Get Ready to Run

Oska Inkster-Baynes, New Balance New Zealand ambassador, shares his tried-and-tested training secrets.

  1. Plan and enjoy the process.

I’m surprised how many people tell me that they’ve run a marathon without training. I always follow up by asking, “How was the experience?” Most of the time they say, “It was hard and I wouldn’t do it again”. I love the process and planning – sitting down with my wife and coach and making a rock-solid achievable plan that has small milestones every three to four weeks. We spend the better part of six to eight months getting ready for a key race.


  1. Don’t skimp on the long runs

My high school coach always told me that when you’re getting ready for a marathon your long run needs to be longer in time than you expect to be racing for. That’s not to say you do that time every week. But make sure you can stand up and fuel properly for three to four, five hours. That way you know what your body is going to do. I wouldn’t do this too close to race day, more like five to six weeks out.


  1. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable

Hand in hand with the long run is the race pace zone. It takes considerable mental toughness not to run too fast. For most of us our marathon pace is well below our 5K or 10K pace. So having the control to get comfortable in that slightly uncomfortable but manageable zone of marathon pace is a great skill. I see it a lot with the ‘weekend warriors’ who think we need to smash ourselves and run PBs every day of the week. Although that might show an increase in fitness in the short term it eventually comes at a cost. Which is why it’s so important to have a solid plan from the get-go.


  1. Know your ‘why’

We all have out on personal goals, stories and tales – the reason why we’re out there in rain, hail and shine. Make sure that your ‘why’ is rock solid. It’ll help you get out of bed at 5.30am to jog in the dark and run for two hours on the weekend while your family is in a cafe sipping lattes and eating cake. A few years ago my sports psychologist said, “Sometimes we have to do things that don’t seem relevant to the end goal, but everything you do in the day is getting you one step closer, everything you put in the day has a point, it’s all a factor towards your ‘why’.”


  1. Choose footwear wisely

There is no one size fits all. For me I’ve worn New Balance and been part of the team for the last four years. I’m a big believer in having a couple of pairs on the go. When you head into your local specialty running shop make sure you give them the full story. Consider things like your weight and height, how heavy you hit the ground, what shape your foot is and what surface you do most of your training on. I run in New Balance 1080 for easy mileage, New Balance 860 with a firmer medial side for long runs and the Vazee Prism for workouts. On race day I am a huge fan of the 1500v2. The REVlite midsole is outstanding, offers just enough comfort and response, and is lightweight enough.

  1. Rest

Rest is where runners often fall short. I have to train myself to rest. I love to say yes to everything but all that hard work and the hard choices made to get to the start line can be ruined when we try and cram too much in. You’ve made the commitment to train four to ten hours a week, so do yourself a favour, chuck those feet up whenever possible. It means you’ll get the maximum out of the training you’re doing and it will make that finish line all the more sweeter.




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