alsoran runners I don't want to win the race

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I don’t want to win the race!  For the ALSORAN runner, this is a good point to remember!  If you are planning on winning the Comrades Marathon, you have come to the wrong site!  Ask yourself the question, what is my goal for Comrades day?  For me, my goals in order of importance are:

1)  to finish the race,
2)  to get a bronze medal,
3)  to run a Personal Best (PB)! 

To finish the race in 12 hours and get a medal (my first goal), I need to be running at just under 8 mins per km,
to finish the race in 11 hours and earn a bronze medal (my second goal), I need to be running at about 7 mins 20 secs per km. 
To run a personal PB (my third goal), which in my case is 10 hours and 25 mins, I need to be running at about 7 mins per km. 

Having identified these goals, I adjust my training accordingly.  I am not prepared to do anything in training that isn’t directly related to my goals for race day, and since I am not planning on winning the race, there is no need to try anything silly that could firstly, risk me getting to the start and secondly, finishing the race.  This means I don't need to be running any faster than 7 mins per km on a long training run.  This is very realistic!  You may be thinking that 7 mins per km is too slow, and yes, maybe it is, but can you keep it up for 90 kms?   Trust me, on race day it is a pretty decent pace!  Having just said this, I use 6 mins per km as the "bar" for a 10 km run and 6.30 mins per km for a 21km.  If I can run these distances comfortably in these times, I know I am good for 7 mins a km at Comrades.

Remember an important aspect of your Comrades training is your mental and physical conditioning.  You need to get used to what it feels like to run at, lets say 7 mins per km, because on race day you need to recognise when you are running too fast or too slow.  See my pages on “buying into the programme” and “keeping the focus” for more information.  Don’t place unnecessary stress and strain on yourself by chasing an unrealistic goal and don’t let your ego get in the way of you running a well planned race!

Key words: running, Comrades training, ALSORAN, medals, mental and physical conditioning
Internal links: conditioningkeeping the focus, buying into the programme, medal, mental strength
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website

Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008