hydrating yourself…
- Recovery & Rest
- This last month it might pay to concentrate on the little things that might make a difference for your performance on race day-so get some extra sleep, earlier nights, stretch a bit more and treat your self to a weekly massage perhaps.
- Equipment check
- Make sure your training shoes are in good shape for the last month of training. Do not try and get through this critical time with a well worn pair of shoes. Or if you are concerned about them lasting… then change them now!
- If you are going to wear a different pair of shoes for the race (lighter ones usually) then practice using them on your last few long runs.
- Tapering and feeling good
- Usually you begin to do less training from 14-10 days out so be careful during this time as you will start to feel better and run faster. Be in control in this phase and listen to your body and hold yourself accountable that you will train with the same intensity and pace that you have previously been doing during the past few months.
- Your last long run
- This should be done about three weeks out with a moderate long run say 21km two weeks out before you begin your taper. It is better to be a little underdone than overcooked for a marathon race – so be smart.
- Head Smarts
- Be confident in your self as you have done all the hard work with a month to go. Talk yourself up, be positive, be inspired by reading or watching achievements of others in any areas of life.
- Work on your race strategy and have plans A, B and C for race day
To enter the Rotorua Marathon event click HERE
To find out more about John and his coaching click HERE
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon event ambassador, Award-winning writer, ‘Good’ magazine wellness columnist, wellness writer for Run4YourLife running magazine (in Australia and NZ), multi-marathoner (19 marathons at the last count), yoga teacher & Polynesian Spa ambassador (co-leading health retreats in Rotorua).
This blog was kindly sponsored by the peeps behind the Rotorua Marathon event #sponsoredcontent
Elite Runner at Rotorua Marathon will be running in her parents footsteps
By Rachel Grunwell
An elite female runner doing her first ever marathon at the Rotorua Marathon event is a potential front-runner who could take out the winning title.
When Olivia Burne, 26, runs in the May 5 event, she will also be following in her parent’s footsteps. And she’s gunning for a podium spot too like her dad…
Olivia, who is an ASICS brand ambassador and works in marketing and communications in Auckland, won the half-marathon distance at the Rotorua Marathon event last year with a time of just over 1hr 16mins.
She decided to run her first marathon at Rotorua this year for many reasons.
Her parents success at this event was, of course, an inspiration.
“My parents have both run the Rotorua Marathon in their early 20s. “My mum completed the full marathon distance in 1981, recording 3:19 – that was one week before she married Dad. My Dad ran the full marathon five years in a row, with his top finish being a 2nd in 1979. His time was 2:25.35 – I’m not looking to break that record any time soon!” she says.
Burne says her running parents have been really encouraging of her running career and great support.
Asked if her parents have high expectations of her potential finish time, Burne quips, “I think Mum would be quite happy for me to beat her time and I think Dad would just be impressed if I beat his!”
She says she also chose the Rotorua Marathon event too as her first marathon because of the wonderful history of the event and because it is known as one of the highlights of the racing calendar.
“It’s also a beautiful setting. The cultural significance of Rotorua… the beautiful lake, the Redwood Forest, and the (Polynesian Spa’s) thermal hot pools make the whole running and recovery experience really special,” she says.
She also adds: “The race has an enormous history in New Zealand. Most runners from the 60s onwards would know the Rotorua Marathon (or Fletchers Marathon, as it used to be known) as one of the highlights of the racing calendar. Thousands would show up for the event and it attracts some of the best runners in the country. “
Burne says she is training hard for the event by doing lots of hills and miles out in West Auckland.
“I work in Hillsborough, Auckland – a suburb that’s aptly named,” she jokes.
She is training around the hilly and challenging Waiatarua course as much as possible. She too is clocking some high mileage (150km plus per week under her coach, Barry Magee.
Burne says she is looking forward to the marathon challenge and taking on a challenging course.
Her dream in the future is to be able to go onto the Olympic Games in the marathon distance in the future.
She has completed three years to date of racing the half-marathon distance.
