Spring is in the air!

This is my favourite time of the year. It never fails to amaze me. Winter is nature’s time to die and die it sure does! The grass is dead, the leaves are bare and there’s an icy cold in the air that finds its way into the very core of your bones and joints.

Fortunately winter lasts for a few months and then suddenly, out of the blue, something changes.

I don’t know what it is or how it happens but suddenly without warning you wake up one morning and there’s life! Magically, overnight blossoms and signs of life start to apear and with that comes a feeling of hope. Winter is at its end and summer is on the way.

This time of the year brings a newness and a freshness that seems to rekindle the desire to get out on the road, to get fit and perhaps even train up to run a PB or a race for the first time in the months ahead.

Time to get up and get going!

There’s nothing quite like heading out the door in spring, a crisp freshness to the morning, the sun beginning to rise, the sound of birds chirping, the smell of the new blossoms and the bright new colours adorning the trees and shrubs. Ah, God has indeed blessed us with a wonderful creation and what a privilege to be able to get up and go for a run.

Perhaps you’ve been in hibernation for the winter or turned off that alarm clock more than you’d care to remember and perhaps the scale or tight belt takes every opportunity to remind you of your “lazy” winter.

Well, no time like the present. How about putting your running kit out tonight, setting the alarm and heading out that door in the morning for an awesome spring run? A word of advice, place the alarm clock out of reach, that way when it goes off in the morning you have to get up to turn it off, once you’re up the rest is easy.

Here are a few training workouts you could do to get your heart pumping, blood flowing and muscles moving:

  • Head out for an easy 30-60 minute run but leave the watch/garmin behind. You’ll have a good idea of how long or far to run for 30, 45 or 60 minutes, don’t worry about pace, just listen to your body and let it dictate what you do and most important of all, have fun! Enjoy it, soak up the warmer air and sights and sounds of spring. You’ll come back feeling like you’ve worked out but at the same time feeling alive and energetic and renewed.
  • Head out for a total run of around 45-50 minutes. After running easy for 20 minutes as a warm up mix it up for the next 10 minutes with Fartlek (Fartlek means “speed-play”), pick a few landmarks and run a little faster to the landmark and then easy jogging for 30-60 seconds and then repeat. A landmark could be a lamp post or a street sigh or the fancy house on the corner, mix it up and have fun. And then return to an easy pace for the last 15 to 20 minutes as a cool down.
  • Run a time trial or take part in a series like 644 (www.644.co.za) The same principles apply as to any other run, ensure you warm up properly with a 15-20 minute slow run and then don’t push the time trial if you have not trained and built up to push it, rather break it into sections and perhaps run 2km’s hard, 1km easy, or run for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, etc. Remember to cool down with a 15-20 minute jog afterwards.
  • Find a short, steepish hill and power up the hill for 30 seconds, jog slowly or walk back to the bottom for recovery and then proceed to the next repeat. Don’t forget, warm up and cool down!

Those are just a few ideas to get you going.

Remember to build slowly and easily and alternate hard with easy days.

Enjoy spring and enjoy getting back out there.


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