Trail Runner – Meg Mackenzie
It’s not often you get to rub takkies with a professional athlete and even more scarce is genuinely befriending a humble trail running legend who is so sincere, caring and cool that it’s hard to believe that a sweet little soul like Meg Mackenzie has reigned in such prestigious titles.
Athlete, dreamer and adventure addict, Meg has a list of incredible achievements since running her first race at age 25, 4 years ago. From winning SA Long Distance Champs to representing South Africa at Zermatt Marathon coming in 28th position in the World!! Meg has one impressive running resume and has recently achieved another major victory having won the African X for the second consecutive year with running partner Landie Greyling!
We were fortunate in meeting Meg at a trail race last year and after a little chit chat she even invited us to go on a trail run with her! Inquisitive to know more about our new down to earth wellness bestie, we sat down with Meg for a little Q&A:
Three words that describe a victory…Grateful, fulfilled and inspired
When will I retire from trail running? Tough one! I don’t think I’ll stop, but rather just amend the type of races I do according to my body. Your muscles and body get stronger for distance with a bit of age, so I’ll start with Ultras soon…
Biggest challenge of being a professional athlete is dividing my time between the discipline that training entails and trying to live a ‘normal’ life; seeing friends, earning a living, chilling at the beach etc.
I love the structure and the lifestyle that I live, but other people sometimes struggle to understand why I want to be in bed by 8.30 every single night!
Best part about trail running is the silence of the mountains.
Trail running aside; I’m passionate about education. Not in the typical sense, but more in the development of children and how they cope in their generation. Giving children the opportunity to go trail running and hiking is incredibly meaningful and getting them to discover a life long passion is a great gift.
TRAIL RUNNING TIPS AND TRAINING PROGRAMMES
Strength training and avoiding over training, is key to preventing injuries. Since I started strength training (properly, with a coach, not just swinging some weights around), my niggles have stayed at bay for the most part.
It’s so important to do specific strength and mobility for trail running. Think about running downhill, your feet and hips and ankles are doing all sorts of crazy things and you need to strengthen your body accordingly.
People tend to do too much too soon! DON’T… Get a coach and make sure you’re increasing your mileage at a correct volume. I do have a really awesome physio – Iain Sykes – who keeps me on the trail, so I feel very grateful for that!
MEG MACKENZIE COACHING
Want to start trail running and complete your first race? Then DO IT! “People often say how they ‘wish they could get into trail running’, but nothing is stopping you except yourself,” true wise words from Meg.
There are loads of trail events every weekend, but committing to your first race can be intimidating, which is why the WITC squad are all for dragging your friends along and joining a running group!
Whether you are a novice or a veteran trail runner we highly recommend joining Meg’s training groups, so check out her site for more info www.megmackenziecoaching.zo.za