The first bit of Comrades advice I
got was from a Lindsay
Weight article I read in
1998. Lindsay maintained the two most important
needed to learn were
learning to run slower
Well I figured I had the first
taped! I had no problem with running slower. As
the second point, I figured NO way am I going to be walking, that’s like
up. Big mistake! I realised the value of Lindsay’s
walking advice after Field’s
Hill on the up run! Up to that point in my running “career” I
always believed that you walked because you were too tired to
run. Fortunately for me, it was early enough in the race to
change my thoughts on walking.
From that point on I quickly adopted some walking into my race
managed to finish my first Comrades
in a respectable 10:46. Former Comrades
coach, Don Oliver
you haven’t walked within the first 2 hours of Comrades that you
are heading for
Let’s have a quick look at running slower.
You need to be running
because you need to be able to maintain this pace for a pretty long
time (say 10 hours plus). Yes, I know you can run 5 mins a km
a marathon but Comrades
a lot longer than a marathon (twice as long with
some spare change!) What happens when you get to 60 kays and
have nothing left in the tank?
used to running
at a slower
pace in training runs.
If you really feel the ‘need for speed’ look at pushing in
the last 2 or 3 kays of your run. You’ll be amazed at what
you still have left in the tank! See my “I don’t want to win the race”
page for more information on pacing at Comrades.
have a quick
look at walking.
are various strategies for walking
and they all work pretty well. Some folk run for 8 minutes
then walk the 9th minute, repeating this throughout the run.
Others, myself included, use a run/walk strategy on all
run to the count of 100, then walk to the count of 50. I find
this gets me up the hills pretty quickly because a run to the count of
100 is a very manageable goal with a nice little walking breather in
recently tested this strategy on the island of St Helena, choosing a
particularly nasty uphill of about 2.5km. I initially ran the
entire hill in 22 minutes. The following day I used the
strategy on the same hill and I was 4 minutes quicker! Just
to show! If you feel that walking
is too much to ask of you, look to walking
through water tables as a start! Walking
gives your legs that little bit of recovery which will keep you going
in the long run!
Key words: walking,
I don’t want to win the race, water tables,
Weight, Don Oliver, Field's Hill
links: Official Comrades Marathon website,