alsoran runners Don Oliver's Central Gauteng
November 2016
Training Programme for Comrades 2017

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

“Where are we now? “. 217 days to go plenty of time for Comrades but also plenty to do. This month, November is the first real test, RAC City Lodge Tough One 32km on November 27th.2016. We have just to round off the training and run sensibly to post a strong finish under 3hours 18mins.
One word of advice this month is about your hill and speed training. You will not be taking part in any specialised hill or speed sessions for the Comrades Up Run in 2017. Believe you me there are more than enough hills on most of your training routes and if not, there are plenty of hills in the C.G and G.N races. For speed training you can just vary your pace in training over say 2 days/week and one of the races per month. So many runners have no “gearbox”. They run the same speed in training during the week, also at the Time Trial and yet again in the races irrespective of the distance. To improve your cardiovascular fitness run slightly faster over three sections of your training run or race. Speed up for about half a km that’s all. Get a bit out of breath and relax to recover but try to not lose too much speed. You will improve your “steady state running speed “in this way. First of all this month do the speed stretches on flat sections of the course. Take it slowly to start off with and as you get the hang of the exercise you can go a bit faster.

This month is the very first real test. To run the RAC City Lodge Tough One of 32km in less than 3hrs 18mins. If you met last month’s objective of running a 21km race in less than 2hrs 06mins you are well in line for the Tough One.

We always obey the rules of the game when training for Comrades and we say “The longer the distance, the slower the speed”. If you run 21km at a speed of 6,0mins/km you can run slower over 32kms in 3hrs 18mins at 6,2mins/km. Many of you will run faster than 3hrs 18mins which is a fine run but I can assure you that at 3hrs 18mins there will still be a big crowd behind you.

I ran the Tough One 18 times and can offer some suggestions how to handle it. First of all it is not all that tough. There are a lot of long downhill stretches where you must cruise along making up time. The up hills start early and continue to crop up all the way along even in the last 2 kms. You must consolidate on the hills. Move over to the right, relax and get into an economy mode to the top of the hill. Never try to overtake on hills or show off by passing club mates that you think are fading. They might pass you again before the finish. If you start and finish at the same place there must be as many ups as downs. In this race you must allow for a slower second half. I suggest something like 95mins (1hr 35mins) in the first half followed by 101mins (1hr 43mins). It will be hot so drink sensibly and often. The target is 45g carbohydrate /hour. That is about 450ml Coke/Energade/Powerade. Drink water as you get thirsty. If you can handle the squeezies (complex carbohydrate gels) take one per hour which will boost you by another 25g carbohydrate. Get used to a good drinking pattern even over this relatively short distance because it is one part of the basis of running Comrades. It is a race with a big field always and make sensible plans for parking and getting to the start on time. In a big field you have to look after yourself in the first 6kms and avoid being bumped and even worse, tripped. Don’t get carried away with the early speed. Settle in to your own pace that you alone know will last the distance.

You will notice that Thursday each week in Week 3 and 4 the distance is 12km. This is the introduction of the longer mid week run for Comrades runners. Most Comrades all the way through the field run a slightly longer mid week run to just increase the weekly kms a tweak and also providing you with the taste of a longer run on the road of maybe 2hours 20minutes. It provides a longer run for you to settle into of double figures and sample the qualities of running for over 2hours. We will be increasing this distance in the New Year.

The club time trial on a Tuesday should be getting more and more comfortable and you can now adjust your finishing time to 47mins. Just under 6mins/km and fine for Bronze medal hopefuls.

Your mid week training speed will vary according to recovering from a race or Time Trial but generally try to keep the runs between 6,0mins /km and 6,5 mins/km.

November Training Programme.
Objective. To run the 32km RAC Tough One in less than 3hours 18mins.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 07/11/16 14/11/16 21/11/16 28/11/16
Tuesday 8km T/T  8km T/T  8km T/T  8km T/T 
Wednesday 8km  8km  8km  8km 
Thursday 10km  10km 12km 12km
Saturday 8km REST REST 8km
Sunday 25km 21km race 32km race 15km
Total 59km 47km 66km 51km

Total kms for November 2016 = 223km.
Recommended races.
November 20th 2016 Alberton Half Marathon.Alberton Rugby Stadium.
November 27th 2016 RAC City Lodge Tough One.32km Craighall.

Thought for the month “It’s really hotting up now.”

Don Oliver
Cape Town
October 2016

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Copyright Don Oliver 2014