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Comrades training - November 2012

Training for the 2013 Comrades Marathon

A detailed look at the November 2012 training programme

November is all about running a 32 km race!  Since the beginning of the training programme there have been two separate training programmes.  One for novice runners and a more advanced one for more experienced runners.
November will be the last month where there are still two separate programmes.

From the beginning of December the two programmes will merge and the training will be identical for all runners aiming to finish the Comrades Marathon in a time of 9 - 12 hours.

Let's look at the training for November 2012 for the novice runner:


1. To run a 21 km race, and then the RAC Tough One - 32 km !!

Once again the races offered in the Gauteng province are more or less the same as in previous years.

On the first Sunday, 4 November, there is the Nedbank Soweto City Marathon & 10 km.  Obviously, don't enter for the marathon, but rather run the 10 km race.

On the second Sunday, the 11th November, there is the Sportsman's Warehouse 10 km and 5 km race, and the 10 race will be the preferred one to run. There is a new race, also on Sunday 11 November.  This is the Zoo Trot 10 km & 5 km Run/Walk run from the Centenary Lawn at the Johannesburg Zoo. Sounds like a nice run, with the 10 km option being the one to run.

Running a half marathon over this weekend (two weeks before the Tough One 32 km race, which is on Sunday 25 November), would be preferable to running 10 km at this stage. See below regarding running the Warmbad/Bela-Bela half marathon from the Warmbad Hoerskool on Saturday 10 November.

Should you choose to run one of the 10 km races on the Sunday, try run a 10 km training run on the Saturday as well, to bring the total distance run for the weekend up to 20 km.

On Sunday 18 November, the third Sunday of the month, there are no formal races on offer.  Having just run a half marathon the week before and having to run a 32 km race the following week, all that is required is a gentle easy 10 km run.  Most probably it is an advantage that there is no formal run and you can have a relaxed "Club Run" of 10 km without any pressure of running to a good time.

The last Sunday of the month, 25 November stages the running of the RAC "Tough One".  This 32 km race is the highest goal of the year and if you can achieve this and be injury free to boot, you are well on your way to completing next year's Comrades marathon!

December will be a "recovery month" where, although we will maintain a weekly average of 40 km, no run in December is longer than 10 km!! So don't despair, you can take the December holidays nice and easy.

2. To maintain a weekly mileage of about 30 - 40 km per week.

This month is quite a tough month for the novice where we will increase the weekly mileage to around 30 - 40 km per week.  The novice programme differs from the regular runner's programme in that the novice runner would generally run two runs during the week of either 5 km or 7 km, followed by a long run on the Sunday. The regular runner would be running two 10 km runs instead. For all runners, if the Sunday run is only around 10 km, an extra training run on the Saturday is added in to boost the weekly distance.

3. To stay injury free.

Once again, all runs should be "LSD" type running.  L - Long, S - Slow and D - Distance, as opposed to shorter runs, which incorporate speed work.

Here is the day-by-day training for November in the Gauteng area:

Novice runner's daily training  - November 2012
Week ending: 4/11 11/11 18/11 25/11
Monday  Rest  Rest  Rest Rest 
Tuesday 7 km 7 km 5 km 5 km
Wednesday  Rest Rest Rest Rest
Thursday  5 km 5 km 5 km 5 km
Friday Rest  Rest Rest Rest 
Saturday 7 km 21 km 10 km Rest 
Sunday 10 km Rest 10 km 32 km
Race Soweto Warmbad/Bela-Bela Club Run Tough One
Total 29 km 33 km  30 km  42 km

Let's now look at the training required during November 2012 for the regular runner:

The Sunday runs are identical to that of the novice programme.

On Sunday 4 November, run the 10 km race of the Nedbank Soweto City Marathon & 10 km.

On Sunday 11 November, choose between the 10 km race of the Sportsman's Warehouse 10 km and 5 km race or the Zoo Trot 10 km & 5 km Run/Walk. See below for the venue of these two races.

The day before these two 10 km races, Saturday 10 November there is an ideal half marathon which I recommended last year in this column.  This is the Warmbad/Bela-Bela half marathon, run this year from a new venue, the  Warmbad Hoerskool. Although it is really outside the Gauteng area, I would recommend runners living in Gauteng to consider it.

There are also options for family members not training for Comrades to run the 5 km Fun Run/Walk starting at 7 am. All finishers receive a medal!  There is also the option of running the 10 km ladies race, starting at 6.30 am. Actually both men and women can run this race, but prize money will only go to the women.  There is also a 42.2 km marathon option starting at 5.30 am, and this is a Two Oceans and Comrades Qualifier.

The Warmbad/Bela Bela half marathon fits perfectly with your preparation for the "Tough One" two weeks later.

On the third Weekend of the month (Saturday 17 November and Sunday 18 November), with there being no formal races on offer, I would suggest a 10 km training "club run" on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

That will take you up to the last Sunday of the month, 25 November where you will be running the RAC "Tough One".

The mileage for regular runners stays around 40 km/week and will remain at 40 km/week all the way through the December holidays.

Come 1 January 2013, the mileage will start to build up.

Goals for regular runners - November 2012:

    1. To run a half marathon, and then the RAC 32 km Tough One.
    2. To maintain a steady 40 km per week.
    3. To stay injury free.

Daily training programme  - November 2012
Week ending: 4/11 11/11 18/11 25/11
Monday  Rest  Rest  Rest Rest 
Tuesday 10 km 10 km 10 km 10 km
Wednesday  Rest Rest Rest Rest
Thursday  10 km 10 km 10 km 7 km
Friday Rest  Rest  Rest  Rest 
Saturday 10 km 21 km 10 km Rest 
Sunday 10 km Rest 10 km 32 km
Race Soweto Warmbad/Bela-Bela Club Run Tough One
Total 40 km 41 km  40 km  49 km

Race calendar for November 2012 for the Gauteng region
Race date  Race KM Venue
Sun 4 November 2012 Soweto City Marathon & 10 km 42.2 & 10 km Soweto
Wed 7 November 2012 Rowlin National Brokers 15 km & 5 km Nite Race 15 & 5 km Benoni Northerns Sports Grounds 
Sat 10 November 2012 Warmbad/Bela Bela Marathon, Half 10 km & 5 km 42.2, 32, 10 & 5 km Hoerskool Warmbad
Sun 11 November 2012  Zoo Trot 10 km & 5 km Run/Walk 10 & 5 km Centenary Lawn, Johannesburg Zoo
Sun 11 November 2012 Sportsman's Warehouse 10 & 5 km 10 & 5 km Princess Crossing Shopping Centre
Sun 25 November 2012 RAC City Lodge Tough One 32 km and Asics 5 km 32 & 5 km Old Parktonian Club

See you in December  for some advice on "Holiday training"..

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