So I decided to run 24 km, I was aiming for 21 but my landmark was 24km so I just went with it.  The whole point of the exercise, was to see how it would feel, and a personal challenge I have set for myself.  Despite the fact that I am quite fit and I write a health and fitness blog, I am by no means a professional/long distance runner or anything like that.   I run with my dogs 5 days a week approx. 10km per session but that’s about it. This was in my experience the 21 things I feel a girl needs to know before attempting the “groot 21 km trek”

  • If you start early like I did, safety first. Pack away the diamond jewellery and opt for the bare minimum.  I wear a Core Silicone ring* instead of my normal engagement ring and also remove all my expensive looking items.

  • I did take a phone with me, but kept it in a non-visible belt compartment. The phone was predominantly in case I did not make it, (in which case I would have called an Uber, I am way to proud to call someone to come rescue me).  DO NOT wear your phone on your arm.  That’s like jumping in the sea with a piece of meat strapped to your leg.  Deffo NoNo. Wear wireless ear-phones. Don’t run with your white IPhone earphones, the steak-leg metaphor applies here.  I wear and recommend Charisma* for women simply because they fit nicely and you can manage everything from the control panel and you don’t need to take any electronics out to skip tunes and change the volume.

  • If you can, get a running buddy, it is safer…..

  • Unless your partner is going to complain the whole way, or likes to off-load her/his problems,21km is a long way.

  • Wear reflectors, I opt for the light battery operated safety lights on my shoes. Rule of thumb here is;  If the street lights are on you should have a light on.

  • Which brings me to the next point. If you are running in the dark and you are running 21km, chances are you will not be thinking of sunscreen.  Make sure you have a check list before you go running with “apply sunscreen” right at the top.

  • Pack tissues in your running belt. Make sure they are the compact type in the plastic packet (this keeps it dry), in-case you need a number 1. 2. Or to blow your nose.  Not necessarily in that order.  21km is a long distance and you never know what could happen.

  • Choose a pretty road. 21 Km is far you are going to be there for a while, pretty makes it less shitty.

  • Don’t think about how long it’s going to take, if you are burning all the carbs you ate during carbo-loading the night before,  how far you still need to go etc.  Concentrate on your posture, and focus on your rhythm.  Enjoy the environment around you and every moment you are experiencing on your run.

  • Eat breakfast (this was one mistake I made) your body needs the fuel just like a car needs petrol. I didn’t eat breakfast as it was still early and I was not hungry.  Not smart, I was running more like a hybrid car needing a charger.

  • Take water. Your body needs the water to get the “petrol” to the muscles.  If  you don’t you will get tired easily and start cramping.

  • Speaking of cramping. You are going to start cramping, just the severity that differs.  If you are cramping in your legs, that’s normal, don’t call for help.  Going over into a brisk walk for a couple of minutes activates a different muscles and will you a break while you are still going forward and staying warm.  You can go back into your run once you feel better.  If you are cramping in your chest however, that’s a problem, call a doctor.

  • Take nice music. It’s a long road and music helps a lot with your rhythm and mood.

  • Take a pre-workout. I use NutriTeck Maxi Pre* it will help to give you a boost and give you a bit of extra fuel as well as helping the oxygen transport through your body.

  • Take a snack. I enjoy the Futurelife bars as they taste good, generally I struggle to eat anything when I am training,  it really has to taste good for me to eat it.

  • Take lip balm with sun screen. I was running against the wind which dried my lips out a lot.  Luckily I am a lip balm addict so my Blistex* is always packed.
  • Wear a cap. Keeps your hair back and out of the way, it is also NB for when that sun comes out.

  • Before you go on your first 21K, make sure you are able to run about 10 – 15km’s at least. It is risky of you have not reached at least that level of fitness.

  • Stretch before, stretch after, stretch during. Stretch as much as you need to but make sure you stretch.

  • You are never too old or too unfit to try running a 21km. If you are not able to now, you can always work your way to it by setting goals and achieving small wins.

  • Don’t worry about how long it takes you to complete the 21km or what other would think of your time etc. do it for you and start somewhere.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I will definitely do it again next weekend. I loved the beautiful scenery  and all the friendly nods I got along the way. I enjoyed challenging my body and really proud of myself for achieving it.   Next on my list is trying a trail run and I cannot wait for the challenge. 

*All products mentioned in the article are not endorsed.  These are items I enjoy using and I recommend.