alsoran runners Don Oliver's Gauteng
December 2009
Training Programme for Comrades 2010

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Where are we now?

There are 181 days to go for Comrades 2010. Just about 6 months. Hope you had a hard but successful run at The RAC Tough One and reached the target of 3 hours 12 mins.

December is always a difficult month for Comrades runners. It is holiday time and either you do too much or too little.  If you do too much you will arrive tired at the start of your serious training programme in January 2010. If you do too little and lose a bit of fitness and put on a little weight you will start January 2010 very much out of shape to start a serious training programme.  My advice is clear. Keep up regular running as detailed in the programme. If you go away on holiday don’t fall into the trap of using your extra free time to run excessive mileage on tough unfamiliar routes. December is holiday month to enjoy and relax with family and friends and start up in January rejuvenated and eager.

It is the time of the year also to share with you the overall plan for Comrades training.

Overall run 1400km from January 1st 2010 to May 29th 2010.
Include two standard marathons and three ultras in that total.

The timing schedule is:
Phase 1.
Build up to a standard marathon and qualify at Deloitte Pretoria Marathon 42km on Saturday February 27th 2010. = 8 weeks.

Phase 2.
Hard training into the ultras (including Two Oceans 56km) until May 2nd 2010 = 9 weeks.

Phase 3.
Wind Down untl May 29th 2010 = 4 weeks.

Total Comrades training  = 21 weeks.

The importance of sharing the overall plan with you is to give you direction and to know where you are going.  This assists you in making all those many decisions that you have to face on a personal, family and work basis.

In December you must maintain your level of fitness which is currently very high after the 32km race. You must have two weeks recovery running which will be low kms and low speed running. This month the longest run must be 25km and you can run two training runs like that at a gentle club running speed of about 6,5mins/km.  Have frequent stops on these two long runs this month and drink well in the heat wherever you are.  You are heading for a 21km race in January at a relatively fast speed plus a run of 30kms to prepare for the 32kms in early February as part of the qualifying build in Phase 1.

December is the time to book accommodation for Comrades and I advise you stay in Pietermartzburg the night before Comrades.  The road trip up from Durban very early on race day can be nerve wracking. Book air flights for those going that way and remember World Cup fever will be building up at the end of May. Those of you who are lucky enough to get a Christmas bonus should buy another pair of their long distance running shoes to carry you through the heavy distances in April and May.  Look ahead and plan to have a just run–in pair ready for end of May.

This is the time to make your official commitment to running Comrades.  Here is the commitment card for you to sign, cut out and display at home to remind you, when you have any fleeting thoughts of missing a training run or not go to a road race.  Show your family and colleagues at work.

Comrades 2010 Commitment card

I am fully committed to run and finish the 2010 Comrades marathon.

Signed…………………………………………                                         Date………………

Here is your December training programme:

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5
Tuesday 8km8km8km8km8km
Friday8km8km8kmChristmas DayNew Years Day

Total monthly kilometres for December 2009 = 246km (5 week month equivalent to 197km for a 4 week month.)

December 16th 2009. Wobblers and Wigglers Hat Race. 8km Pirates. Greenside.
Thought for the month “I will enjoy Christmas and look forward to the New Year”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
November 2009

External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Don Oliverl 2009