alsoran runners Don Oliver's Central Gauteng
February 2017
Training Programme for Comrades 2017

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

96 days to go. Only double figures now and so much training not yet done. Good space to be in. Not doing too much too soon. This is our big month because the target is to qualify for Comrades. Going for the Pretoria marathon on February 26th 2017 or the Township marathon the same day. We wind up our preparations with our 32km race on Saturday 11th February 2017 at the Bronkhorstspruit 32km. That will be our second 32km following the Striders 32km on 22nd January.2017. Your target time for this second 32km is 3hours 02mins. Two 32kms before your 42 km is ideal preparation and you can expect no trouble just going up to the magic 42km standard marathon. Also you will have been training for the marathon for 8 weeks. Whichever marathon you run you can be assured you will be lining up at the start as one of the best prepared for the day ahead.

You have been running many road races recently and by now you should, each one of you, be comfortable how to prepare for a race. All the personal plans such as running before race day and all the race day rituals such as toilet, breakfast, drinks, running mates etc. Remember that as the distance increases the pace decreases. The marathon pace for 4hours 20mins is 6,16mins /km compared with 5,7mins /km for the 32km race.

For your first important marathon you will need a Pacing Chart to adjust your effort to finish comfortably. Both the charts have a slower second half than the first due to the inevitable fatigue factor setting in after half way.

Km Board Stopwatch Time
10km1hour 00mins
15km1hour 30mins
20km2hour 00mins
21km half way2hour 06mins
25km2hour 30mins
30km3hour 02mins
35km3hour 34mins
40km4hour 05mins
42km Finish4hour 19mins

Pacing Chart for sub 4hours

Km boardStopwatch Time
5km 27mins
10km 54mins
15km 1hr 21mins
20km 1hr 48mins
21km Halfway1hr 53mins
25km  2hrs 17mins
30km2hrs 48mins
35km3hrs 18mins
40km 3hrs 47mins
42km Finish3hrs 59mins

As soon as you finish your marathon take a quick check of how you felt:
  • Did you go out too fast/slow?
  • Did you get a benefit from your GPS digital watch? Did you use it according to instructions?
  • Did you try the idea of often walking short distances?
  • How did you handle the hills? Need to go a bit slower and consolidate?
  • Can you pick up speed on the downhills?
  • Did you get all the fluids down such as water coke and the squeezies?
  • Any trouble with your shoes and clothing causing blister or chafing?
  • What was your running partner like? Too fast quick or slow? Did the partner in some way help or did you have to support them?
All these measurements can be noted and the clever runner will never make the same mistake twice.
I must repeat the rule for running marathons or ultras from now on; to run not more than 15km the weekend long run after wards.  There is no doubt that a recovery drink must be part of your relaxation within 30 minutes of finishing. Several proprietary brands available containing carbohydrate and protein as water soluble shake. Have it available in your tog bag.

A timely reminder that your first ultra will be the Om-Die-Dam 50km on Saturday March 18th 2017 and need to pre enter.

Here is your February 2017 training programme.

Objective. To qualify to run the Comrades 2017 marathon by completing a standard 42km marathon in less than 5 hours.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 06/02/17 13/02/17 20/02/17 27/02/17
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T
Wednesday 10km  10km  10km  8km 
Thursday 12km 12km 12km 10km
Friday 5km 8km 8km 8km
Saturday 32km  race 5km REST 5km
Sunday REST 15km 42km race 15km
Total 67km 58km 80km 54km
Total km February 2017 = 259km.

Recommended races:
11th 2017 Bronkhorstspruit 32km. Bronkhorstspruit
26th February 2017 Pretoria Marathon 42km Lynwood
26th February 2017 Township marathon 42km Eldorado Park.

Thought for the month;”Glad I’ve qualified now I can get on with the proper Comrades training”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
January 2017

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Copyright Don Oliver 2016