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TRAINING FOR THE COMRADES UP-RUN
By Don Oliver, Comrades Coach

 

If you want to run this year’s 2006 Comrades Marathon, which is an “up-run”, you must be able to run hills. At least 50 km of the race is uphill, there is about 13 km of downhill running, and the remaining 23 km are either a steady climb or flat. You have to climb 650 m in only 43 km, and get over three major hills on the way to Drummond at half way. Then you have 43 km to go with the cruellest and steepest climb coming at Polly Shorts with 10 km to go. You simply have to be a good hill runner to complete an up-run!

In the six-month training plans in this booklet, there is a special hill-training programme for all three groups of runners. Wherever you finish in the field, you all have to get up the same hills!

There are a few basic rules to follow to become a successful hill runner. These apply to all runners, from the sub-12 hour Vic Clapham medallist, to the Safe Bronze under 11 hours and the faster Bill Rowan medal winners coming home in under 9 hours. If you look at the Comrades results over the years, including both the records and the time the average club runners take, there is little difference in finishing time between the up-run and the down-run. This means that each runner has mastered the art of keeping up his or her own steady pace, notwithstanding the enormous and endless hills in the up-run. The up-run is about 3 km shorter than the down-run, which is a hidden bonus.

How to become a good uphill ultra-marathon road-runner

  1. To become a good hill runner you need a strong heart; good lungs; strong calves, quads and arms; plus the ability to run relaxed.
  2. Adopt a positive attitude towards hills so that you actually like them. You like hills because you don’t have to run fast, overtake anyone, or get behind schedule. It is a chance to relax and then feel proud as you reach the top of each and every hill. For some, you can enjoy a brief walk uphill.
  3. Never try to make up time on an uphill. Reserve that for the downs and the flat sections. Uphill is where you consolidate.
  4. Learn to become a faster downhill and flat runner, so that you can afford to go slower uphill.
  5. Relax the mind and body while going uphill.
  6. Spend six months training to be a good hill runner, by doing a “hills” session once a week.
  7. Strength-train your quads, calf and arm muscles in the gym.
  8. For training, select a 300 m to 400 m, fairly steep uphill. Jog 3 km to warm up and then run up the hill quite fast with a high knee-lift short stride and a vigorous arm action, all the way to the top. In the training session you must exaggerate these actions. Lean slightly forward and do not bend down and look at the road surface. Look comfortably ahead. Turn around and jog very slowly to the bottom and repeat as many times as your programme says. Warm down for 15 minutes by slow jogging.
  9. Later in the programme, as you handle the ups without getting out of breath, you can run faster downhill to the start again.
  10. Include hilly courses in your daily training runs. Practise maintaining a steady speed on the hills and remind yourself to relax. You only use the high knee-lift style in the training in Section 7. Develop your own style for uphill running in the races.
  11. In a road race, measure your pace for uphill, flat and downhill running. Develop the ability to pick up speed after an uphill. Use this knowledge to draw up your Pacing Chart for the next race.
  12. For the slower runners, include walking, not strolling, up the hills on really steep or very long sections of each climb. Remember, walking is very costly at 10 minutes per kilometre, compared with running at 6,0 minutes per kilometre. To stop is even worse at 0 km/hour.
  13. A good uphill runner must always be a good downhill runner as well.

The following is a reminder of how we defined the three groups of runners in the winter edition of Race Dates.

Group1: Current non-runners who want to start running and become regular road-runners.
Group 2: Regular road-runners who have already run as far as a half-marathon and want to do the Comrades in 2006.
Group 3: Comrades bronze medallists who want to do a better time in Comrades 2006 and get a Bill Rowan sub-9 hour medal.

GROUP 1: Non-runners who want to become regular road-runners.

These runners are now running regularly and have completed races from 10 km up to a half-marathon. If you are enjoying the training and racing scene, you are now at a stage to consider doing your first standard marathon of 42,2 km in April this year. If you do not intend to progress to a marathon, you can enjoy the same training for January to March and continue at this level until the end of June.

