Training for K2C…and life!

Four-time Kruger2Canyon Challenge Participant (all 4 were podium finishes…), Karine Bezuidenhout is a physio and also a Kampersrus local. She grew up in Kampersrus, staring at the mountain out of the Maths class window and has recently been drawn to move back to the town.

Her line of work means that she also sees people when they have damaged their bodies and is a strong believer that to prevent injuries and live long, we need to use our bodies more regularly in a natural way. Leave the screens and chairs – climb a tree, throw a ball, sit on the floor with a puzzle.

Karine organises weekly runs / walks up Mariepskop Mountain, so she probably knows the K2C race routes and what it takes to run them better than anyone. She is going to be sharing Training Tips to get you strong enough to run up (and down) Mariepskop mountain in July.

Haven’t entered yet? Karine assures us there is still plenty of time to train (the event is just over 4 months away). Considering the race for next year, or even just wondering how to get your body moving and stronger? Karine’s Training Tips are a great place to start!

Tip #1: Time on Your Feet.

If you are just starting out, start with walking and / or running for 30min. Gradually increase the time on your feet as your body adjusts and you feel more comfortable.

If you are running the Kruger2Canyon Challenge, time on your feet is way more important that how fast you are going. Aim for 1hr of walking & running, and gradually increase this.

Tip #2: Get on a Trail

Because K2C is a trail run, you need to start moving on trails to see how the different textures of trail (stand, rocks, stones, soil) feel under your feet and how your body needs to move over and around obstacles (rocks, branches).

Great local options are the Hoedspruit Parkrun, Franklyn Park, the Hippo Trail and the Leopard Trail.

Strength Training (it’s not a dirty phrase Runners!!)

Running loads a force of 8 times your body weight onto your knees. If you want to run long (far and for many years), it is important to build muscle to protect your joints and enable you to climb up, but more importantly DOWN mountains. This equates to Strength Training to specifically build your glutes and quads.

Weight training helps to build muscle and can be done with very simple exercises while holding weights – dumbbell or kettlebell, or a 1l bottles of water, if you are improvising at home!

If you are just starting out, don’t use any weights to begin with. Rather ease in with just your bodyweight until you feel comfortable enough to slowly add weights.

If you are training for K2C, pick a weight that is comfortable for you (rather start conservatively), and gradually increase the weight.

Lunges highly effective to strengthen quads, which are vital in downhill running. The last 5km to the finish line of K2C is a steep descent and you will be grateful for every lunge that you do now!

A good place to start is:

Front, Back and Side lunges. 3sets of 6 reps of each lunge, left and right legs, resting for 3min between reps.

By adding lunges 2 – 3 times a week into your training program will make a significant difference to your running over time. Its never too soon (or too late) to start.

Use weights to strengthen targeted muscles and improve your running.

So whether you are training for K2C or just for life, step away from the computer and get your body moving – the 5minutes of exercises that you accomplish are better than the 30min session you don’t get around to doing. I hope to see you on the Mountain sometime!!

Karine’s “Mountain Humans” running / walking group meets at Laerskool Mariepskop gate at 6am every Thursday. All speeds welcome! For more info, send Karine a whatsapp on 082 960 6394.

Listen to Karine & Lauren’s discussion on Hoedspruit FM about Kruger2Canyon Challenge, mountain energy and training for life HERE.

To enter the Kruger2Canyon Challenge, visit www.kruger2canyonchallenge.co.za/k2c-2024-entries/

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