Join Olivia and many others! Enter the Rotorua Marathon event too – there’s a distance for everyone. CLICK HERE
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon event ambassador, Award-winning writer, ‘Good’ magazine wellness columnist, multi-marathoner, yoga teacher & Polynesian Spa ambassador (co-leading health retreats).
This blog was kindly sponsored by the peeps behind the Rotorua Marathon event #sponsoredcontent
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon ambassador, multi-marathoner, qualified yoga teacher, magazine wellness columnist, magazine recipe creator & Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa ambassador
9 Top Recovery Run Tips + Choc Chia Recipe
It’s not long now until the Rotorua Marathon event on May 5 and so training is hitting its highest gear. The long runs are longer and it’s an increasingly longer time on the feet for walkers too. So, use some great recovery methods is incredibly key right now. You want to be using everything you can in order to arrive at the start-line injury-free and ready to do your best on race day!
Here are 9 Top Recovery Tips: I use all these tips and they’ve helped me conquer 19 marathons. So I swear by them!
- * Make friends with a foam roller. These are seriously amazing for “ironing” out niggles ie making those tight muscles less oucheeeee. Use a roller for a few minutes on areas like your calves, IT bands, thighs, shins and quads. It’s even lovely to roll your back over a foam roller – it’s an amazing self-massage tool. There are other self-massage tools on the market too like stick rollers and other weird-shaped (torture) tools! Find the tender spots and roll them with LOVE. Your body will thank you for this, I promise.
- * Eat ideally within 30-mins roughly after a long training run or walk to help boost muscle recovery.
- * Some sports physios and massage therapists are increasingly training in needling. This can target really deep tissue hotspots if you need to iron out niggles that are really deep and you can’t seem to shake. If you are not afraid of needles, then I’d recommend trying this treatment. It doesn’t hurt a bit, I reckon.
- * Get a professional sports massage. I can’t rate these high enough. These experts are worth their weight in gold. They can target any tiny issues you might have and give you amazing advice too. Plus you get to chat away to them and they have to listen ha ha ha ha. Or is that just me who loves to talk, talk, talk lol.
- * Sleep like a prince or princess. This affects your physical and emotional health. So, it affects how you recover from training runs and how well you feel while running (or walking). Feel more alert and power your performance with more shut-eye… This is also FREE, of course. Bonus! If you get to bed by midnight, this is most ideal (it’s to do with cortisol levels ok babe…)
- * Drop the habit of drinking so much alcohol. This can disturb your sleep patterns and can stop you from going into REM – the very rejuvenating sleep.
- * Try some gentle yoga classes or at least take several minutes to do some static stretching after running or walking to reset your body. This will help you to move well. For some of my fave run stretches that I use often and highly recommend CLICK HERE.
- * Go for a recovery swim. If you are in Rotorua, then I’d recommend the Blue Lake, Lake Tarawera or Lake Okareka. Better still, indulge in the rejuvenating hot pools at the Polynesian Spa. Bliss!
- * Make a pact with yourself to eat more nutritionally-rich kai. Smart eating will help you think better, feel better and perform better. So, add spinach to your scrambled eggs or swig back a home-made juice (so you know what is in it). Here’s an amazing beetroot juice recipe CLICK HERE. Or here’s a Choc Chia Pudding to try below which is full of chia seeds which boast Omega 3 alphalinolenic acid. This is good for your brain, building new cells, and heart-health. Chia seeds are great for satiety too ie filling you up! This also tastes amazing and you can eat it anytime for a snack. Hopefully this will stop you from reaching for chocolate instead!
Post Run Choc Chia Pudding
1 banana (skin removed)
2 cups almond milk
½ cup coconut cream
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup (or you can use maple syrup instead)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cacao powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons Chia seeds (back or white)
Put all the ingredients (except the chia seeds) into a blender and blitz until smooth. Lastly, add the chia seeds and stir these in with a spoon. Pour into pudding bowls, or I put them into small glasses. Leave them to set in the fridge for 30-minutes or longer. Use a spoon to dig out the mixture and enjoy!
