alsoran runners Don Oliver's WP
November 2017
Training Programme for Comrades 2018

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Don Oliver's Training Programme

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Where are we now? 

222 days to go. Question is what you should be doing to be in line for a bronze medal at Comrades. You should be running races at least twice a month at distances up to 21km at a speed faster than your expected Comrades speed. Your Comrades speed to get a bronze medal under 11 hours over 89km is 7,35 mins /Km.  In November I am asking you to run 21km in 2 hours 06 mins which is 6,0mins/km. The rule for Comrades training is that “As the distance increases the speed decreases.” You have to train and race at the moment quite fast at under 6mins/km so the we when we come to qualify over 42km you will be aiming at just under 4 hours; that is 5,66 mins/km. At Two Oceans over 56km you should get in under 6hours at a speed of 6,4 mins/km. I always used to say that after Two Oceans you can slow down and concentrate on getting the longer distances in for the 89km Comrades. That’s how it works.

In November you must get into the basic habit of preparing for each road  race in a sensible and practical manner. Your training programme is to prepare yourself for the Bay to Bay 30km on January 14th 2018 followed two weeks later with the Red Hill Classic 36km on January 27th 2018. Therefore you should be prepared to do two training runs of 25km this month, November. That Bay to Bay race is so important because it is the start of your race building up to Comrades and if you have a bad 30km you immediately become despondent saying you can’t get it right for 30km what chance have I got to finish 89km. Very true. We make sure every race leading up to Comrades is a success. “Success breeds success” so get used to always being a successful runner and to do that is to prepare properly for each race.

Something you to have to learn early on as a Comrades runner is to be patient. You have to be patient as you sensibly and carefully build up your ability to run long distances. The same applies in the road races that you will be tackling right now and right through to Comrades itself. You have to be patient to pace yourself in the races which translates into recognising how far you have to run and what ability you have developed to do it. So often the better runners come past you in the second half. You must learn to be one of those who pass a lot of the field as the race progresses. To start off slowly really means that you are able to recognise for how long you can keep up a certain pace. In addition you will learn how you perform as the distance builds up. A good runner will still feel confident to maintain a steady speed well into the second half of any race. Patience has to be exercised in your training programme as well to avoid doing too much as early as 7 months to go. The big event in W.P this month is undoubtedly The Winelands Marathon on November 11h 2017. The novice runners on this programme should be patient and only enter for the 21km. The more experienced long distance runners will be doing a full 42km knowing how to recover before the hard Comrades training starts in January 2018. The novice will wait until they are better and fully prepared which is planned to be February next year. At this stage of training everything you do must be successful to build up your confidence. Therefore don’t do things that are likely to fail. I have met so many novices who made an early mistake by trying to run a marathon in November and failing, ending up demotivated and very often injured. They were trying to qualify early in case they get an injury later on in the year. It doesn’t work like that. When you are well prepared you never fail.

Here is your November Training Programme and you will immediately notice there are two Rest Days per week. Enjoy both days because you will be losing one of them in January next year.

Objective: To run a 21km road race in less than 2hours 06mins and also complete 2 club runs of 25km each.
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
w/c 06/11/17 13/11/17 20/11/17 27/11/17
Tuesday 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T 8km T/T
Wednesday 8km 8km 13km race 6km
Thursday 12km 10km 10km 12km
Friday 5km REST 5km REST
Saturday 21km race 5km 21km race 5km 
Sunday REST 25km REST 25km
Total 54km 56km 57km 56km
Note 1. Target 8km Time Trial 47mins shown as 8km T/T
Note 2. Attend and run the local parkrun aiming for comfortable management of the different courses in about 32mins.
Total km for November 2017  =  223km.

Recommended races:
11th November Winelands half marathon 21km .Stellenbosch
22nd November Neil Joubert Plaaswed 13km Klapmuts.
25th November Mitchell Plain Half marathon.21km Rocklands Mitchells Plain.

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

Don Oliver
Cape Town
November 2017

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