To step up to a standard marathon, you will have to increase your weekly kilometres in a regular smooth progression, as well as the distance of the races and weekend club runs. We will progress in safe, easily achieved increases that we call “chewable chunks” and “biteable bits”. Each month we set an objective that you will be able to achieve easily, and then move on to a slightly harder one the next month. Your current weekly kilometres will increase slowly to 85 km per week, and the long runs and races from 21 km to 25 km and 32 km. You will hardly notice the difference.

At this stage it is recommended that you join an official road-running club to use their training facilities and register as a licensed athlete. Find a running group close to home that runs similar distances.

My programme will equip you to run a marathon in April. Most marathons in this country include a few hills, and “hill training “is included in your programme.

The basic rule of “hard day, easy day” still applies, and you should run a road race twice a month with relaxed club runs in between. If you enjoy running a marathon and feel capable of running an ultra-marathon, the programme will guide you through the recovery stage from the standard marathon, followed by an easy step up to an ultra-marathon.

Part 1: January and February

Objective: To run a 32 km road race in less than 3hrs 12mins.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

W/c

02/01

09/01

16/01

23/01

30/01

06/02

13/02

20/02

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

10 km

Thu

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Fri

6 km

6 km

6 km

6 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Sat

8 km

5 km

8 km

5 km

8 km

5 km

8 km

8 km

Sun

15 km

21 km race

20 km

21 km race

25 km

32 km race

15 km

21 km race

Total

53 km

56 km

58 km

56 km

65 km

69 km

55 km

63 km

Notes

  1. Hills = 3 km warm-up and 10 hill repeats, then 3 km warm-down.
  2. 8 km T/T = a club time trial run at a fast steady speed. Try for 44mins.
  3. Club runs to be run slowly with drink stops. Run at 6,5mins/km.

           
Your first 32 km race is just 10 km short of a standard marathon, but you will complete three runs of between 28 km and 32 km to prepare properly for the marathon. Your first marathon must be a safe, comfortable success. By the end of February you will be finding the hill-training sessions quite easy, and the improvement in your running times in the races will be noticeable. It is advisable to have a quiet week’s running before the marathon and a recovery week afterwards in the programme below.

Part 2: March and April

Objective: To run a standard marathon in April in a time of less than 4hrs 30mins.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

W/c

27/02

06/03

13/03

20/03

27/03

03/04

10/04

17/04

24/04

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

10 km

6 km

10 km

10 km

10 km

6 km

8 km

10 km

8 km

Thu

Hills 9 km

8 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

8 km

8 km

10 km

Hills 9 km

8 km

Fri

10 km

8 km

10 km

10 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

10 km

8 km

Sat

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

REST

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Sun

28 km

15 km race

30 km

25 km

42 km race

15 km

25 km

50 km race

15 km

Total

73 km

53 km

75 km

70 km

76 km km

53 km

67 km

95 km

55 km

Notes

  1. Hills 9 km = 3 km warm-up, 12 hill repeats followed by 3 km warm-down.
  2. 8 km T/T = a club time trial run at a fast pace of 43 minutes.
  3. Marathon splits should be 2hrs 06mins for the first half and 2hrs 13mins for the second half, for a finish in 4hrs 19mins.
  4. The 50 km ultra-marathon (6,4mins/km) will be at a slower pace than the standard marathon (6,2mins/km).

           
Having completed your first standard marathon comfortably, you will be motivated to carry on trying longer races. At this time of the year there are many ultra-marathons between 50 km and 56 km, offered primarily to runners preparing for Comrades in June. Taking part in these ultras will introduce you to very special people who have developed incredible stamina and endurance, and are able to run for many hours on tough courses. You can expect to manage your first ultra of 50 km without undue stress. Running at the back of the field you will meet some amusing characters who have learned how to achieve and have fun at the same time.

