We caught up with Garmin Ambassadors, and Tauranga Half podium regulars Jack Moody and Hannah Wells for their ‘Top Running Tips’ ahead of the race.
Jack has topped the fastest run split of the event multiple times, and finished the 2021 Tauranga Half with a phenomenal 70-minute run leg, while Hannah Wells has won the event twice, and podiumed three times.
Jack’s Top Tips!
- Hills, hills and more hills: Hills might not be your friend for training but the more comfortable you get with them the easier that base track will feel come race day.
- Shoes: Don’t go out and buy the Shiny fastest looking shoe. Invest some time with some experts to work out the perfect training and racing shoe. Also, remember to replace your shoes regularly. I currently go through a pair of trainers every 700km.
- Don’t overcomplicate it: It’s just running not rocket science. Get out and enjoy it. One of my favourite sessions over these last few months has been my long run where I can just cruise along for a couple of hours with a good Playlist. I don’t think what cadence am I doing, where is my foot landing, is my stride long enough, sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other and just enjoy it.
- Speed use it or lose it: Incorporate a couple of strides at the end of some of your runs where you practice getting up to top speed. I’ll do a few variations of this session as we build into the race season just to get the spring back in my stride.
- Don’t be a hero: bike for show but run for dough. There is no point setting out at 20% above your best ever power on the bike or starting the run 10sec per km faster than your latest park run result. It’s a long grind around the base track on a sunny day. Just remember to relax, breathe and then build the momentum throughout your race.
Hannah’s Top Tips!
- Pacing. The second half of each lap can be quite taxing due to the undulating terrain around the mount. So prepare for this and pace the first part of each lap well by focusing on efficiency and form without starting out too hard. You’ll want plenty left in the tank for the track around the mount.
- Train for the terrain. The course has a little bit of everything; a flat fast road as well as the undulating gravel track around the mount. So make sure you include a bit of both in your training. In particular, including some up and downhill running in the second half of some of your runs to prepare for the Mount track.
- Keep your upper body as relaxed as possible. When you’re running remember to check that you’re not holding your shoulders too tight. Tensing in the upper body is wasted energy and should be avoided as much as possible.
- Lean forward slightly with a strong, stable core. Keep a slight forward lean when you’re running, this will help you make the most of momentum. To ensure you’re not hunching over, keep the lower core engaged and strong.
- Use your arms on the uphills around the mount. To help you power up and over the undulating terrain around the Mount focus on pumping the arms. And remember to keep that forward lean.
- Use the downhills for free speed. Let the legs go a bit on the downhills around the mount and stay relaxed. The downhills can be a chance to gain a little bit of free speed while also being a chance to recover from the punchy uphills – And last but not least, enjoy the awesome atmosphere at the race and have fun!