Need a boost? Learn these running strategies for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 2014 and reach the finish line in record time.

1. Toddlers

They tend to land on the balls of their feet. Run barefoot for two minutes after your regular run, says biomechanics researcher, Professor Peter Larson. You’ll adapt to the lack of cushioning by landing closer to your body.

2. The Road Runner

There’s a running method to the madness of the bird’s whirring legs. “Most top class runners have a stride rate around 90 steps per minute per foot,” says Bosch. Count yours, and if it’s well under 90, shorten your stride.

3. Forrest Gump

He went for a little run and ended up across the country. Runner’s World editor-at-large Amby Burfoot offers two takeaways: (1) aim to go a bit further or a bit faster each week; and (2) use races to explore places in South Africa. To find the best races, visit Runner’s World

4. Buffalo

Strong tendons help these heavy beast hurdle high obstacles and outrun horses in endurance-type races. 
To gain more spring, says decathlete Bryan Clay, do this plyometric circuit once or twice a week: box jump, single-leg hop, lateral jump (three sets of 10 reps each).