Part 3: May and June

Objective: To run a faster standard marathon in 4hrs 12mins.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

W/c

01/05

08/05

15/05

22/05

29/05

05/06

12/06

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

8 km

5 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Thu

Hills 9 km

8 km

10 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

10 km

Fri

5 km

5 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Sat

5 km

5 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Sun

42 km race

15 km

21 km race

20 km

10 km race

15 km

20 km

Total

77 km

46 km

63 km

60 km

50 km

55 km

62 km

Notes
  1. Run a faster standard marathon while you enjoy peak fitness from a base of sound training.
  2. Your marathon splits should be 2hrs 03mins (5,8mins/km), and second half 2hrs 09mins (6,1mins/km).
  3. Your race times now should be: 10 km = 53mins; 15 km = 81mins; 21 km = 1hr 56mins.
  4. Note that the weekend following a standard or an ultra-marathon is a short 15 km slow training run to recover properly.

           
If you completed a standard marathon or a 50 km ultra-marathon, you have progressed enormously from the walk/jog training managed in July last year. You have learned all the basic techniques of training for road races and can use these now to go even further. Watch the Comrades on TV this year, or take a trip to Durban to see it live. It will inspire you to be a competitor next year, and your sound foundation will give you a great chance of achieving your dream in 2007.

Group 2: Road-runners wanting to progress from a 21 km road race to Comrades 2006

There’s nothing more exciting than to be able to say that you’ll be running this year’s Comrades Marathon. The next step is to follow a good training programme that will give you the best possible chance of success, and avoid the many pitfalls that can bring total disaster in the heavy training period or even on the day itself (June 16th). The programme has been developed and constantly modified over 28 years to produce around 6,000 proud owners of their first Comrades medal. The design hinges on gradually increasing the distance of the training runs and road races at a controlled rate that develops confidence in your own ability to run further each time. The risk of injury and overtraining is avoided, as is the chance of illness in the last month of training, which falls at the beginning of winter

The training you have done since July last year has given you a solid foundation to enter the final part of the Comrades training, which will be both rewarding and inspiring. The requirements that you, the runner, have to contribute are commitment and total dedication to finish Comrades this year. After setting aside the time to do extra training, there will be occasions that need willpower to overcome tiredness both during the week and maybe during a hot, hard ultra-marathon at the weekend. Get used to handling tiredness, which will be your constant companion for the next six months.

To avoid breakdown in any form, we follow the principle of “hard day, easy day” training. Trust the programme and never think that doing a little bit more will increase your chances. It doesn’t work that way with Comrades. If anything, always err on the side of too little than too much.

I recommend that you include specific hill training in the preparation or an up-run. The objective is to prepare yourself for approximately 50 km of uphill running and feel strong enough to carry on to do another 36 km. Deliberately choose hilly courses for your races, such as the Long Tom 56 km ultra-marathon in Mpumalanga, which climbs for the first 35 km; or The Two Oceans Marathon (56 km) in Cape Town.

As a potential bronze medallist, you must get used to walking frequently in races, particularly on the uphills. This will be the pattern on Comrades day. However, in your hill training, put in genuine hard effort to develop the strength and confidence to tackle any hill. Develop a strategy for running hills. Decide how long to walk for, and how often on each hill. Try to keep the walking to a minimum, but still retain your strength for the remaining distance.

The schedules are attached and you can choose your racing programme to fit in with where you live. Keep a detailed log book, which is included in this booklet, and you can get more advice on the Comrades website at www.comrades.com under “Training”.

Part 1: January and February

Objective: To qualify for Comrades by completing a standard marathon in less than 4hrs 20mins.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

W/c

02/01

09/01

16/01

23/01

30/01

06/02

13/02

20/02

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

6 km

Thu

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

8 km

Fri

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

10 km

5 km

Sat

8 km

6 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

5 km

8 km

42 km race

Sun

20 km

21 km race

25 km

28 km

25 km

32 km race

20 km

REST

Total

60 km

59 km

65 km

68 km

65 km

69 km

62 km

69 km

Notes

  1. The 8 km T/T should be run in 45 minutes (5,6mins/km).
  2. The 21 km race should be run in 2hrs 03mins (5,8mins/km).
  3. The 32 km race should be run in less than 3hrs 10mins (5,9mins/km).
  4. Your 42,2 km standard should be run in 4hrs 18mins (6,11mins/km). First half in 2hrs 06mins and the second half in 2hrs 12mins.
  5. Hills 8 km is 3 km warm-up, 10 hill repeats and 3 km warm-down.
  6. Hills 9 km is 3 km jog, 12 hill repeats, and 3 km jog.

