A street pole strategy

I put off blogging about my recent races because I was unsure if the results were real or just lucky. Three races down and I’m amazed that it has taken me four years to realise that tackling my runs the same way I tackle life would be the winning formula which would help me not only run faster, but stronger. Wait, let me try explain myself…

But first, let me take you back to this year’s Pick ‘n Pay half marathon. I happen to notice around the 10km mark that two runners were running according to a walk/run strategy. As much as I tried to keep up with them, I was not fit enough. But two weeks later, I happen to see them again at the Deloitte half marathon and pushed to keep up. The strategy is simple: run two sometimes three street poles, then walk for one.

I’ve always walked during races. But usually because I’m so tired and can’t get going again. This is different. This is planned and structured.

Having run Deloitte in under 3 hours using this strategy, I decided to try it during the Vaal 10km run. Success! I ran in 74 minutes! In fact, I managed to run each and every kilometre under 8 minutes a kilometre. I tried it again at the Saren’s half marathon too. My time: 2:54. This is working for me!

You see, I like structure, planning and preparation. I’ve always gone into races just hoping to get to that finish line before the 3 hour mark but with very little planning. But with this street pole strategy, I feel very much in control. It’s like my running friend Kerry, who has pulled me through both Deloitte & Sarens said, ‘It’s as if the street poles were made just for us runners.” I like that.


It’s the same as in life, without a strategy which works for you, you’ll only be drifting. And I guess every runner needs to find that certain technique that works for them. We’re all different and even though we run the same race, (just like life) we all need to run our different ways in order to finish. I’m glad I’ve found mine and something that finally, after 4 years of struggling, happens to work for me.

What’s your strategy?

The trip counter

Ever since I started running, there’s a habit I’ve picked up when I drive my car. I re-set the trip counter to “0” to see how far certain distances are if I were to run them. For example, it’s 3.4 kms to the gym from my house; 4.7 kms to the highway on ramp and 14.8 kms to get to my office. In the run up to any half marathon races, I typically use this exercise to prepare myself mentally. Passing that 21.1 km mark in the trip feels amazing.

So when KK entered the Bonitas City 2 City ultra marathon I started checking exactly how far 50 kms was and discovered that it’s a hell of a way! It’s pretty much the same as driving to my offices, then back home and then half the way back to the office again! *gasp*


In his 22 years of running, he’s never attempted such a far distance before, having previously stuck to half marathon distances. I don’t know who was more nervous, me or him? From the time I wished him well at the start of the race, to seeing him coming up to the finish 5 hours and 22 minutes later, I was shattered!


Well done on a fantastic run babes! I’m so proud of you. Comrades, here we come! (well, you…but you know what I mean.)