To enter the Rotorua Marathon event or find out more Click Here
This post was sponsored by the awesome peeps who “run” the Rotorua Marathon event. #collab #officialblogger #runambassador
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon run ambassador, wellness blogger & magazine columnist, yoga teacher and director of InspiredHealth, which inspires Kiwis to live healthy and happy.
TV1 Presenter Gives the Low-Down on Fitness Progress“It feels great to get back into training”.So says TV1 presenter Greg Boyed.He has agreed to take on the challenge to get fit for the Rotorua Marathon event on May 5 this year. I caught up with Boyed for a training run in the Waitakere Ranges to ask how he is getting on with his run programme.He is at the beginning of his get-fit journey. He took a break from running for a while to focus on his family (including his young son). He was also kept busy with home handyman tinkering after he and his gorgeous wife bought a new house. Well, it’s an old house, but new to them. So it’s new but it’s old, but it’s old but it’s new to them… you get the picture chuckle.Boyed got his training programme from coach John Bowden about six weeks ago. Bowden trains elite athletes (who are training for all kind of distances up to the Olympics). Bowden also trains weekend warriors like Boyed and I who are out there for personal bests and to keep fit. Boyed says he has been keeping up with his training programme, ticking off a few runs weekly. The heat hasn’t helped, but he has soldiered along.“A lot of where I run has hills. It’s a fairly high proportion. It’s not easy, but I’m slowly making progress,” he says. “I’m actually starting to enjoy it. I’m now looking forward to the runs and I’m getting them done.”I asked Boyed about his motivation levels currently? The beginning of a fitness journey can often be tough – for anyone.His reply:“What’s motivating me is not wanting to let myself – or anyone else down – at the event,” he says.“Actually, the fear of failure is motivating me!” he quips.Boyed and I caught up for a 10km training run out in West Auckland and he ran well. Maybe that was because I was doing all the talking! Note to self: Let the other runner talk…We both agree it’s great to have a goal in mind like the Rotorua Marathon event to motivate fitness levels. We give the thumbs up to anyone else who takes on the challenge!If you want to join us at the event and aim for this same goal check out the Rotorua Marathon page. Click HERE. Distance options include: 5.5km fun run, quarter-marathon, 21km and full marathon.Meanwhile, cheer on Boyed and his awesome kick-off to his fitness journey. It’s not always easy juggling family, work and fitness. So I reckon he deserves a virtual high-five.
The winner of the Rotorua Marathon Real Runner competition has been announced!
The winner is Sam Meade, 28, from Tapawera, Nelson (she and her hubby farm sheep and beef here).
Rotorua Marathon commercial and marketing manager Jo Clark says she loved Sam’s story and thought she was “very deserving of the prize”. And what a prize it is: A prize worth $4500 to get Sam run-ready for the Rotorua Marathon event on May 5, 2018. The package includes accommodation, coaching, wellness advice (from yours truly), asics shoes, a Polynesian Spa prize and more.
Clark says it was incredibly hard to pick a winner from so many heart-felt entries (322 entries, in fact!)
Here was Sam’s entry words:
“I only started running last year, and fell in love…. at the same time both my parents passed away and so I entered a half marathon to distract me from life. It was an amazing experience, but since completing it last December I have struggled with depression/anxiety and chronic fatigue (due to emotional and physical stress, and a 2yr old ❤). I have been unable to run this year because I have been so bloody tired! This would be a great way to ease back into running which I love so much and do my second ever half marathon.”
We asked Sam to tell us more about herself and she wrote the following:
“We have a 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter Charleigh, and two teenagers (from my husband).
“At the beginning of 2016, I started a weight loss/ fitness challenge with several friends over facebook, and so started running/ walking, eating healthy and doing strength work etc. I also got engaged, and it was coming up to my daughters 1st birthday.
“About this time, my Mother got very ill (she had been fighting breast cancer for 12 years), the cancer had made it to her brain, and she went downhill very fast and passed away within a few months. Two days later, my Dad suffered a fatal heart attack.
“I believe for a long time I was surviving on adrenaline from shock and loss, I knew I needed something to focus my energy on, and so I entered the Hanmer half marathon for Dec 2016. I downloaded the Map My Run app, and loosely followed their training program, also motivated by the facebook challenge with my mates.