You will see how, as the distance increases, the speed decreases. That is a golden rule of long distance road running! Enjoy a slow club run on the weekend following a race. The total distance you have run for two months is 517 km, building up to a total of 1,400 km between January 1 and June 16. At this stage, at the end of February, you are ready to go up to the ultras, where all the real runners are. You can plan your races according to a schedule of completing two standard marathons and three ultras from February to the beginning of May. One of the ultras is the compulsory 65 km Long Club Run on May 7, 2006. It is fine to run both the Two Oceans and the Comrades this year because these races are two months apart. Use this booklet containing all the national road-running fixtures to design your “Race Menu”.

Part 2: March and April

Objective: To complete two ultra-marathons and one more standard marathon in this nine-week period.

*

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

W/c

27/02

06/03

13/03

20/03

27/04

03/04

10/04

17/04

24/04

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Thu

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

8 km

Hills 9 km

Fri

8 km

8 km

5 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

REST

8 km

8 km

Sat

8 km

8 km

50 km race

8 km

5 km

6 km

56 km race

8 km

8 km

Sun

15 km

25 km

REST

35 km

42 km race

15 km

REST

15 km

40 km

Total

58 km

66 km

80 km

76 km

80 km

54 km

81 km

55 km

81 km

Notes
Your times for this period are:

  1. 8 km T/T = 46mins.
  2. 50 km race (Om-die-Dam) = 5hrs 15mins (6,3mins/km). First half in 2hrs 32mins and second half in 2hrs 43mins.
  3. 56 km race (Two Oceans) = 5hrs 55mins (6,33mins/km). First half in 2hrs 48mins and the second half in 3hrs 07mins.
  4. 42 km standard marathon race = 4hrs 17mins (6,1mins/km). First half in 2hrs 06mins and second half in 2hrs 11mins.

           
The training period you have just completed represents the major part of the heavy training. This was a nine-week period and you can just manage another week in May before the wind-down must start. The 65 km Long Club Run scheduled for Sunday May 7 is the final stepping-stone to the 86 km Comrades Marathon. So far the stepping-stones have been quite close to each other, going from 21 km to 32 km to 42 km to 50 km, and then to 56 km. This final step is 9 km next month (65 km) and then a whopping 21 km to Comrades. (86 km) That final step will be made easily because you have developed the art of gradually increasing your race distance and finishing comfortably. The wind-down consists of gradually decreasing weekly kilometres and running shorter weekend races.

Part 3: May and June

Objective: To complete the Long Club Run of 65 km in less than 8hrs 30mins and the Comrades Marathon in 10hrs 45mins.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

W/c

01/05

08/05

15/05

22/05

29/05

05/06

12/06

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

8 km

Tue

8 km T/T

REST

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

REST

Wed

8 km

8 km

8 km

5 km

5 km

5 km

REST

Thu

Hills 9 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

8 km

8 km

5 km

REST

Fri

8 km

8 km

8 km

6 km

6 km

5 km

86 km race

Sat

8 km

5 km

8 km

6 km

8 km

5 km

REST

Sun

65 km club

32 km race

25 km

21 km race

10 km race

15 km

REST

Total

106 km

61 km

65 km

54 km

45 km

43 km

94 km

Notes
Your times for this period are:

  1. 8 km T/T = 44mins.
  2. 10 km = 54mins.
  3. 32 km = 3hrs 00mins.
  4. 21 km = 1 hr 59mins.
  5. Long Club Run = 8hrs 30mins.

