alsoran runners Don Oliver's WP
August 2017
Training Programme for Comrades 2018

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

We ask this question every month to see if we are on schedule for a Comrades Bronze medal in 2018 Down Run.313 days to go and you are on schedule simply because you are reading this article and are serious about Comrades. It is a big undertaking .You get drop outs all along the way from those entering then getting on the start line and then finally all the way along the 89 km route are having to decide to give up. There will be about 20% drop out rate. Mustn’t be one of those. Entries open next month September and I am never in favour of entering just in case you might run. You need just the opposite to get a Comrades medal and that is a deep conviction you will train start and finish .You’ve got a month to get your mind right!

The joy of success by completing Comrades is enormous. The feat you will see for yourself next year needs the very best performance of stamina and endurance. A novice starting now will have 10 months preparation which will be sufficient provided you start off slowly. The training for an event like Comrades needs discipline .The discipline to build up the training gradually but in the same breath must be committed and thorough. In a long road race like Comrades the undertrained start wilting around 60km and bail out. The well trained runner showing restraint and discipline will conserve his energy for the whole distance and have sufficient stamina to sail past the 60km mark on his way to the finish

Only the best runners complete Comrades and come away a proud medal owner. Approximately 80% of the field who start will finish. One in 5 will fail. These days the old established events are often treated too lightly .There are no short cuts and no quick fix to get a Comrades medal. The guys that do the training and race well on the day get a medal.
Such a daunting task requires a plan and a good plan. The plan you will be invited to follow is based on more than 30 years of advice to runners and with a success rate of over 90%.The Comrades Panel Talks created in Johannesburg for novices have given well over 7000 runners their first medal. The talks have also been converted to a book “Make sure of your Comrades medal” by Don Oliver. Currently this only available on www. Amazon .com as an eBook. This monthly programme on this website embodies the framework of the programme.

.The plan is in outline;
Starting on January 1st 2018, 8 weeks preparation to qualify in a 42km standard marathon at end of February.
Hard training in Ultra marathons until beginning of June, 9 weeks.
Wind down for 4 weeks until race day on June 10th, 5 weeks
Total training 22 weeks and total kms including races will be 1400.including 2 standard marathons and three ultras one of which is a long club run of 60km minimum.

    You will need to get a decent reliable GPS stopwatch to show elapsed time and current speed. The battery must be able to last for 12hours on GPS.
Find a running club nearby that will be offering long training runs for Comrades between January and June next year. Join after having a couple of trial runs with them to see if you are comfortable with most of the members.

We set an objective each month which you will easily achieve, then we move on to a very slightly harder objective the next month

One of the problems a novice has to face in building up to Comrades, which is10months away is the temptation to enter local attractive road races here in W.P.which in themselves are not part of the build up programme. Local support is always overwhelming but you must only run races that fit in with the Comrades build up. Disturb the programme and that is an early step to disaster. For example the programme recommends qualifying in a standard marathon in the Peninsula Marathon in February 2018.On your doorstep is the Santam Cape Town Marathon ,then Winelands marathon in November.Neither of these will be on your build up programme because you will not be fully prepared for that distance . It is likely to lead to injury and often disappointment to failing to qualify under 5hours.The compensation is that you can enter both races but run the 21km for which you will be prepared.

One of the features of this programme is that you run faster races than your ultimate Comrades pace from now to January 1st 2018 You will reach a state of preparedness that you feel a 89km at Comrades bronze medal pace is a walk in the park.That’s where we are heading . Feel you could run all day at this pace.That is very close to the truth of course.
The training programme starts off easily but has the elements of a purpose.
The rest day on a Monday will remain for the remainder of the whole programme and is never to be tampered with.The days designated as A/E are for alternative exercise which must be non impact to rest the skeleton system e.g. golf, gym ,swimming, or spinning. Walking.

Here is your first training programme;
Training programme August 2017

Objective. To run a 10km road race in less than 65mins.      

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4Week 5 
w/c 01/08/17 07/08/17 14/08/17 21/08/1728/08/17
Tuesday 5km  6km 6km 8km 8km
Wednesday AE AE AE AEAE
Thursday 5km 6km 6km 8km8km
Saturday 5km race 5km 10km race 10km race10km race
Sunday 5km 5km 5km 5km5km
Total 20km 22km 27km 31km31km
Total km for August 2017 = 131km (Equivalent for a 4 week month = 105km)

Recommended races;
August 5th 2017 Brackenfell Pick’n Pay 5km Brackenfell Primary School.
August 26th 2017 Langebaan 10km Klub Mykonos Langebaan.
September 2nd 2017 Tekkie Challenge 10km Jan Kriel School Kuilsrivier

Thought for the month” Well I’ve started already”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
August 2017

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