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Train with Duncan - Steve Gurney coaching for the Queenstown Marathon

Ever wanted to run a 10 K event, a half or full marathon?

Or just get fit?

Many of us aren’t quite sure how best to start, or put it off til “one day” when we’ve got more time, (but you know how it is,.. that “one day” never comes.)

Well opportunity’s knocking. (Or, here’s a boot to get you out the door!)

Mountain Scene will publish a weekly beginner’s training schedule leading up to the new Queenstown Marathon.

That’s a generous 22 weeks away. Plenty of time for any couch potato to prepare. And what an exciting and fun race it will be with the majority off-road, on our stunning trails!

I’ll be coaching a beginner runner, Duncan Wright, our local Subaru general manager, and gradually coaching him up to finish the Queenstown Marathon on November 22nd this year.

Every week we’ll publish Duncan’s weekly training schedule in the Mountain Scene, along with a few tips and some motivation for readers who’d like to join in. Information on nutrition for running, preventing injuries, gear choice, etc.

We’ll start at the total beginner level, just walking for the first week, and then graduate to introducing jogging in 30 second increments, some cross-training and gradually building up to continuous running after two or three weeks, depending on how Duncan, and you readers progress.

The trick is to make it enjoyable and to stay totally free of injuries with a planned and measured build-up. If you’re not up to Marathon level, remember you could alternatively enter the half marathon or the 10 km. If you're not into doing the race, but just want to follow the training schedule, that’s totally cool too!

If you’re doing the half or 10 km, then simply reduce the training schedule 50%-75% depending on how you’re feeling or the time you have available.

Getting started:

The hardest part of any goal (and especially with running), is getting out the door. Ask any seasoned runner and they’ll tell you that once you’re out and jogging, and warmed up it’s suddenly easy and enjoyable. And then there’s that feeling of pride and satisfaction once we’ve finished the run and had a hot shower.

It’s well documented that for any new sport or fitness endeavour at fitness, there’s a “beginner’s threshold”. The first 4 to 6 weeks are often quite challenging, after which it kinda dawns on you that you’re enjoying it more than ever, a kind of addiction, and it becomes easier. So make sure you keep this in the back of your mind if the going gets a bit tough, and look forward to the buzz that will begin after one or 2 months.

IMPORTANT: it’s a common mistake to start with too much enthusiasm, ease into the first few weeks. I’m also assuming that you’re all in good health. You take on this exciting goal at your own responsibility. Most folks are fine if we start this training gradually. If there’s any doubt, just pop along to your GP for a simple warrant of fitness clearance.

In the next few weeks, we’ll publish some times and locations in Queenstown that we can meet to train together. We’ll have information on Facebook and on right here on this blog.

Finally this week, a HUGE congratulations to you for committing to this.


Marathon training schedule - Week 1

Thursday 19th

Walk 20 mins - easy effort - flat trails

Friday 20th

Walk 20 mins - easy effort - flat trails

Saturday 21st

Walk 45 -60 mins - easy effort - flat trails

Sunday 22nd

Walk 30 minutes - easy effort - flat or small hills

Monday 23rd

Rest day - or optional swim or bike or yoga or gym optional 30 mins

Tuesday 24th

Walk 40 minutes - easy effort - flat or small hills

Wednesday 25th

Rest day - or optional cross train eg swim, bike, yoga 30 mins

Thursday 26th

Walk 30 minutes - easy effort - small hills

Friday 27th

Rest day - Remember, take it easy the first 2 or 3 weeks.

It’s OK to halve the duration or miss a session if you’re feeling sore or tired.


Duncan Wright

49 General Manager Queenstown Motor Group

I am probably what you would describe average build and I’m not particularly fit, working long hours in a relatively non physical showroom work environment. I don’t play any competitive sport other than a bit of social grade tennis.

Goal: To participate in and complete the Queenstown marathon

Why: I want to get fit before I turn 50 next year and I need a challenge

Fears: Injury and failure to finish – not an option!

Steve Gurney

“That Coast to Coast guy” (he won it a record 9 times).

He’s now a coach, professional motivational speaker, adventurer, inventor, author and motivation expert.

Goal: To help Duncan and Mountain Scene Readers reach their goal of completing the Queenstown marathon in November.

Why: The more people there are reaching their fitness goals, the healthier and happier the Queenstown community will be.

Fears: That some readers may miss the first week and think they can't join in - I'll be posting the training notes right here each week so you can pick up your training at any time.

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