The Long Club Run will be supported by drinks stops every 4 km. Use that opportunity to stop and stretch. Try to eat biscuits or rolls in the second half. This is not a race but rather an endurance run to spend more than 8 continuous hours on your feet. Walk part of the hills as a dress rehearsal for Comrades. Resist doing more than the programme for the wind-down. You will get stronger by the day and your tiredness will miraculously disappear. Have any remaining minor injuries attended to, and any cold or ‘flu treated by a doctor urgently. The wind-down is your very last chance to do everything right, so don’t do any extra running than your training programme while you build up your strength again for the huge task ahead. Study the course and get a Comrades Pacing Chart at the Comrades Expo from the Comrades Coach stand. I will see you there and answer any final questions about the race.

Group 3: Comrades bronze medallists who want to improve their time to a sub-9 hour Bill Rowan medal

The very first job on the way to getting a Bill Rowan medal at Comrades is to concentrate on qualifying at the end of February in a standard marathon, in less than 3hrs 40mins for a C-grade seeding. Your chances improve immensely if you can do slightly better and run under 3hrs 20mins to get a B-grade seeding. A total distance in training and races between January 1 and June 15 of 1,500 km generally will be sufficient. This programme will include specific hill training for the up-run, and will also concentrate on steady state running of between 5,0mins/km and 5,5mins/km for the longer races.
A general pattern for the weekly training includes an 8 km time trial, one day hill training, two days steady state running, one race or club run at the weekend, and a well-earned rest day. During the training we concentrate on running faster than the 6,0mins/km required to get a Bill Rowan on the 86 km up-run. Thelonger the distance, the slower the speed is the rule. This also means the shorter the distance, the faster the speed. In each two-month training chart there are indicators for the target times at the shorter races and it will give you a very good pointer of your chances on Comrades Day.

This time of the year should be spent on running fast – mostly under 5 mins/km in training, apart from the recovery runs following weekend races and relaxed club runs on alternate weekends.

To practise running for prolonged times, at an effort level of 75% of your aerobic capacity, you have to develop a steady state condition in which the body can run nearly effortlessly for several hours. Start on two measured courses taking about 45 minutes to run and complete each course just on the edge of getting out-of-breath and tired. Record your time. Next time round, push a little bit harder and ease back to recover each time you get into the anaerobic or breathless condition. As soon as you recover, you speed up again. Within a few weeks your aerobic condition will have improved to such an extent that you will be running both courses at a faster speed for less effort. Two days per week should be used for this steady state running and the runs will be for 45 minutes, counting as 9 km in the training log.

One day must be used for specific hill training: 10 repetitions up a 300 m hill with a slow jog return and a 3 km warm-up jog and the same distance cool-down. The aim of a Bill Rowan medallist is to avoid walking up any part of the hills in training and races. Slow down and consolidate to preserve your energy. Pick up speed again on the flat sections and downhills. The weekly 8 km time trial is vital and should be run reasonably hard at between 35 and 36 minutes.

The final ingredient is to run very slowly on recovery days, slower than 6 mins/km, and to race only twice per month. The alternate weekend is a slow club run with stops. The important rule is to have a “hard day, easy day” routine to avoid fatigue and injury.

Part 1: January and February

Objective: To qualify for Comrades in a 42 km race in 3hrs 30mins.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

W/c

02/01

09/01

16/01

23/01

30/01

06/02

13/02

20/02

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

Thu

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

Hills 8 km

8 km

Fri

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

9 km

8 km

Sat

8 km

8 km

8 km

10 km

10 km

6 km

8 km

42 km race

Sun

20 km

21 km race

25 km

30 km

25 km

32 km race

25 km

REST

Total

62 km

63 km

67 km

74 km

69 km

72 km

67 km

75 km

Notes

  1. Target time for the 21 km race is 1hr 37mins (4,6mins/km).
  2. Target time for 32 km is 2hrs 30mins (4,7mins/km). First half in 74mins and second half in 76mins.
  3. Target time for 42 km is 3hrs 30mins (5,0mins/km). First half in 1hr 43mins (4,9mins/km) and second half in 1hr 47mins (5,1mins/km).
  4. Steady state runs should be comfortable at 4,7mins/km.
  5. Target time for 8 km time trial is 36mins.

