Comrades Training – for the Comrades finisher – July to December

With grateful thanks to the Late Don Oliver

The winter period and beyond – covering July to December, is the time to lay a solid foundation for any serious Comrades training. That starts on January 1st every year. Now you are ready to embark on a solid 6-months programme of well-constructed training for next year’s Comrades.

Runner Class 3
”I finished Comrades this year, what do we do now?”

There is so much to do. Have a look at this:
1.       Do a better time next year and start training earlier this time.
2.       Rather do a good Two Oceans and just have an easy Comrades.
3.       Recover from the ordeal and then do better times at the shorter distances. 4.       Have a break during the winter and start again when the weather improves. 5.       Do some cross training to get stronger for the Down run.

These are all good alternatives and all will get you back to Comrades next year. I will give you very brief outlines of the training for July and August for each of the plans above.

1.       You cannot start training again too early. You must go very gently in July before you start off again in August. Start faster and shorter runs from September.
2.       The training leading up to Two Oceans is very similar to the Comrades training up to that point but you can race it harder.
3.       That is a great idea. You have a good base, as soon as you have recovered from Comrades. You need to pick up some speed work and you will be a better runner by around October.
4.       Do not have a complete break. It is difficult to get going again. Rather do some gym work, swimming in the indoor pool and some weekend cycling. Lots of people do vigorous hiking. That’s all good for you.
5.       Cross training will do you a lot of good. You will enjoy the break from the long runs on the road. Get some professional advice to build up those quads and the style you need for downhill running. Why not try a duathlon?

Here is the general training programme for a Comrades finisher.
Part 1 – July and August

Note 1:       Mix and match as you like, provided you don’t run more than 3 times per week.
Thought for the month: “Maybe I was doing a bit too much running?”

Part 2 – September and October

The spring has added a new dimension to life. At least we can start getting out in the morning and evenings now. At this stage, we can switch over to some low kilometers, faster running. A basic week can include:
·        One day speed work of either sprints (Spr) along the length of a rugby field with a jog back, 10reps; two km warm up and warm down.
·        One day Time Trial (T/T)
·        Two days of 45mins slow jogging for 8km (Jog). One day of steady state (S/S) faster running for 45mins. One race and one day’s rest.

Your races in October can be between 10 km and 21.1 km. You can aim for fast times every other weekend.

Note 1:       Your Sunday runs should be a mixture of races and slow club runs. Make your own choice.
Thought for the month: “I’m building a strong foundation for a great Comrades”

Part 3 – November and December

November is used to run faster times before you start to train again for Comrades in January next year. Avoid doing too much racing, which could cause you to arrive tired at the beginning of your Comrades training. December is best reserved for some steady slower kilometers as a good base for next year’s improved Comrades time. I recommend that you avoid any long races, such as a standard or an ultra, at this time of the year.

Note 1:       As from Week 23 you should take a break from racing during December. Thought for the month: “I’ve enjoyed this faster stuff”.

Published by Tom Cottrell

A struggling author, pilgrim and citizen of Planet Earth.

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