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

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

In days; it is only 35days to go. It can be a lifetime waiting. With the Long Club run and beginning to recover from it your thoughts are left with only one thing ;Comrades.. Your last month of training must be an exercise in confidence patience and discipline. A traditional wind down month has a vastly different pattern than what you been used to since January. You now run slowly close to Comrades Pace of 7mins/km, shorter mid week training runs and races. More Rest Days. Your May training programme will find it unbelievable only about 130km. You have to wind down to give the body and mind a chance to recover from the relentless punishing schedule you have completed over 9 weeks from the end of February. The over trained muscles and tendons will repair themselves to be replaced with stronger fibre. You were getting close to being overwhelmed with the endless long runs and races everytime looking at the clock. The wind down is not easy. You will feel you should be doing just a few fast short races or even track workouts to test your cardio vascular system. Nothing like that is allowed for the average club runner. Maybe the gold medallists and elite runners taper by tuning up. You don’t because you are used to it and you stand the risk of getting an injury. You can’t under any circumstances get injured or sick in May. Therefore protect and molly coddle yourself

The May programme is really very easy compared with what you have been doing recently. Note that the 8km Time trial is still included. It must be used to dispel all the nerves and excitement that is building up. Jog round comfortably, chatting all the way with your running mates and maybe even Comrades Race Day partners. Discuss where about where you are staying, when are you going down and even a sneaky secret sharing of your planned finishing time at Comrades. Maybe share that in the bar after a few cold ones.

At the same time find out everything you can about Comrades. The race the course are well covered on the Comrades website and in addition local runners and club mates can give relevant and up to date advice about what you can expect on the day. Get to know where you can expect the registered hills. How many refreshment stations do they provide and what is on the menu. For help you get physio rubs in the second half of the the race. Km board boards show you the runner how many kms are left to go. In your final race instructions given to you at registration there is a description of the cut off point along the race before the final gun after 7hours. These cut offs are at particular times of day along the route. No chance of pleading that you took 7 minutes to cross over the start line. Time of day with a warning notice telling you that you have1 km to go to the next cut off point.

You are advised to get a Pacing Chart laminate it and take it along pinned to the front of your shorts. Every 10km it will give you the expected race time to arrive at the finish with a bronze medal. The chart allows for the registered hills and a fatigue factor to take a longer second half. All the pacing Charts are displayed on the website Most of you will select the safe bronze medal finishing in 10hours 45 mins. Check your runners watch whatever the make and features and make sure it will run for 12hours on Comrades Day. By now you have selected your favourite carb booster. Buy your requirements before you leave for Durban. Most clubs provide some assistance along the route so take as many sachets as possible for the start and top up fresh supplies at the club umbrella or gazebo. You have to consume 45g carbohydrate per hour and as much water as you like when you feel thirsty. Energade is close to 10% carbohydrate so you will need about 450 ml/hour.
To give you confidence that you have trained properly here is a summary of your monthly achievements.

March    292km
April  279km
Total  1283km

Included in total of 1283km are two standards and four ultras. Feel proud of yourself. Look around at the start in Durbs and feel quite certain no one around you has better credentials.

Here is your May training programme. Please note that we will be publishing on May 15th a Race Day Tips special edition on this website. Don’t miss it.

Objective. To wind down to arrive at the start at Comrades feeling confident and relaxed. 

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4Week 5 
w/c 01/05/17 08/05/17 15/05/17 22/05/1729/05/17
Tuesday 5km  8km 5km  5km 5km 
Thursday 8km 8km 5km 5kmREST
Saturday REST 5km 5km 5kmREST
Sunday 15km 20km 10km race
8kmComrades 87km
Total 33km 41km 25km 23km5km

Total km for May 2017 = 127km
Recommended races;
May 21st 2017 Sweatshop/Asics 10km Craighall.

Thought for the month: “I have trained well and deserve to get my medal.”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
April 2017

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External links: Official Comrades Marathon website;  
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Copyright Don Oliver 2017