“We got married in October, and I completed the half marathon in 2 hrs 18min.
“In 2017 I struggled with anxiety/depression (pre-existing), along with delayed grief. I was so tired all of the time, I could only work on the farm for a couple of hours and then I had to go and have a sleep. I struggled with my daughter, as I just had no energy to give her. I finally went to a natural health GP, and found that I had severely depleted vitamin and mineral levels from post natal depletion, adrenal fatigue, emotional stress (and possibly training hard didn’t help). I missed running but was warned not to over exert myself while trying to heal my body and mind (Also I was too bloody tired!).I am now starting to feel a lot better, I have been taking supplements etc to boost me back into shape.
I am finally ready to run again!”
Good luck Sam with your training for the Rotorua Marathon event’s half-marathon. We look forward to watching your progress and seeing you at the start-line!
It’s a new year and who wants to be the same?
Yeah, not me either.
It’s always great to be learning, growing and thriving. I’m not talking about perfection, rather progression.
I’m not really a New Year’s resolutions style girl; I think goals should be set and re-assessed regularly. No one should ever blindly bulldoze their way towards a goal that turns out to be the wrong elected “course” at some point along the way. It’s great to reflect on goals sometimes and change course if this serves you best.
Be attuned to the moment, always.
One of the questions I get asked regularly in my wellness work is about how to keep motivated with goals? Everyone can set goals – which is usually done at the start of a new year. But hardly anyone reaches the end desired result. Seriously, just a few percent of people are goal-crushing legends.
Here are 4 of my top tips to goal-crush and be a success:
- Have a solid reason “why” you want to do a goal. You can always come back to this and remind yourself on your journey. If you have no strong “why”, then there’s no real driver to work hard at the goal and you will be giving up in no time.
- Challenges are hard. So, get your mind-set right from the start. Suck it up, and do the hard yards. The pay-off will be worth it.
- Get a buddy to join you on your journey, or to at least to talk to along the way. They can be your biggest cheer-leader!
- Have small rewards along the way to keep you motivated and celebrate your success. I treat myself for working hard at my goals regularly (ie coffee with friends after a run, or a new piece or run-related clothing sometimes). If you only ever celebrate at the end of goals then where would the fun be in that? The end result should never be the only joyful part that you look forward to. A big factor to living a happy life is celebrating the journey, the now, this present moment. So mindfully live life with a go-get-‘em and uplifted state of mind. You got this!
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning journalist. Wellness writer for three magazines (Good, Indulge and Run4YourLife). Magazine smoothie creator. Yoga Teacher. Fitness Consultant. Multi-Marathoner x19. Blogger. Co-leader of health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa.
I’ve done some sessions with run coach Kiri Price, who takes classes at the AUT Millennium as well as private lessons. I’d recommend a private lesson for your first time so you can suss the technique and so you know you are doing it right. There’s an art to mastering it.
Kiri says deep water running classes have come a long way from the aqua jogging classes of the 80’s and 90’s. AUT Millennium’s Deep Water Running sessions have been developed specifically for runners and athletes to develop and maintain their aerobic fitness and running technique in a non-weight-bearing environment.
The AUT Millennium sessions have been developed specifically for runners and athletes to develop and maintain their aerobic fitness and running technique in a non-weight bearing environment.
“The biggest benefit of deep water running is that it is no impact, therefore minimising musculo-skeletal stress, while still providing a full body workout,” she says.
Kiri says it is biomechanically the closest cross-training method to actual running, providing a fantastic aerobic training workout. Deep water running is perfect for those currently suffering from injury, or who are on the path to recovery. Kiri has 100% success rate with helping injured runners she has worked with, to heal, and achieve marathon running success.
So what’s the experience like? Well, I did this for several weeks while training for the Chicago Marathon in 2016. You strap a blue float device tight around your waist and then get in the pool with a bunch of other folk wearing blue-belts too.
Kiri starts with a warm up – getting students to tread water for a few minutes – maintaining an upright position with minimal forward leaning from the ankles, shoulders just out of the water, core-tight, and pushing the feet straight down and slightly behind you, feet relaxed, toes pointing down (so you imagine pushing off the bottom of the pool). Meanwhile, your arms pump forwards and backwards by your sides).
