Comrades 2011 Recovery
dust has settled and the medal safely stored away for another
year. What now? You do need a recovery from the whole scene
for both body and soul. The training was always a combination of
the head and the legs and nothing changes much for the recovery. Of
course there are many first time medal winners who are still on a total
high at home and at work and also awake and asleep. Can’t get it
out of your mind. Enjoy it but do not be lulled into a false
feeling of invincibility and rush to get back on the road.
Comrades does take its toll right through to your core. First of
all you feel the soreness and tiredness disappear after a week or 10
days. However inside there is a lot to be restored and repaired.
You took a beating during those 9 weeks heavy training. You were
drained also by the pressure of having to meet the targets each week
and at each race. You did get a temporary respite for the 4 week
wind down but that was only to get you out there for
another mother of all hidings for somewhere between 10 and 12
hours. You need a break that is for sure.
of all you need to keep off the road for about two weeks with no
running at all. It is better to do no physical training even in
the gym or on the bike. When your legs tell you they are back to
normal with no soreness, pain or tiredness, ignore them. They are
not telling the truth. A big mistake is just get out to do the
local 21km and use it as an opportunity to talk about Comrades.
Just after half way which you would expect to just hardly notice
being a veteran of a 87km run last month, the tiredness comes back and
an unexpected pain develops that you never felt all the way to Pietermaritzburg.
You see you were not ready to go to a race just yet.
Therefore after you feel your legs are O.K. wait another week resting
before you go out. When you do out in the cold, wrap up well and
only run slowly for 30 mins maximum. Do that every other day for
10 days. No races, not even a Fun Run with the kids. The first race
should be a social 10km preferably or a 15km. Just jog slowly and
enjoy the attention and preferably wear some gear that has the Comrades
badge on it to stimulate conversation and admiration.
comes at different times in the country but in September the
temperature warms up and the sun rises earlier. When the trees
are a bright green and the flowers smell good, you can ease yourself
into your normal programme again. My experience has shown me that
those runners that had a bad Comrades are impatient to show themselves
and their club mates they have not lost it and tend to go out to do
P.B.’s. They normally fail because they have lost all their speed
for these shorter races. Hard luck for you, you will have to wait
a whole year to prove to all of them your are a good runner.
all know already that entries for Comrades 2012 open on September 1st
2011 and you can enter without further thought. If you are a
novice we will help you through on our novices training programme
starting in August already. If you are now a proud medal holder,
enter and have a taste of the “Down Run”. Now that is very different and
will be a totally new experience for you if you did the “Up Run” for
the first time this year.
training of any sort is both popular and valuable at this time of the
year. The swimming and cycling are non-weight bearing and do not
damage your legs in the same way as all those hours on the road. Gym
work including spinning can be included for the same reason. In
the New Year you normally have to give up the gym work to allocate your
precious time to running. All these alternatives are valuable to
provide a diversion to the tedious nature of the road races and
training for Comrades. This is how you can refresh yourself in body and
is never not too late to congratulate all the novices on their first
medal. Well done and I hope you finished with just enough breath
to tell yourself that was good fun, I will be back again next
year. For the die hards that have tucked yet another medal away
in the shoe box, can I say well done yet again, knowing that each
year it is never just the same old race but rather another new set of
challenges and exciting experiences.
Internal links: Don's training programme, cross training,
External links: Official Comrades Marathon