           

Having obtained a B- or C-grade seeding, you can now concentrate on building up for longer runs both in training and races. This is the time to draw up a menu for the races during March and April, following the basic rules of only racing every other weekend, and aiming to do one more standard and two ultras in March and April. The Long Club Run will be the third ultra and will take place on May 7, 2006. Your racing strategy should be to avoid walking during any races up to 42 km, apart from an occasional drinks table or for the toilet. Your hill climbing ability must be monitored at the races and more effort put into training if there is any evidence of fading on the uphills. When designing a Pacing Chart for the marathons, include faster sections on the flat and downhill stages, keeping the effort constant throughout the whole race.

Part 2: March and April

Objective: To complete comfortably one standard marathon and two ultra-marathons in this nine-week period.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

W/c

27/02

06/03

13/03

20/03

27/03

03/04

10/04

17/04

24/04

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

Tue

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

Wed

10 km

10 km

10 km

10 km

10 km

10 km

9 km

8 km

9 km

Thu

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Hills 9 km

Fri

10 km

10 km

8 km

10 km

10 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Sat

8 km

8 km

50 km race

8 km

8 km

56 km race

8 km

8 km

8 km

Sun

20 km

30 km

REST

30 km

40 km

REST

25 km

42 km race

25 km

Total

65 km

75 km

85 km

61 km

85 km

91 km

67 km

83 km

67 km

Notes

  1. Indicator for the first 50 km ultra (Om-die-Dam) is 4hrs 35mins (5,5mins/km). First half 2hrs 15mins and second half 2hrs 20mins.
  2. Indicator for the 42 km is 3hrs 30mins (5,0mins/km). First half 1hr 43mins (4,9mins/km) and second half 1hr 47mins (5,1mins/km).
  3. Indicator for the second 56 km ultra (Long Tom Marathon) is 5hrs 13mins (5,6mins/km). First half in 2hrs 37mins (5,6mins/km) and the second half in 2hrs 36mins (5,6mins/km).

At the end of April you should have completed 1,151 km in training and races since January 1, 2006. This is ideal because it is made up of quality mid-week training and carefully selected races with sufficient recovery time in between. You can expect to finish with about 1,500 km before Comrades, which will have you in peak fitness and strength without any overtiredness. It is of paramount importance to take the club runs between the races slowly, to recover from the heavy racing schedule. The final important run is the Long Club Run of 65 km in May. It is a gentle run, with stops, of about 7 hours. It brings to an end the long training runs and sets you up for the wind-down to Comrades.

Part 3: May and June

Objective: To complete the Comrades Marathon comfortably in 8hrs 50mins to win a Bill Rowan medal.

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

W/c

01/05

08/05

15/05

22/05

29/05

05/06

12/06

Mon

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

REST

8 km

Tue

8 km T/T

REST

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

8 km T/T

REST

Wed

10 km

8 km

10 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

REST

Thu

Hills 9 km

10 km

Hills 9 km

10 km

10 km

10 km

REST

Fri

10 km

8 km

10 km

8 km

8 km

8 km

Comrades

Sat

8 km

8 km

8 km

5 km

5 km

5 km

REST

Sun

65 km

32 km race

20 km

21 km race

10 km race

15 km

REST

Total

110 km

66 km

65 km

60 km

49 km

54 km

94 km

Notes

  1. Run the Long Club Run slowly with frequent drinks stops in about 7hrs.
  2. Start the wind-down to Comrades as from May 8 by reducing the weekly kilometres and the distance of the weekend runs.
  3. Run the remaining short road races at a comfortable, but fast, pace.
  4. Treat any minor injury or sickness urgently and with professional help.
  5. Line up at Comrades without sickness or injuries and well-rested, confident and excited.
  6. Get your Bill Rowan Comrades Pacing Chart from the Comrades Coach at the Comrades Expo.

Get more details on all these training programmes from the Comrades Website www.comrades.com and click on Training.

Run the Comrades with confidence that you have trained thoroughly and correctly. You deserve to get your medal.

Don Oliver. Comrades Coach. 2006.