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Comrades training - May 2015

Training for the Comrades 2015

The final countdown

If you go to the official Comrades marathon web site at the beginning of May 2015 you will see the "Countdown" shows 29 days to go! Comrades 2015 is just around the corner. The main goal of the month of May, leading up to Comrades is to get to that start line injury free!  To best achieve this, we will taper our training in May, by cutting back on our training by around 10 - 15 % each week.

Let's look at the goals for May 2015 in more detail:

    1. To taper our training by running approximately 10 - 15 % less each week

In April, all being well with no injuries, you would have run an Ultra marathon as well as your second standard marathon for the year. You should now start to decrease your weekly mileage by decreasing the length of the long Sunday run from week to week. The Sunday long run will go from 32 km to 21 km to 10 km.  In Gauteng, these distances are well catered for by running the Colgate 32 km, the Randburg 21 km and the RAC 10 km races. (see below)

    2. To get to the start line of Comrades as injury free as possible.

If you haven't had an ideal build up in the months leading up to Comrades, the month of May is NOT the time to make up mileage.  The most common time to pick up an injury is around this time of the year, when you have your very long runs. If you have picked a small injury, please cut down even more than the recommended 10 - 15% per week. If fact, many a minor injury will settle if you back off ALL running for a few weeks at this time.  Don't worry about losing fitness at this time by resting for a few days, or even a few weeks if you have to, you will still have all the residual fitness you have spent so much time and effort building up.

    3. To line up on the day well rested so that you are looking forward to the big day with anticipation

If a runner subjects his/her body to the high mileage for too long a period, the body will break down with an injury. Also, high mileage running  leaves a runner sapped of energy, and over trained. So the focus now turns to running less every week, to start letting the body build up strength again.  By race day, you should ideally be slightly under trained, slightly over weight, and keen to run.

Total weekly mileage: 67 km, 61 km, 50 km, 43 km, 100 km

From a weekly mileage of around 70 km when you ran the Ultra Marathon, the mileage drops by around 10 - 15%  per week.

Total Monthly mileage: 286 km (including Comrades)

There is 206 km of training before running the Comrades Marathon. Aside from the Sunday runs, no run should be more than 10 km.

Road race distances to be achieved: 1x32 km, 1x 21 km, 2x 10 km and the Comrades Marathon

The race calendar this year is almost exactly the same as last year.

On Sunday 3 May there is the Colgate 32 km, which fits in perfectly 2 weeks after the Loskop Ultra marathon.

On Sunday 10 May there is the Adrienne Hersch Half Marathon & 10 km Challenge, which also fits very well into our Comrades Taper.

On the last two Sundays of the month before Comrades, one need only run a maximum of 10 km.  The RAC The Sweat Shop/Asics 10 km on Sunday 17 May is also perfectly placed for this. There is no official run on Sunday 24 May, one week before the Comrades marathon, and so a nice easy relaxed 10 km jog is all that's needed at this time.

With the Comrades Marathon falling out on a Sunday nowadays, it gives you the maximum time to rest after the weekend's running.  You might want to do two 5 km runs at the beginning of the week, but then please use the remaining three days to rest and recover.

Highlight of the month: To run the Comrades marathon

No doubt, the highlight of the year!  Finally, after a complete year of dedicated training, you are about to fulfill you ultimate goal of running the 2015 Comrades Marathon! Good luck!

Lets look at the actual daily training required in May this year:

Daily training  - May 2015
Week ending:  3/5 10/5 17/5 24/5 31/5
Monday Rest  Rest Rest Rest Rest 
Tuesday 10 km  10 km 10 km 10 km  5 km
Wednesday  15 km 10 km 10 km 8 km  5 km
Thursday  10 km  10 km 10 km  10 km Rest 
Friday Rest  Rest Rest  Rest  Rest 
Saturday Rest 10 km 10 km 5 km  Rest 
Sunday 32 km 21 km 10 km 10 km 90 km
Race Colgate Randburg RAC Club Run Comrades
Total 67 km 61 km 50 km 43 km 100 km

Full list of Gauteng races May 2015:
Race date Race KM Venue
Friday 1 May 2015 Soweto Big Race 10 km Run/Walk 10 km Rockville Alyak Stadium
Friday 1 May 2015 Jaguars Athletic Club Half Marathon 21.1 km Ext 9 Sports Grounds
Sunday 3 May 2015 Colgate 32 km & 15 km 32 km & 15 km Boksburg City Stadium
Sunday 10 May 2015 Adrienne Hersch Half Marathon & 10 km Challenge 21.1 km & 10 km Randburg Central Sports Complex
Sunday 17 May 2015 RAC The Sweat Shop/Asics 10 km 10 km Old Parktonian Sports Club
Sunday 24 May 2015 Vuyo Mbuli Memorial 10 km & 5 km 10 km & 5 km James & Ethel Gray Park
Sunday 31 May 2015 Vulture Conservation 10 km & 5 km Run/Walk  10 km & 5 km Johannesburg Zoo Centenary Lawn

As with previous years, this column will continue in June giving training advice to both the novice runner as well as to those who have run the Comrades marathon before.  June is the time for the complete novice to start out "on the road" and the programme will start from scratch at the beginning of June 2015.

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