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



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Don Oliver's Training Programme



“Where are we now?”

130 days to go and not a worry in the world about Comrades just yet. Your first big challenge is later this month and you have no need to worry if you have followed this programme. It’s very important for your confidence that you qualify easily and within the target time. If you can’t get a standard marathon right now what chance do you stand for 90km over 12 hours in 5 months tiime. Only a very slim chance? Got to get it right at Peninsula or Cango at the end of the month. Make sure you complete the build up for the standard and run sensibly following a plan on race day. There is no space for waiting to see on the day. You sensibly assess the time you can best achieve for a 42km marathon and make a plan and finally stick to it. Good road runners make no excuses on the day. It might be a howling south Easter or a stinking hot summers day over 30C.Just buckle down and get on with the job. To give you sound advice they have never postponed Comrades because of the weather.


To prepare for the Peninsula you need to have a plan and a Pacing Chart. The plan must include a target time under 5hours You should already know who you will be running with. Discard the friends who are a bit too fast for you and avoid those irritating companions who insist on talking a load of boring drivel for 4hours. Buy your squeezies well in advance and take 5 along the road with you. Do a rehearsal to store the sachets and tuck a hankie in as well. Look as if a generous coating of sunblock is essential this year. Check all your transport and travel plans. Early start 05.15a.m and a point to point race. Maybe come back from Simonstown on the train? In your tog bag at the finish will be your recovery drink to take in the first half hour after finishing.

Here is a Pacing Chart to give you a F grade seeding. That gives you a good chance of getting a bronze medal sub 11 hour. The most bronze medals given out at the finish will be starting with a D grade seeding of under 4hours for a standard.

Pacing Chart for Peninsula Marathon. to finish in 4hours 20mins.
Km Board    Stopwatch Time.
5km                    30mins
10km          1hour 00mins
15km          1hour 30mins
20km          2hours 00mins
21km halfway    2hours 06mins
25km          2hours 30mins
30km          3hours 02mins
35km          3hours 34mins
40km          4hours 05mins
42km Finish    4hours 19mins.

If you don’t fancy a Pacing Chart and have a GPS stopwatch you can programme in your chosen running speed. The Pacing Chart uses 6mins/km in the first half; 2hours 6mins and a slower second half of 2hours 13mins at a pace of 6,3mins/km.

The basic plan overall is to qualify for Comrades in 5hours therefore if for any reason plans and schedules get shelved, still walk/run to finish under the 5hour cut off.
Familiarise yourself with the route. You will meet the runners from the 21km start at Bergvleit at 7.00a,m which will get very crowded. There is a long climb from Simonstown station to the finish at the Naval Base.If a south easter is blowing it will be head on. Just buckle down to it and push on.

At the finish have a recovery drink (carbohydrate /protein) within 15 minutes of finishing. There are many recovery drinks available at the sports shops and pharmacies, such as Pepto pro from Dischem.

The next weekend you have to follow a very strict rule for the next 4 months; “Only run less than 15km on the weekend following a standard marathon or an ultra.” That advice has been gleaned from many hundred of my club runner friends in Gauteng. It is the recovery following a hard physical effort that makes you strong and build up endurance. No good to do another standard the next weekend although you can often feel you would like to. Those that double up get injured or sick later on in the programme and before Comrades.

While you train for Comrades you are treading on a narrow line between strength and injury. My job is to share with you the pitfalls we all experienced early on in our running careers.

You need to plan ahead for all the long runs leading up to Comrades and fitting in the rest weekend in between the marathons. We call it a Menu.

Menu 1.

Our programme rules.
1.    2 standard and 4 ultras. between 1st January and June 10th.
2.    Between 800 and 1200km in training and races.
3.    Only 15km long run on the weekend after a marathon.
4.    Never miss the REST DAY every Monday.
5.    Work out your walking pattern rules.
6.    Drink at least 45g carbohydrate /hour plus water if thirsty.
7.    Wind down for 4 weeks. Summary; 8 weeks prepare to qualify, 9 weeks hard training; 4 weeks wind down. Total 21 weeks.
8.    Prepare a race menu;

Date                   Race /run                   Distance
February 18th     Peninsula marathon    42km
March 11th         Ultra marathon training     50km
March 31st         Two Oceans ultra    56km
April 14th           Wietsie Long run    54km
April 28th           WCAC Long training run    42km
May 12th           WCAC Club long Run    60km

Here now are two training programmes for February 2018 depending on the Peninsula or Cango marathon.

Training Programme for February 2018.for members running Cango Marathon on Saturday February 24th 2018.

Objective.To qualify to run Comrades Marathon by completing the 42km Cango marathon in less than 4hours 20mins.

Week 1Week 2.  Week 3Week 4.
w/c05/02/1812/02/1819/03/1826/02/18
MondayRESTRESTRESTREST
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T
Wednesday 8km 8km8km8km
Thursday10km10km 8km 8km
Friday8km8kmREST8km
Saturday 5km 5kmCango 42km 5km
Sunday 30km15kmREST15km
Total69km54km 66km52km
   Total km for February 2018. = 241km


Training programme for February 2018 for members running the Peninsula marathon on Sunday February 18th 2018.

Objective. To qualify to run the Comrades Marathon by completing the 42km Peninsula marathon in less than 4hours 20mins.

 Week 1.Week 2. Week 3. Week 4
w/c05/02/18   12/02/18 19/02/18 26/02/18
MondayREST REST REST REST 
Tuesday    8km T/T  8km T/T  8km T/T  8km T/T 
Wednesday8km 8km 8km 8km 
Thursday 10km 8km  8km  10km
Friday   8km 5km 8km 10km
Saturday 5kmREST 5km5km
Sunday15km  Peninsula 42km15km 35km
Total. 54km  71km 52km76km
 Total km for February 2018 = 253km

Thought for the month: “Pleased I have qualified and now I can get on with the real training with no worries.”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
February 2018.



Copyright Don Oliver 2018
donoliver@worldonline.co.za