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

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

There are only 161 days to go. We keep a record of all our runs starting from January1st and make a weekly and monthly summary of your Comrades preparations. On request you can easily measure if you are on target at any time for the Comrades bronze medal. We measure kms run in training and races plus the finishes in standard marathons and ultra marathon in the build up. Remember this programme advocates two standards and three ultras to prepare you properly for Comrades. The total kms will add up to 1200km from January 1st to June 9th. Lot of work which asks for a total commitment to the job. You have to carry on with your job, family and social activities and interests at the same time but if you want to really get a Comrades medal you will have to put Comrades training as number 1 all the time. Juggle all the other things.  It is important to tell everyone you that you have close contact with about your mission from now until June. They will understand and support you and I assure you that there will be a few times you will need their assistance in one way or another.

Keep in mind the job is to train for a long distance run of 89km over 11hours. You will be building up patience, endurance and stamina. You will be experiencing feelings you have never had before. The programme will equip you to line up in the start in Pietermaritzburg full of confidence, excitement and pride to be fully entitled to be standing there with all the other athletes from all over the country and indeed the world. There will be about 15000 of you under the glare of the floodlights and roughly 75% will go home with the coveted finisher’s medal. If you follow this programme you will increase your own chances to probably 92%. Over the many years we have offered this programme, we have honed the content to remove any effort that will lead to failure. We have added and included all the factors that the ordinary club runner needs to be a success.

The programme progresses with biteable bits and chewable chunks. We increase the distance of the races and training runs in just small increments.  We hardly notice the increase in load  because you learn to be successful in finishing a race or run longer than you have ever run before.  The increase planned look like this; 21km-30km-32km-42km- 50km- 60km and then a huge step to 88km; Comrades.

To start off on the right note, we have plans to run Bay to Bay 30km on January 14th 2018 followed two weeks later by Red Hill Classic 36km in Fish Hoek on 27th January 2018.  Both races are typical hilly and tough and often hot and windy. The programme for January 2018 shows a short weekend run in between the races of only not more than 15km. This short run on the weekend after a standard marathon or ultra marathon is one of the strict rules to follow. To recover after a hard race or training. That is how you get fitter and stronger. We will never break this first rule.

This January training programme is the beginning of the formal plan helping you get a bronze medal at Comrades. January is busy believe you me but bear in mind all the time that you are preparing to qualify in a standard marathon at the Cape Peninsula Marathon on February 18 th 2018. Use January to build up your reliable pre race procedures like eating and drinking the days before a race and then the final little things that give you confidence when you line up on the start line. Breakfast or snack when you wake up early and then your favourite comfortable club colours and running shoes. In January you experiment with the squeezie (complex carbohydrates) that you find palatable and useful.  25g of carbohydrate to boost your energy in the second half of the 30km + runs and races. Try to store them in the pocket of your shorts. You will need to carry 9 on Comrades Day! You don’t carry much with you on a race but decide on your sunglasses, sunblock, handkerchief or tissues and any other lucky charms that might help when the going gets tough. In the build up races get a comfortable peak or hat. Remember on Comrades Day you are not allowed to wear branded headgear, only the peak /hat provided by the sponsor in your race day goodie bag. Don’t start using painkillers for the races. Not good for you. Anti inflammatory can be fatal for the kidneys.

You should use the January races to test out your running mates. Do you think you can spend all day with them at Comrades? Check that they are not too fast for you. No such thing as pulling someone through. In the real world they burn you off and leave you exhausted just after halfway. A really good mate will have a similar pattern of when to stop for a pee or walk for a short while. These are some of the things you have to decide upon and get into place. One thing which is an integral part of any long distance runner’s training is to learn to be patient. You spend many continuous hours on the road and the end often never in sight. Got to relax and get on with the job. No good to run too fast to get it over quickly! Enjoy the scenery, the friendly runners and expectation of the top of the hill or the next drinks table. Everyone has a different way of being patient and you must find out how it works for you.

Here is your training programme for January 2018.You will notice straight away that you have lost a REST day. That is to be expected to help you build up your total km.
Secondly the Time Trial (T/T) is a relaxed comfortable run, chatting about last weekend’s run or next week’s race. You should be cruising at about 47mins at this stage.

Objective. To run a 30km race under 3hours 12mins followed two weeks later with a 36km race in under 4 hours.
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4Week 5 
w/c 01/01/18 08/01/18 15/01/18 22/01/1829/01/18 
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T8km T/T
Wednesday 10km 10km 10km 10km10km
Thursday 12km 12km 12km 12km12km
Friday 5km 8km 8km 8km8km
Saturday 15km race 5km  5km  36km race5km 
Sunday REST 30km race 15km REST15km
Total 50km 73km 58km 74km58km

Total km for January 2018 =   313km (Equivalent to 250km for a 4 week month.)

Recommended races:
January 6th 2018 Hohenourt Alphen village.
January 14th 2018 Nutri bullet Bay to Bay 30km. Maiden Cove.
January 27th 2018 STBB Red Hill Classic 36km. Fish Hoek.

Thought for the month: “Started the real thing now.”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
December 2017

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Copyright Don Oliver 2017