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

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

Getting closer as you enter the last month of 2017 and get cracking on the Comrades training programme proper in January 2018. There are 192 days left for Comrades and you haven’t really done much serious specific training yet. That is the way it should be .You are just building up regular quality running. You can’t train very hard for more than about 12 weeks. That’s what we are doing, we are building up slowly and that critical 12 weeks hard training only comes in late February. Later this month you locals will be hosting all your up- country friends and showing them our beautiful running routes and trials. Don’t do too much in December but be well aware you will be running a 30km Km Bay to Bay in January 2018 and it is so important to get the New Year and your Comrades training programme off to a good start. I have prepared well balanced schedule to get in a couple of 20km club runs to equip yourself for the 30 km race. You can have Christmas Day off but on Boxing day you will be lining up in Tokai for the 16km Manor House Run.

In the January programme you will find that the target time for Bay to Bay 30km race will be 3hours 10mins. That is a speed of 6,3mins/km. Think about it.  Apart from the two 25km long runs you must be cautious in December not to do too much too soon. Still keep two rest days. That it is perfectly acceptable at this stage. Your monthly km for November was 223km and there is no need to do more in December. We are all well aware that December is holiday month. Make sure you enjoy Christmas Day with your family and friends. The die-hard Comrades runners say, “Enjoy Christmas with the family because this is the last they will see of you until June.”  Not true. Runners need the support of their families and without them you will probably won’t be successful. The reverse applies as well; they need you just as much.

Remember that all good Comrades runners don’t do too much in December so that they start off strong rested and ready to go on January the first 2018. Even if you go on holiday in December don’t come back over trained and arrive tired on January 1st  That would be a bad start.

You should be setting a weekly training pattern now. Arrange your training partners that are also doing Comrades. Arrange to do the long runs with a group from the club. Enjoy the rest days and don’t feel guilty. All of you have entered Comrades, so complete your travel and accommodation plans. I recommend staying in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night June 9th. To avoid the stress and uncertainly of travelling up from Durban in the morning of the big race.

December is a big planning month for 2018. Here is the basic outline of your Comrades training programme, if you haven’t yet got a log book of your runs you must start of keeping the stats from January 1st 2018.

Our Comrades Plan:
Overall run 1400km from January 1st 2018 to June 10th 2018.
Include two standard marathons and three ultras in this total.

The timing schedule is:

Phase 1: Build up to a standard marathon and qualify at Peninsula Marathon on February 18th 2018 = 8 weeks
Phase 2: Hard training into the ultras (including Two Oceans 56km) until May 1st 2018 = 9 weeks.
Phase 3: Wind down until June 10th 2018 = 5 weeks
Total Comrades training = 22 weeks.

Our guideline rules that you can always remember to make decisions about your running in the next 6 months are:
Rule 1. Biteable bits and chewable chunks. Your build up training runs and races are progressively increased: 21km, 25km, 30km, 36km, 42km, 50km,
56km, 60km, 89km.
Rule 2. As the distance increases the speed decreases.
Rule 3. The long weekend run following a standard or ultra marathon is not more than 15km
Rule 4. Two standards and three ultras must be included in the 6months build up.
Rule 5. Accumulate not less than 800km and not more than 1300km in training for Comrades.
Rule 6. Never miss the Monday REST Day.

Here is your training programme for December 2017

Objective: To complete two long club runs of between 25km and 30km 
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 04/12/17 11/12/17 18/12/17 25/12/17
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 16km race
Wednesday 6km 6km 6km REST
Thursday 12km 12km 12km 12km
Friday 5km 5km REST 8km
Saturday 15km race 10km race 5km  5km 
Sunday REST REST 30km 25km
Total 46km 41km 61km 63km
Total km for December 2017 = 211km.

Recommended races:
9th December 2017 Avbob 15km Table View
16th December 2017 Reconciliation Day 10km Gugulethu.
26th December 2017 Tokai Manor House 16km. Tokai.

Thought for the month: “Looking forward to meeting some new up country runners on holiday”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
November 2017

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Copyright Don Oliver 2017