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

Advertising opportunities

Home Page
Comrades, briefly
Comrades route
In Durban
The race itself
Mental Preparation
Physical Preparation
A to Z of Comrades
Running Injuries
Stories and other interesting stuff!
Don Oliver's Training Programme

breakthru logo

Where are we now? 

The answer is 96 days to go but we are now entering the exclusive club of becoming an ultra marathoner which is most rewarding .You will be comparing experiences with the Om- die-Dam, Two Oceans and Bergville while you are on the road, at work, everywhere. These shorter ultras lead you to the even more exclusive club of the Comrades medallists. You are now on the brink of a new world and it must be handled with care.

Those of you who are following the Menu 1 which later takes you to Two Oceans will enter the ultra world at Om-Die Dam in Schoemansville bordering Hartebeesport dam Only 8km to go but not just another 8 but a very special world occupied by very hardened runners having endurance and stamina.
Here is a copy of Menu 1 for those going to Cape Town at Easter for the Two Oceans;

Menu 1.

DateRace  Distance
February 26th Pretoria marathon42km
March 18th Om- Die- Dam50km
April 2nd  Jackie Gibson42km
April 15th Two Oceans Marathon 56km
May 4th Long Club Run 65km

Here is a Pacing Chart for Om die Dam 50km.

Km boardStopwatch Time
5km 30mins
10km1hr 00mins
15km 1hr 31mins
20km 2hr 01mins
25km  halfway2hrs 32mins
30km3hrs 04mins
35km3hrs 37mins
40km 4hrs 10mins
42km Standard marathon4hrs 24mins
45km  4hrs 42mins
50km Finish  5hrs 15mins

You will notice that in the ultra marathon” the second half is always slower than the first half” .We build in a fatigue factor to allow for the inevitable slowing down as you get into the tired zone from about half way 25km. The other rule for ultra marathon running is;”As the distance gets longer the pace gets slower.”Your overall pace will be slower over 50km as you managed in the standard 42km. From 5.7mins/km to 6,3mins/km.

You have to look after yourself in an ultra. The basic rule is to start off with a comfortable slow pace that feels that you can carry on like that all day. In Comrades you will be doing just that That many a true word is spoken in jest.

Secondly you have to keep yourself adequately hydrated and topped up with carbohydrate. Drink about 45g carbohydrate equivalent to 450ml Coke Energade/Powerade.In addition swallow a squeezie containing 25g carbohydrate per hour on the hour.You drink straight water addition only when you feel thirsty.You will in this way keep fully hydrated and get no dizziness or exhaustion.It is now permitted to fit in short walks when you feel tired or going up a steep hill.Even though you have these short walks you must still stay close to the Pacing Chart.Build the short walks into the schedule.It is a personal decision how you structure the walks but get used to having short walks because you will certainly be doing just that in Comrades.Not many can run the whole way.

Objective: To run The Om die Dam 50km ultra marathon in less than 5hours 15mins.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 06/03/17 13/03/17 20/03/17 27/03/17
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T
Wednesday 12km  8km  8km  12km 
Thursday 12km 10km 12km 14km
Friday 8km REST 8km 8km
Saturday 5km 50km race 8km 8km
Sunday 20km REST 15km  42km
Total 65km 76km 59km 92km
Total km for March 2017 = 292km
Recommended races.
Menu 1.  March 18th 2017 Om –Die- Dam Ultra marathon 50km Haartbeespoort
April 2nd 2017 Jackie Gibson marathon 42km Klipriviersberg

Menu 2.
DateRace Distance
February 26th Township Marathon 42km
March 21stGoldi Standerton 42km
April 1st   Arthur Creswell  52km
April 22ndForever Resorts Loskop Ultra50km
May 4th Long Club Run 65km

For those not doing Two Oceans you will follow Menu 2. which includes another standard 42km and then your first ultra in Bergville KZN for the Arthur Creswell 52km. This is a hard ultra getting hot towards the end and no shade. You pass the marathon mark after a long grind uphill and a rather deserted spot. Still 10 km to go for the finish of which 6km is downhill. Recommended splits; first half 2hrs 36mins and second half 2hrs 54mins.Extra 18mins in second half.

The Goldi marathon on Tuesday March 21st 2017 should be run at a steady speed but no attempt to improve your seeding. Concentrate on running steady and relaxed.Recommended splits first half 2hrs 36mins and second half 2hrs 54mins.

Here is your March 2017 training programme.

Objective: To run a 42km standard marathon in 4hrs 12mins and a 52km ultra in 5hrs 30mins.

Week 1.Week 2. Week 3. Week 4.
w/c  06/03/17 13/03/17    20/03/17   27/03/17
Tuesday  8km T/T 8km T/T 42km race  8km T/T 
Wednesday12km 8km  REST 12km
Thursday12km 10km5km  8km 
Friday  8km  8km  8km  8km 
Saturday  5km 5km 5km 52km race.
Sunday 30km 20km 15km  REST 
Total 75km 59km75km  88km

Total km for March 2017 = 297km
Recommended races.
Menu 2.March 21st 2017 Goldi Standerton 42km
Menu 2. April 1st 2017 Arthur Creswell 52km.

Thought for the month: ”Wonderful world out there in the ultras.”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
March 2017

red hill pottery logo

Copyright Don Oliver 2017