South Africa’s Trail Running Super Couple Landie and Christiaan Greyling are sharing their top trail running tips ahead of the 2020 edition of MaxiRace South Africa taking place in just under 6 weeks.
It’s one of the few races that have remained on the calendar this year and the organisers are really excited for the 2020 edition. There’s a new 40km option with a brand new route, so runners can look forward to traversing the most beautiful single track in and around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, including the magnificent Banhoek trails to Bartinney with a rollercoaster downhill towards the finish at Stellenbosch High.
To get ready for MaxiRace and really any long distance trail race, Landie and Christiaan have the following tips:
1. Be sure to incorporate a couple of back-to-back long runs leading up to your race. A back-to-back run is a long run (e.g. 30km) followed by another long run (e.g. 20km) the following day, to teach your body to cope with running on tired legs.
2. Do your longer runs with friends or groups, and involve your family to keep the motivation up.
3. It is very important to stay healthy and strong. Eat and sleep well, foam roll or go for regular massages, cross train, strengthen your core, go to the Biokeneticist and work on your mobility exercises.
2. Taper before your race. Tapering does not mean no running – it simply means less mileage and less intensity. Begin your taper two weeks before race day by reducing your mileage to 60% of what you’ve been doing. With one week to go, reduce that by half. Two days before the race, have a rest day, then use the day before race day to go for a short, quick jog to wake the legs.
3. Nutrition, including hydration can be the make or break of your race, so make sure you get it right. If you’re doing the 40k and 75k, make sure you:
- Eat from the first hour, don’t wait until you are hungry!
- Start with solid foods, gels work better in the last 25% of the race, when you need that extra little kick of caffeine and sugar.
- Hydrate well, as it can be very hot in December. Especially with electrolytes and/or carbs drinks. Don’t simply drink water, it will only further dilute your system.
- If you’re doing the 20k route, a couple of gels and water (with electrolytes) should do the trick.
- Most important, train with all the nutrition (and know what will be available at the aid stations) that you plan to use on race day, so that your body can get used to it. Use them on long runs, and in the same conditions you expect for your race – some foods react differently in different temperatures.
- Unexpected things can happen – be flexible about your fuelling and have a back-up plan in place if things go wrong.
6.Carefully test your kit and gear before race day. Wear it on a few long runs in good time before the event to test its comfort, thermal qualities, where it might chafe you, etc.
7. Choose what works for you, rather than simply opting for the latest craze.
8. Familiarise yourself with the race’s compulsory kit list, and ensure you have everything!
9. Train with all your gear beforehand to get comfortable with it.
10. On race morning, double-check that you have all the gear required, and know exactly where to find it in your pack.
11. Look after your body during the race – blisters, chafing, sunburn, hydration, heat and cold are examples of factors you’ll need to self-manage.
MaxiRace 2020 takes place on 12 December 2020 in Stellenbosch. A few entries for each of the distances are still available at http://maxirace.co.za/
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.