Check out the February issue of Runner’s World South Africa. We spotted one of our star clients, Tanya Posthumus-Fox, gracing this month’s cover and checked in with her to give her a high five, and to ask how BODYTEC has helped her achieve new strengths in her running career.
BT: How did you get into running?
TANYA: My passion for sport and running only started later in life, so I do really embrace them while I am making up for lost time. Before we got married, my husband tried to encourage me to start running with him, and I almost died attempting a 2km jog! But then about eight years ago, I was inspired by my Mom, who had started walking daily with her friend, so I also started to walk a couple of times a week with one of my friends. Walking and talking turned into walking and jogging. My husband and I then started running in the evenings together; about 10km four times a week.
And then we did our first ever road race, the Women’s Day 10km Challenge, which we finished in 59 minutes. Following that, I trained harder, and due to time constraints started training alone in the mornings instead, starting earlier at 05:00am. During this time I was actually a smoker, but had always said that I would quit when I turned 30, as one cannot smoke forever. And with the inspiration of my mom again, I gave up smoking, as she had done. As a result, my race times started to improve dramatically to my delight, and the race bug had now seriously bitten, and I was more determined than ever.
BT: When did you start to take it seriously?
I continued to train alone, including weekly fartlek acceleration runs, as well as weekly hill repeats with another friend. And then once I thought that I had achieved all I could alone, I joined the Century City Athletics Club at the beginning of 2013. It is a really awesome team, that gave me further encouragement and showed their belief in me by presenting me with the Sportswoman Award that year, and every year since. I never actually thought that I was good enough to justify having a coach, but my husband, my biggest fan, thought otherwise, and did his research and arranged for me to meet with a potential coach in October 2013, who has been coaching me ever since. I usually do speed work once or twice a week at the track with my coach, and have to get up at 03:40am on those mornings, in order to drive to the track, train, drive back from track in traffic to get ready, so that I can get to work on time.
BT: Why did you seek out BODYTEC, and how does the programme you do with your trainer support your running?
Strength training is vital for every runner. Working full time, running according to my training programme, and getting up very early to fit it all in, I found there was not a lot of time to continue one-hour explosive personal training sessions twice or three time a week. So I joined BODYTEC towards the end of 2013, so that I was able to continue my strength training, in 20 minutes, once a week. I found I could even fit this into my lunch break, which was very convenient.
I attend once a week, usually on Monday afternoons, to zap away those Monday blues! BODYTEC improves strength, core, muscle build, muscle definition and assists with injury prevention. It has also played a huge role in the activation of my weaker muscles/imbalances highlighted by my trusty physiotherapist. My trainer, Kyle, has been helping me a lot throughout this process. He monitors my form closely, and really takes an interest in my progress, and knows where to tone it down during a session if I require legs left for a tough track session the following day, or if I need to perform in a race that same weekend. But generally he shows no mercy, and pushes me to give the most that I can. Our signature exercise is single leg pistol squats which are a killer, but are improving my particular muscle activations that I require, especially being a runner. Recently we have also incorporated some new stuff using a lower bar stance to engage my core more.
What’s been your toughest race ever and why?
In April 2016 I was the victim of a very bad headon car collision and experienced exceptionally bad whiplash, which is still being treated. My racing performance progression has unfortunately not yet returned to where it was going prior to the accident, but I still keep persevering and training towards PB’s every day! The accident was on a Monday, and that week Saturday I won the Weskus Langebaan Country Estate Half Marathon! It was tough, but it still remains one of my favourite races through the nature reserve, and is extra special in that it was in this race in 2013 that I achieved a podium position for the very first time, and I have also since won this race twice.
How did you come to feature on the cover of Runner’s World and how does it feel?
I submitted my entry for the Asics Runners World Cover Search towards the end of last year, and with the amazing support of my family, friends, colleagues, fellow runners and social media followers (especially via twitter), I secured over 9,000 votes, which sealed my win in the competition. The day of the shoot was an amazing experience, and the Runner’s World team were such awesome peeps! We had a lot of fun! But, I think the most moving part for me was when I received my magazine subscription in the post and opened it to see myself on the cover. It was poignant knowing how much support from so many people near and far had made that moment possible for me. It is also pretty cool to see yourself on the magazine rails in stores. It is an honour to be an inspiration to others, while they venture on the road of their healthy journey like I did! #smokertohalfmarathonwinner
What do you love most about running and where is your favourite place to train?
I love running outdoors on the road; you feel so free. It is priceless “me” time to allow me to shut off and de-stress, as well as reflect on the previous days, and sometimes to even plan for the day ahead. I am blessed to live in an area that has a beautiful tree-lined running path alongside horse stables (where the horses are exercised in the morning), which then links up to a safe cycle path, which runs along a lagoon (which hosts the most beautiful birdlife) and a pristine golf course. Depending on the distance that I run, I either run towards Table Mountain and the beach lighthouse, or alongside an ocean with lapping waves and ships out in view.
I love running along the coast. The sea air and crashing waves really help me fly during my runs (as long as it’s not too windy). I enjoy these routes for coastal training runs: running from Milnerton towards Big Bay/Melkbos, running from Green Point to the Twelve Apostles, or running along the Hermanus coastline. I also love to race near the beauty of the sea, mountains or vineyards! Hermanus and Langebaan 21km races will always be extra special for me. My best 10km road race is the Century City Express, and my 21km Personal Best times were Gun Run 2015 and Two Oceans 2016.