|CENTRAL GAUTENG PROGRAMME
NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW
Where are we now?
If you are intending to run the big race
on 2 June 2013, then you need to know each and every day where you
stand in respect of being on target in the main overall plan to get a
medal. From the 1st of August 2012 to June 2nd 2013 is a bare 306
days. Seems a long time but it depends where you are starting
from. Maybe you are toying with the idea of running Comrades because
most of the members of the running club have done it and secretly you
think you are just as good as, or even better, than many of them
currently wearing Comrades tee shirts, track tops and any other
memorabilia as they parade around the club house and at the road races.
Never underestimate a Comrades runner is my advice. So many don’t
look like athletes but somewhere inside them they are strong, resolute,
dedicated and much respected achievers in all senses of the word. Other
hopefuls are already marathon runners having completed a 42km local
epic within the cut off time. The next day they think, let’s take
a step up to an ultra say Om-die Dam 50km and they instantly will
become an ultra marathon runner. Step back and realise after 50km in
Comrades it is just after halfway and there is a cool 36kms to go with
Polly Shortts to get up 10kms from the finish. To finish an Up Run at
Comrades you have to be well prepared and strong to get up all those
hills from the start in Durban to the finish in Pietermaritzburg. The
distance is 86,5km. There is no doubt about it that it is a
gigantic step from running a standard marathon compared to running
The running and training load is not frightening. From January 1st 2013
until June 2nd 2013 you will be covering about 1300kms including two
standard marathons and three ultras. In 6months you will build up
endurance to carry on running and walking for many hours at a time. You
will be adjusted mentally to handle the prospect, on Comrades Day, of
being able to run further than you have ever run before. Your
confidence will have soared because you have practiced the very art of
being successful at every new challenge. Success breeds success. The
programme is built around a philosophy of biteable bits and chewable
chunks as you move from month to month. The target for each month is
only slightly harder than the last month. Over a time span of 6 months
it is unbelievable how you will have moved from running a half marathon
comfortably in just over 2hours to running the Long Club Run in May
over 65kms in just over 8hours also just as easily. In Comrades
on race day you will be running and walking all day and that is the
formula to get a Comrades medal. To walk in ultras is not a sign of
failure but actually a clever way of saving your energy to carry on for
hour after hour.
Each month you will be set an objective to achieve. It is always easy
because the training programme you will be following is sensibly
prepared and tailored to reach your goal. Each month as you achieve
your goal you get used to being a winner. That is the attitude needed
to get a Comrades medal.
The target this year should be a bronze medal. Start off training for a
sub 11 hour and if you have some trouble along the way before or on
Race Day you might be forced to accept the organisers’ offer of
the extra hour but only up to 15minutes of it. Don’t start off
aiming for sub 12hour because if something goes wrong there are only
the DNF (Did Not Finish) failures behind you.
At this time of the year you already have to make a commitment to do
and finish Comrades. There is no point in delaying the decision until
Easter next year to wait and see how you feel. Those people are always
delaying making a decision and rarely get a medal on the big day. They
even say the day before Comrades: “I will wait and see how I feel
at Drummond.” Those runners will not feel too good at
Drummond and will never make it to the finish. Your commitment
can be made on our website www.alsoranrunners.info
To commit in August this year you have to be prepared to make
sacrifices. You will have to rearrange your family, social and personal
life to allocate each and every day 6days /week to training and races
up to as much as 7 hours on a Sunday for a long run. Best way is to
talk to your club mates how they organised their training and getting
to the races. At this early stage you must have enough confidence and
courage to tell everyone that you are going to get a medal at Comrades.
That is your wife or husband, children, work colleagues and your club
mates. Some will back you and others will laugh. You will prove them
all wrong when you waltz in with that medal round your neck.
The first month of training is very much a shape of things to come.
There is a road race every other weekend and in between a slow laid
back club run. Use the non running days for beneficial
alternative exercise. If you go to gym have a general low effort
high repeats work out using both legs and upper body. If you ride a
bike dress warmly and be well seen with lights and reflective clothing.
Any other sport such as walking, golf, squash, trail running, are all
acceptable to keep you well toned and not yet obsessed with just
running. That will come later.
Here is the first Comrades
training programme for August 2012.
Objective. To run a 10km
road race in less than 65mins and complete 182kms in training by
running 4 times a week.
||15km club run
||15km club run
||15km club run
kms for August 2012 = 182km
Recommended road races:
Sunday August 12th 2012 Old Eds 10km, Houghton.
Sunday August 26th 2012 Loop en Val 10km, Wanderers.
Recommended races for KZN
Sunday August 12th 2012 Kwa-MashuHalf Marathon and 10km.
Sunday August 19th 2012 Merewent 10km / Merebank 10km
Thought for the month:
“Well, I have started training for Comrades already"
The Bill Rowan
medal is presented to about 17%-20% of the first runners
after the Silver medallists. That puts them in the really top group of
ultra distance road runners in the country. To receive such a
prestigious medal will obviously require dedicated training. The sub 9
hour barrier looks at first sight to be relatively easy. The overall
pace is 6,24mins/km for 86kms. To many, that appears to be
but the huge distance of 86kms mainly uphill presents a formidable
barrier. To run 86kms comfortably at 6mins/km, over a shorter distance
of 42km you should be capable of running at 5mins/km. Taking it
even further, for 10kms you should be able to run easily 45mins and an
8km time trial should be under 34mins.
That is the speed required to get a Bill Rowan and now for the
endurance and stamina. A total kms training between Jan 1st and
2nd 2013 is 1400km. Included in that total should be two
three ultras. The most Bill Rowans come from the B grade seeding
needs a sub 3hrs 20mins standard marathon. There is a smaller number
from the C grade seeding (sub 3hrs40mins) but only a few from the D
grade seeding (sub 4hrs 00mins).
It is important to weigh up your present capability compared with
the needs of the qualifying standards. In general, to attain a 30mins
improvement in your Comrades time year on year is realistic.
Having decided that your chances of success are good, the training in
August should be:
1. Train for only 5days/week.
2. Include each week a mid week steady state run of 12km. This should
be aerobic (comfortable talking speed) never getting anaerobic (out of
3. Run an 8km time trial looking for a time of 37mins this month.
4. The weekly total kms should be made up:
for 4 weeks.
Expected total for August month = 200km
External links: Official Comrades Marathon
website; 4 Hills for Lindsay