The class includes things like drills, interval sessions and the class is full of different things to focus on to improve things like run technique, form or to have some fun.
The pool here is massive, multi-million-dollar complex where you can often spot some elite athletes. Kiri says she has seen rugby legend Sonny Bill Williams and lots of elite athletes here. I’ve spotted Valerie Adams a few times too on her way to the AUT Millennium gym nearby.
The deep water running workout is tough by the way; It is no walk in the park. You get red-faced and feel like you’ve done a really tough workout. The best thing is it helps you keep your running base strong. I recommend this for injured runners and I highly recommend Kiri’s sessions. She’s an incredibly experienced runner (she has run close to 150 marathons) and she’s also one of the nicest coaches you could hope to meet.
One-on-one sessions are available with Kiri Price and these can be booked directly with her – just email [email protected] (please tell her Rach recommended her!) Group sessions available by appointment. You can click this link to find out more .
Pic of Kiri Price pacing at the Rotorua Marathon.
To find out more about the health retreats she co-leads at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa click HERE
She said: “We are so moved by Greg and his family’s commitment to celebrate the life of Hamish in this way. Their efforts will ensure that Hamish’s spirit of adventure will be passed to other Mount Manganui teens . What an incredible legacy they are creating”.
To listen to a video where Rachel interviews Greg about his running mission and how it is going. Click HERE
Picture credits in this piece:
Top pic of Greg and Donna hand-in-hand was kindly supplied by marathon-photos.com
Picture of Hamish kindly supplied by Jamie Troughton.
Injury Advice – Tips & Motivation
If you love to chase that runner’s high, then you will want to avoid getting injured. Runners can get all kinds of injuries including: runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, sprains, pulling a muscle, iliotibial band syndrome, just to name some!
I can relate to this topic first-hand. I’ve been running for around five years and run a lot of miles marathon-training. So, inevitably, I got an injury – in 2016. It was a stress reaction in my left leg. While this sounds like something I might feel when my six-year-old throws a tantrum, I learned it is the precursor to a stress fracture. This is where the bone becomes weak at a cellular level and causes pain. Eye-watering pain where you might not use words that are very, well, er, lady-like.
I was sidelined from running for 3-months. I was devastated initially. Running is the way I de-stress and keep fit. But then I looked at this time instead with a positive mindset (that’s the yoga training within me!) and saw it as an opportunity to do yoga, cycling, pool running, and strength work until I healed. After that, I returned to running with a strong body (and mind) and only weeks later ran the Chicago Marathon with a not too shabby time.
10 Top Tips Around Injuries:
- * Have a good run form. I’d recommend seeing an expert to make sure you have a good biomechanical form. They also give you tips on how to run more smoothly – and efficient! Decode: Faster!
- * Don’t increase mileage too soon or go too fast too soon. You are begging for an injury if you do.
- * Warm up and cool down. Gentle dynamic stretches for a few minutes before running is great, and some static yoga stretches for a few minutes afterwards is awesome.
- * Wear good shoes that fit your feet well.
- * Do some strength training. It’s as important as the run miles.
- * Be smart. If you can’t shake a “niggle” or problem then get expert advice and follow their recommendations. You will heal quicker and know what you can do and shouldn’t do to recover. Knowledge is power.
- * If you are injured, accept your injury and don’t dwell on it. Staying positive influences healing time frames.
- * Focus on what you can do while injured- not what you can’t do. For example, I stayed strong with other fitness options when I couldn’t run.
- * Practice a positive mind-set and patience. The injury will heal eventually in most circumstances – and so put things into perspective. See adversity as a challenge and grow from it.
- * Take recovery seriously. Things like yoga, massages, using a roller and incorporating some mindfulness into your life is what smart runners do.
Other related blogs by Rachel:
Yoga Tips for Runners blog click HERE
7 Stretches For Runners click HERE
- Fab Recipes
- In The Media
- Lose weight
- Rachel's Blog