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December 2011
Training Programme for Comrades 2012

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Where are we now? 

184 days to go to Comrades, a mere six months, including one holiday month being December.  Having completed the Tough One at the end of last month, you don’t have to be begged to take it easier for a few weeks.  Taking it easy for runners always turns out to be frustrating and confusing for a lot of them.  Having got used to a disciplined weekly program with targets, it is not an attractive proposal to tell the runners to just run how they feel. 

To help you first of all, you should keep the same number of days running per week.  This should be six days.  Having said that we want to become more socially involved with your family, friends and collegues.  There will be days through December, whether you go away or not to the coast, where the runners will be having various functions during the week, before and after the weekend run.  During those parties, use part of the time to find out how well the other runners are faring.  If the evening is long, don’t force yourself to run the next morning.  In December, above all things, you must finish the month feeling strong, eager, confident to face six months of hard training.  So indulging after a time trial or weekend run will do you good.

December is a month of holidays with more time to spare whether you go away or not.  Avoid doing too many long and hard runs this month.  The favourite trap that I fell into at the beginning of my running career was to look up the local running club when I arrived on holiday and get involved with their local runs.  The locals are determined to show you each and every torturous run and you are equally determined to show how fit the guys from Joburg are.  Each run ends up a time trial of strength.  I returned to Jhb exhausted and a log book well over the target set for December.  One year I returned from Cape Town with nearly 500 km on the clock for December. In March that next year I had a bad achilies injury that very nearly needed surgery. The recipe for December is frequent short runs and enjoy the luxury of getting up 30mins later than normal.  Support the local road race by all means but don’t try to set a newcomers record.  Don’t be deceived by the extra oxygen level at the coast and confuse it with a sudden huge boost in fitness and training times.

At the Tough One Tom Cottrell’s Runners Guide for 2012 was launched.  It included inside a reminder of my Comrades book, “Make Sure of Your Comrades Medal” and that includes the full six month training program.  During each month you will be receiving recommended races which are specifically noted for being a successful part of the shorter races.  Don’t spend time paging through fixtures throughout the country that look attractive.  We only do races that will benefit our chances of getting a Comrades medal. 

This is the December training programme:

Objective:  To run a mixture of relaxed holiday runs not longer than 21km.
Week 1  Week 2  Week 3  Week 4 
w/c   05/12/2011 12/12/2011 19/12/2011 26/12/2011
Tuesday  8kmT/T   8kmT/T   8kmT/T   8kmT/T  
Wednesday  10km 10km 10km 10km
Thursday  12km 12km 12km 12km
Friday   8km 9km race 8km 5km
Saturday  6km 6km  8km REST 
Sunday  25km 5km  Christmas Day 8km 
Total     69km 50km 46km 43km

Total km for December = 208km
Recommended races:
Friday 16th Wobblers - Pirates

Thought for the month:
Have a great holiday but don’t over do it.

The Bill Rowan Programme
The Bill Rowan medallists ran hard at Winelands and need to recuperate for at least a couple of quiet weeks.  I recommend no more races for you this year apart from a cautious forest run in the Tokai Manor House run.  It would be a good idea for you to join the ordinary novices by not following a rigid daily program each week.  Go to the time trials and run shorter Sunday runs.  

Don Oliver
Cape Town
November 2011

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Copyright Don Oliver 2011