Keep a steady pace

James Murray, who is training to run 100 miles around Grand Cayman as part of his “A Crazy Idea” campaign, provides weekly training tips for those who want to complete their first half marathon (13.1 miles).

We are now moving on to week 2. By request, I have added a schedule for the novice runner. By novice, I am speaking of the runner who could run a mile or two but would find it difficult.  

This week I would like to stress the importance of patience. Please don’t take this as a reason not to work hard but as a warning to work smart as well as hard. 

Quite often when we start a new exercise programme, we want instant gratification that comes from reaching a goal. As a result, we push our bodies beyond their current limits by over extending ourselves or extending our workouts beyond what is scheduled.  

My motto is slow and steady finishes the race. We need to win the battle with ourselves before we can focus on trying to beat the competition. This process is a marathon (the Intertrust Cayman Marathon) and not a sprint. It will take time to prepare for it and, thankfully, time is an asset you have. 

During your training sessions, listen to your body and keep in mind your goal for the day. The programme we provide each week is only a guideline. Everyone is different and, therefore, you may need to adapt the sessions to your abilities. For example, if you find running for one minute too stressful or painful, adjust rather than try to persevere.  

Instead of running for one minute, try running for 30 seconds. If it is still too difficult, try 15 seconds. On the other hand, if running for one minute is too easy, increase your run by 15 seconds until you find a run time that is appropriate for you.  

In both cases I recommend you work in five minute intervals and let the walk portion of the interval equal five minutes, less your running time.  

A key to success is to work within your physical limits. You may be able to will yourself through a difficult training session but by exceeding your limits and over working, you risk injury and muscle soreness, both of which can cause you to miss future workouts. Your aim is for consistent activity as consistency will bring results. 

Another common mistake is for athletes to over train (too frequent or too intense) and/or failure to allow proper time to recover from workouts. If you miss a training session, don’t double up. I recommend you forget it and move on to the next day on the schedule.  

Life happens and we all miss workouts, but recovery time is just as important as the workouts themselves. If you don’t allow yourself time to recover, your body might just force you to take time off in the form of an injury. 

Until next week don’t stop running! 


We advise everyone following our programme to consult a physician before starting a fitness routine. Your health is of the utmost importance and not to be neglected. Even though moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, is safe for most people, health experts suggest that you talk to your doctor before starting any exercise programme.  


James Murray wants Cayman to come running with him. – PHOTO: SUBMITTED

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