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Comrades training - March 2013

Training for the Comrades 2013

Qualifying for Comrades

Welcome to the March 2013 edition of supersport.com's Comrades Marathon training programme.  March is all about qualifying for Comrades.

Even though runners have until 6 May to qualify for Comrades, it's always a good idea to get that qualifier "out of the way" early.  If this is your first Comrades Marathon and you have not managed to run a 42.2 km marathon by the end of March, you really should question whether you will be ready to run Comrades by 2 June.

If you have run Comrades before, it's still a good idea to complete a standard marathon around this time of the year, the first of two marathons leading up to Comrades.  Then there is still one ultra marathon to be run before Comrades.  So getting that first marathon done early should give you lots of confidence.

Goals for March 2013:

    1. To get that Comrades qualification under your belt

This year I would suggest qualifying with either the The Vaal Marathon - run from the Dick Fourie Stadium in Vereeniging on Sunday 3 March, or the Jackie Gibson Marathon - run from the Klipriviersberg Recreation Centre in Kibler Park on Sunday 24 March.

The Vaal Marathon is a very pleasant two-lapper which gently meanders through four suburbs of Vereeniging and has a section along the backs of the Vaal River. Although the route is flat it is by no means the easiest marathon, and runners will have to work the whole way.

The Jackie Gibson Marathon is a hilly double-lapper, perfect preparation for Comrades. It is the oldest race in Johannesburg, with the organisers club, The Johannesburg Harriers Athletics Club celebrating it's 106th anniversary this year.

There is another Marathon in the Gauteng area in March, the Sarens Edenvale Marathon run on 10 March.  It is too close to the Strider's32 race, coming just one week afterwards.  I would suggest rather doing the half marathon option at this race.

    2. To maintain a comfortable 60 - 65 km per week building up to the Ultra marathon in April

This is achieved by running three runs during the week of around 8 - 12 km.  Ideally this is done on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Monday and Friday are well earned rest days. Remember, your rest days are as important as your training days, as they help the body recover from the stresses of running and thereby reduce the incidence of injury.

Sunday will either be a 32 km race, a standard marathon, or club run of 15 km or 20 km. Club runs are a good idea as they are usually a lot of fun, and there is no incentive to run fast.

The length of the Saturday run is dependent on the length of the Sunday run.  The Saturdays before the 32 km race and the marathon should be rest days.  If you are only running 15 km on the Sunday, there should be no reason not to have a comfortable 15 km training run the day before.  An easy 10 km run is advisable the day before the half marathon on 10 March.

    3. To remain injury free and run comfortably within yourself

Be warned  - if you are feeling tired, over trained, or feel an injury developing, cutting back on these recommended distances is more beneficial than trying to keep up with the distances at all costs.

Don't speed up your running during this phase. The running required at this point in the year is still called "long, slow, distance" running. March is still a time for training at a pace that is well within your capabilities.  Training should be very comfortable, and relaxed.

Total weekly mileage: 60 km, 63 km, 60 km, and 68 km

During February the weekly mileage was 55 - 60 km.  March sees us pushing this up to 60 - 65 km per week. During April we will see the weekly mileage climb to the highest weekly mileage for the whole year.  We are not quite there, so we will worry about that next month.

Total Monthly mileage: 255 km

This is up from 217 km in February which is about a 20% increase.

Road race distances to be achieved: 1x21 km, 1x32 km, 1x42 km and a 15 km club run

March is a time of high mileage, and we should try, barring injury, to get in a long run once a week.

Highlight of the month: To qualify for the Comrades marathon

What a highlight!  You decided on running this year's Comrades marathon many months ago.  You had to hand in your entry form last year, even before qualifying.  Now, after qualifying for Comrades, you can consider yourself a starter for running the Comrades this year. Good Luck with the qualifier.

Let's look at the actual daily training required in March this year:

Daily training  - March 2013
Week ending: 3/3 10/3 17/3 24/3
Monday Rest  Rest Rest  Rest 
Tuesday 10 km 10 km 10 km  10 km
Wednesday  8 km 12 km 10 km  8 km
Thursday  10 km  10 km 10 km 8 km 
Friday Rest  Rest Rest Rest
Saturday Rest 10 km 15 km Rest
Sunday 32 km 21 km 15 km 42 km 
Race Striders Sarens Club run Jackie Gibson
Total 60 km 63 km 60 km 68 km

Let's look at the what races are on offer in the Central Gauteng region in March this year:

Fixture list for the Gauteng area for March 2013
Date  Race Name KM Venue 
Sunday 3 March 2013 Striders 32 km 32 km, 15 km & 5 km Springs Rugby Club
Sunday 10 March 2013 Zoo Trot 10 km & 5 km 10 km & 5 km Johannesburg Zoo
Sunday 10 March 2013 Sarens Edenvale Marathon 42.2 km, 21.1 km & 5 km Edenvale High School
Sunday 17 March 2013 32Gi Gallopers 8 km & 5 km Run/Walk 8 km & 5 km Laerskool Leondale
Sunday 24 March 2012 Springbok Pharmacy Jackie Gibson Marathon & Half  42.2 & 21 km Klipriviersberg Recreation Centre
Saturday 30 march 2013 The Sense of Unity 10 km Walk/Run 10 km Boksburg City Stadium

 See you in April .......

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