alsoran runners Don Oliver's Central Gauteng
Aprilh 2017
Training Programme for Comrades 2017

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

A bare 65 days to go and nowhere ready to run 87km. That’s precisely where you should be. If you feel ready to go you have peaked too early and will have to cut back before you blow the whole plan. If you are getting a glimmer of confidence after the beginning of the hard training period in March and April but still overwhelmed by the distance on Comrades day.That is where you should be. Getting more confidence as you complete one marathon after another and can even handle the extra distance of an ultra. Patience is the name of the game right now and faith in your training programme that you will succeed and everything will fit into place.

Approximately 6000 novice runners have won their first Comrades medal over a 20 year period following the programme. It has been adjusted from time to time by following current specialist advice from elite runners and sports physicians and even more important by listening and observing how the average club runner reacts to the training and success. This programme is for an average club runner going for their first Comrades. Early on in this programme we had to make minor adjustments to make sure the runner doesn’t get too tired and over extended. We cut out some very heavy race entries which at the time seemed to do more to get better. Our Specialist Sports Physician and physiotherapists taught us to have rest periods after a heavy training run or race. Our biokineticists taught us how to build up our specialised strength. Most of the experience and knowledge came from you runners yourselves by telling me and showing me how they fared with the programme. We ended up with a well honed programme that put the trainees in with a better chance of getting a Comrades medal of 92% compared with the average finishing proportion of about 80%.

Off we go into April and many Reef runners will be going down to Cape Town to run 56km O.M.Two Oceans, while back at home the locals will be running two ultras at Bergville(52km) and at Loskop( 50 km) both great Comrades training runs for Up or Down races.

For Menu 1 runners;
Here is a copy of Menu 1 for those going to Cape Town at Easter for the Two Oceans;

Menu 1.

DateRace  Distance
February 26th Pretoria marathon42km
March 18th Om- Die- Dam50km
April 2nd  Jackie Gibson42km
April 15th Two Oceans Marathon 56km
May 4th Long Club Run 65km

Note that the RAC Long Club Run over 60km is on Sunday April 30th.

For up country runner there is a very noticeable advantage by running at sea level in Cape Town. Don’t get carried away with it in the first 20km at Two Oceans which is fast and easy. In the overall scheme of things this in the last fast run compared to Comrades. To run 10hours 55 mins at Comrades you will have an average pace of 7,5mins/km. At Two Oceans your target time of under 6hours for a bronze medal is 6,3mins/km. Quite a lot faster. Quite a lot shorter by at least 31km!
Attached is a Pacing Chart for a Bronze at Two Oceans and I recommend you use it because it is a most difficult race to pace.

Pacing Chart for Two Oceans 2017.        

Km boardStopwatch Time
5km 31mins
10km1hr 01mins
15km 1hr 31mins
20km 2hr 01mins
25km 2hrs 32mins
28km halfway2hrs 50 mins
30km3hrs 03mins
35km3hrs 37mins
40km 4hrs 09mins
42km Standard marathon4hrs 22mins
45km  4hrs 43mins
50km 5hrs 15mins
55km5hrs 48mins
56km Finish5hrs 55min
Please note the slower time in the second half of Two Oceans is a technique you will be using in Comrades. Here are notes about the recovery from this 56km Ultra.

The recovery after Two Oceans requires special treatment. As soon as you finish the race, have a recovery drink. If you feel either cold or dehydrated treat it urgently. Your legs will feel sore after Oceans and that is just the time that you can get an injury if you try to run too fast too soon. You can have 2 or 3days complete rest before getting out on the road again walk/run gently. The next weekend your long run is no more than 15km. Keep in mind that the programme calls for the last long run two weeks after Oceans of 60km but must be a slow jog with stops all the way. You are entering an injury prone time frame.
Note that the RAC long Club Run over 60km is on Sunday April 30th

Menu 1.
Objective: To complete the 56km Two Oceans marathon in less than 6hours 00mins.  

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 03/04/17 10/04/17 17/04/17 24/04/17
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T REST 8km T/T
Wednesday 12km  8km  8km  12km 
Thursday 12km 10km 12km 14km
Friday 12km REST 8km 8km
Saturday 5km 56km race 5km REST
Sunday 15km REST 15km  60km
Total 60km 80km 41km 98km
Total kms for April 2017 = 279km

The menu 2 runners staying in C.G. will be following the programme:

Menu 2.
DateRace Distance
February 26th Township Marathon 42km
March 21stGoldi Standerton 42km
April 1st   Arthur Creswell  52km
April 22ndForever Resorts Loskop Ultra50km
May 4th Long Club Run 65km
Note 1. The change of date for the Long Club Run 60km new date is April 30th.

The Loskop Marathon is a difficult race being 21km uphill from the start and then a bone jarring downhill at 36km to the level of the finish at Loskop Dam. Normallly very hot at the finish but organisation and hospitality is of the best order. Your target time is 5hours 10mins which is a pace of 6,2mins/km. There is a rest period of 8days before the 60km RAC Long Run. This is not ideal but the recovery after Loskop should not take long.

Here is your training programme for April 2017.
Menu 2.

Week 1.Week 2. Week 3. Week 4.
w/c  03/04/17 10/04/17   17/04/17   24/04/17
Tuesday  8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T8km T/T 
Wednesday8km 8km 5km 8km
Thursday8km 12km8km  8km 
Friday 12km 12km 5km  8km 
Saturday  5km 8km 50km race5km
Sunday 15km 20km REST60km 
Total 56km68km76km  97km

Total km for April 2017 = 297km.

Recommended races:
April 22nd 2017.Forever Loskop 50km. Middleburg.

Thought for the month. “I have trained well and expect to finish well “

Don Oliver
Cape Town
March 2017

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Copyright Don Oliver 2017