alsoran runners Don Oliver's
December 2008
Comrades Training Programme

Ask Don ... Forum
Home Page
Comrades, briefly
Comrades route
In Durban
The race itself
Mental Preparation
Physical Preparation
A to Z of Comrades
Running Injuries
Don Oliver's Training Programme
Make the commitment

December Training Programme for Comrades 2009

December is the month to be careful.  Too much running over the holidays will leave you tired on January 1st when you should be raring to go for 5 months dedicated ultra distance training.  Too little running over the holidays will leave you slightly overweight and with bad habits to get rid of when you should be full of energy and enthusiasm for the New Year.

This month we can practice discipline with our running in all ways.  Stick to the schedule for the number of days training and the races to run.  Good news first.  You still get 2 Rest Days per week.  The kilometres for this month will be no increase over November (203km).  Because the total kilometres are quite small for the month you can concentrate on running comfortably at all times.  It is so important to find out what makes you comfortable while you run because you have to be comfortable all day long at Comrades.  Get to learn to handle tiredness when it comes in a race whatever the distance.  There are basic rules for drinking at the ultras: 50g carbohydrate/hour and 450ml liquid.  It is a good idea to use a squeezie once an hour in the marathons.  Get comfortable with the squeezie you use and the water and coke you drink.  It is probably a good chance to buy a new pair of running shoes over Christmas.  Socks and shoes go together so get comfortable in them now before the kilometres go up. You can’t choose family but you can choose running partners.  Get comfortable with the speed, conversation, pit stops of your chosen mate for December to May.

Get comfortable with your conscience about Comrades next year and look after your family, friends and work mates.  They will be important to you in April and May.

Finally be comfortable with your running club.  Help your club at the South Easter Race in some way or other.  Pay your club subs now and get your licence number before Christmas, which you will need for next year’s races in January.

Here is the December Comrades training programme

Week 1  Week 2  Week 3  Week 4  Week 5 
w/c  01/12 08/12  15/12 22/12  29/12
Monday   Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday  10km 8km 8km 5km 8km
Wednesday  8kmT/T 8kmT/T 8kmT/T 8kmT/T 8kmT/T
Thursday  10km 10km 10km Christmas. Rest 10km
Friday   Rest Rest Rest 16km race 5km
Saturday  21km race 8km 8km South Easter. Help 8km
Sunday  Rest 20km 15km 20km 20km
Total   49km   54km   49km   49km   59km  

Saturday December 6th 2008.  RFL/NB Half marathon.21km.  Somerset West.
Friday December 26th 2008.  Tokai Manor House Run 16km Tokai.
Saturday December 27th 2008. South Easter 15km.Fish Hoek.

Total kms for December 2008 = 248km which is 5 weeks. (Equivalent to 198km for 4 week month).
Planning for Comrades.

In December you pre-enter the races you have planned on the Race Menu for January, which are:

Weber Wentzel Bay to Bay 30km on Sunday January 11th 2009
Red Hill Classic 36km on Saturday January 24th 2009

The two races in Somerset West 21km on December 6th and the 16km Manor House Run on December 26th should be run with the 30km and 36km races in mind. The 21kms race should be run in 6,2mins/km giving you a 2hrs 11mins and the Manor House Run should be run at 6,8mins/km to give you a 109mins finish.  (Allowing for the mountain run).

An important part of training for any race where you are going to go for a target time is the race research.  For Comrades there is a lot of information on this website and on for the map of the race including the profile.  You don‘t want any surprises on Comrades day finding you don’t know where the major hills are for example.  Entries for the 2009 Comrades close on March 31st 2009.  You should enter as soon as you have qualified at the Peninsula marathon on February 22nd 2009.

Sign up for Nikki's Comrades Commitment Column if you have not done so already!  It is there for all to see.

Have a Happy Christmas and a very successful New Year with all your dreams coming true!

Don Oliver
Cape Town November 24th 2008.

Click here to continue on to Don Oliver's 2009 Comrades Training Programme

External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Don Oliver 2008