Andy Good is a Christchurch based coach and athlete who loves all things adventure. Andy is a former NZ representative in mountain running who is currently training towards the Kepler Challenge this December. I have had the pleasure of working alongside some of Andy’s athletes who all speak very highly of him as a coach. His passion for running and those he works with is evident, and as you will learn in this blog, that passion oozes out of every insight shared. Enjoy!
1. What is your favourite strength exercise for specifically marathon running and why?
Lately I’ve been enjoying the burn from the "monster walk” it’s a brilliant exercise for switching on the hip flexors and glutes! I usually aim to do 60 seconds moving from side to side and then 60 seconds backwards and forwards. Beware!
2. Who is your biggest inspiration? (Doesn’t have to be an athlete)
This is a very tough question to answer. I am easily inspired & love seeing people who are dedicated to their pursuits be them sporting, academic or something else entirely. I have reached the point where I can’t read sporting autobiographies before bed as I get too pumped up!
3. Your proudest moment (life or sporting)?
Representing NZ at the World Mountain running championships in 2019 is a proud moment. A race to forget, but an experience of a lifetime. I really do hope to get another opportunity to make this happen again in the future. I have two little girls, who make me proud every day as well.
"The majority of people do too much training in the middle ground/grey zone which is a huge injury risk and common cause of stress response injuries."
4. What has been the biggest change for you in terms of your race day nutrition over the last 5 - 10 years (learnings from success/failures)?
I’ve written down logs of what I’ve used in terms of nutritional intake for most of my races, even short ones like a 10km for future reference/comparisons. I haven’t so much changed things as I have fine-tuned the quantities that I can cope whilst competing.
5. Favourite food/meal after a long training session?
I struggle sometimes to get solid food straight in, so I am a massive fan of a loaded smoothie. Once ready for a meal it’s hard to look past a homemade pizza with all of the trimmings.
6. Your favourite race day breakfast?
The easiest question for me to answer! Porridge with berries & banana. I am happy eating this every day for breaky, am a big fan of my morning routine. On race day I’ll also sip on a carbohydrate drink to top up stores with breaky as well. All of this is accompanied by a strong black coffee.
7. Your favourite all time quote?
“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift”.
- Steve Prefontaine
8. What is something you have learnt about nutrition that had the biggest enhancement for you in terms of your overall health and wellbeing?
I need to eat more than I ever really understood in years past. I used to regularly short-change myself, couldn’t understand why I was feeling so low on bigger training days. This has flowed onto me feeling more energetic throughout the day (when I get it right), also feeling like I am recovering faster after big training sessions.
9. From a coaching perspective talking to runners as a whole, what would be your top tip to prevent some of the most common running setbacks you see?
Give each training session a “why”. In more detail get yourself set up with some training zones. This will enable you to manage when training is either hard, moderate, specific or easy. The majority of people do too much training in the middle ground/grey zone which is a huge injury risk and common cause of stress response injuries.
10. What has been your own biggest setback in running and how did you overcome this?
I sustained a stress fracture due to training overload a few years back. The injury occurred during a particularly stressful time for me on a personal level. It was a tough lesson and it highlighted to me that stress comes from so many different factors in our lives. Even if training is going well, there can be external stress factors that are so overwhelming that at some point you will break down as the body and mind can only cope with so much. Overcoming this was a team effort starting with a clear diagnosis. Once diagnosed I surrounded myself with an excellent support team and came up with a rehab plan. My coach, physician, physio and friends all helped me in many ways to get back to doing what I love.
11. What is your favourite part of being a coach?
The look of disbelief in people’s eyes when they smash their goals! It gives me shivers just thinking about it :)
12. Your favourite meal choice at your favourite local?
There’s a Vietnamese place down the road from here called “Commi” the sizzling beef and veggies” is outstanding!
13. What’s been your favourite running event of all time and why?
I love New Zealand Road relays. This is usually the last event in the road running season and a super cool event. It’s one of the few opportunities where you can be a part of a team in an individual sport. The atmosphere is always electric and seeing how hard your teammates are running to do their best for the team is bloody inspiring.
14. COVID permitting, what have you got lined up for races ahead this summer?
It’s all a bit uncertain for sure. I’m fully focused on the Kepler Challenge at the moment which takes plan on the first weekend in December. It's all very uncontrollable, so I will just keep training hard and be crossing fingers and toes that it gets to go ahead. Failing that I may run the Auckland Marathon in its new date of January as a potential plan B.
15. What would be one thing you would tell your teenage self, knowing what you know now?
Learn a language, or even two. I’ve done a fair bit of travelling with work and events over the years and am always in awe of people who are bilingual, I wish I was as well.
You can follow Andy's running adventures on Instagram @andy_good