||“Where are we now?”
on nicely all you newly qualified Comrades runners! You have still got
102 days to go and most of it is a hard 9 weeks ahead of you. Generally
you find the qualifier quite hard and I am sure this was no exception.
The newly qualified were asking themselves: Can I do another marathon
like that plus 6km? At this stage the answer is no but by mid May with
about 3 weeks to go you will give me another answer which is something
like” bring on I’m ready already.”
Looking toward this month’s
programme for March you have got two ultras to run; both big fields
.Very good experience for Comrades .Big fields are daunting to start
with but you must, each one of you, work out your own plan for the
start and travel arrangements. Both races Om-die- Dam and Two Oceans
have seeding. Always a good idea if possible is to have a careful look
at the layout. Look for tog bag truck and toilets. Never lose your
friend even before the start. Have plans for meeting friends at the
finish. Normally you are so tired at the end of an ultra you can’t
handle a search of half an hour and stumbling over gazebo ropes and
exhausted runners. Make good plans to avoid getting anxious.
–die- Dam is a good 3 weeks away giving you time to recover from your
standard qualifier. After that 50km big race you have 2 weeks exactly
to recover to put in a solid performance in Cape Town at Two Oceans.
You move up from 42km to 50 km and then up again to 56km.all in a
month. You will find the gradual increase in distance almost unnoticed
but the biggest challenge is to recover from each race and build up to
the next one. There lies the success of this programme taken from
hundreds of club runners over the years. The magic step is to run no
more than 15km on the weekend following an ultra or standard. We took a
few years to get it right .First of all we thought you had to do more
and more each weekend to toughen you up. It doesn’t work that way. The
Sports Scientists advised us to rest after a hard race. We nearly put
all the physiotherapists out of business. No injuries and no sickness.
It requires discipline and that is the hallmark of a good distance
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 target time at Om –Die-Dam is
5hours 15 minutes. The first half is aimed for 2hrs 32mins and the
second half is slower at 2hrs 43mins.You have got Sarkies Nek and the
heat all in the second half.
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.
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 squeeze 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
Here is the Pacing Chart for Om die Dam 50km.
|Kilometre Board ||Stopwatch Time|
|25km Halfway||2hrs 32mins|
|42km Standard Marathon||4hrs 24mins|
|50km Finish||5hrs 15mins|
Two Oceans is thankfully at sea level and you will enjoy a boost of
free oxygen which can improve your performance by 10%. Your target for
a bronze at Comrades is indeed the same as a bronze at Two Oceans of
sub 6hours.The current drought warning in W.P.will not affect water
supply at Two Oceans race but there will probably be stringent rules at
Here is your Two Oceans Pacing Chart.
Two Oceans 2018 sub 6hours.
|Km Board||Stopwatch time|
|28 Halfway||2hrs 50mins|
|42 Marathon||4hrs 22mins|
|56 Finish||5hrs 55mins|
Here is your March 2018 training programme.
Objective. To complete the 50km Om-Die-Dam in 5hrs 15mins and also the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans in less than 6hours.
| Week 1.||Week 2. ||Week 3. ||Week 4|
|w/c||05/03/18 ||12/03/18 ||19/03/18 ||26/03/18|
|Monday||REST ||REST ||REST ||REST |
|Tuesday || 8km T/T || 8km T/T || 8km T/T || 8km T/T |
|Friday ||8km ||REST||8km ||REST|
|Saturday ||5km||50km race||5km||56km race|
|Total.||54km || 74km ||52km||77km|
Total km for March 2018 = 257km.
March 17th 2018 Old Mutual Om-Die-Dam Marathon 50km Haartbeestfontein.
March 31st 2018 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 56km Newlands. Cape Town.
Thought for the month: “I’m a qualified ultra marathoner now and feel proud of that.”