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Comrades training - Sept 2012

Comrades 2013

A detailed look at the September 2012 training programme

The beginning of September has now become a critical time for prospective Comrades runners.  This is the time when you have to enter for the race, and there is a very small window of opportunity to do so.

Entries for next year's 'up-run' open on Saturday 1 September 2012 and entries close either on 30 November 2012, or as soon as the full allocation of places has been reached.  So while officially you might have three months in which to enter, the reality is that the entries will close once the cap of 18,000 runners has been reached, and this may well be before the 30 November.

I have no idea how long it could take for 18 000 runners to enter for the Comrades marathon, but I would urge you to enter as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.  Who knows, all the available entries could be snapped up in a matter of hours!

Although the official Comrades site clearly states that no extensions will be given, the good news is that the Substitution Rule, used for the first time last year, will once again apply to next year's race. This will happen during the month of April 2013 and more details may be found online at www.comrades.com

To enter, there is an Online Entry system, and runners can choose between entering on the Mr. Price Heroes Online Entry System, or directly using the Comrades Online Entry Form.  See the official Comrades marathon site for more details.

Once again, runners will be able to enter before they qualify. This means while all entries will have to meet the entry criteria, runners will still be allowed to qualify in official qualifying races up until 6 May 2013. Upon qualification, runners simply need to give the time and details of the qualifying race through to the CMA office. Upon receiving the qualifying information the runner's entry will be confirmed.

Training for the Novice runner:

Last month, we outlined the highlights of every month of the "Comrades year". Starting with the first month of training, June 2012, all the way to the last month, May 2013, just before the Comrades Marathon on Sunday 2 June 2013.

See last month's article for the whole year's training at a glance.

Let's now look at the highlights of Month 4, September 2012:


    1. To run two further 10 km races.
    2. To build up the weekly mileage of between 20 - 25 km per week.
    3. To stay injury free.

Total weekly mileage: 18 km, 20 km, 20 km, 20 km

Total Monthly mileage: 86 km

Road race distances to be achieved: 2x10 km

Highlight of the month: none

Let's look at this in greater detail:


1. To run two further 10 km races.

Having completed your first official 10 km race last month, you are now "on the road".  Whereas in August you were averaging between 15 km and 20 km, this month we would like to see you averaging around 20 km on a consistent basis.

Mentally you should now start believing in yourself, and that you are on the way to the Comrades start line at the Durban City Hall, come Sunday 2 June 2013.

This year there is a 10 km race every Sunday of the month!  See below at the bottom of this article.  I would suggest choosing two of them to run in September.

Firstly, the Fred Morrison 10 km race on 16 September from the Germiston Stadium, which has changed from a 15 km race to a 10 km race.

Secondly, the AHP Zoo Fun Run/Walk - 10 km & 5 km  run  on 30 September, from the Johannesburg Zoo. This is a new race on the calendar, and sounds well worth exploring.

While the other 10 km races are both excellent alternatives, running the two races suggested above allows excellent recovery from your first 10 km race last month, as well as between the two races.

2. To build up the weekly mileage of between 20 - 25 km per week.

By running a mixture of 3 km and 5 km training runs you will very easily maintain the required 20 km per week.

You will be running 4 times a week, except for the weekend of the 10 km race, where you can take a well earned rest the day before the race.

3. To stay injury free.

Keep all runs at a "LSD" pace.  i.e. Long, Slow, Distance.  This will allow the runner to get used to running the longer distances and at the same time decreasing the chances of picking up an overuse injury.

Total Monthly mileage:

Don't place too much emphasis on this monthly figure, as this can change depending on how the days fall out each month. Still, it gives you some kind of indication of the increase in mileage from the month before.

In August the exact mileage was 78 km, and in September it will be 86 km. That's almost a 15 percent increase, and is nice and slow, especially for this time of the year.

Road race distances to be achieved:

Two races of 10 km is all that is needed in the month of September 2012.  Run a relaxed 5 km jog on the remaining two Sundays.

Highlight of the month:

Although I mention no highlight for this month, running another two 10 km races could well be considered a highlight.

You will have gathered experience from your first outing last month, and hopefully you will enjoy these runs even more than the first one.

See this table for the breakdown of the novice daily training:

Novice runner's daily training  - September 2012
Week ending: 9/9 16/9 23/9 30/9
Monday  Rest Rest  Rest Rest 
Tuesday 5 km 5 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 3 km Rest 5 km Rest
Sunday 5  km 10 km 5 km 10 km
Race Fred Morrison Bonitas 
Total 18 km 20 km  20 km  20 km


The Regular runner:

Goals for regular runners - September 2012:

    1. To get back into a regular running pattern after a long post Comrades lay-off.
    2. To maintain a steady 35 - 40 km per week.
    3. To complete three 10 km runs, as well as a half marathon.

This year there is a 10 km race every Sunday of the month! There is also an alternative of doing a half marathon at three of the four runs.

Doing three 10 km races and one half marathon is a nice easy "return to running" following the Comrades lay-off.  Try keeping your weekly mileage to a maximum of between 35 - 40 km per week.

Have a look at this table to see the whole month at a glance:

Regular runner's daily training  - September 2012
Week ending: 9/9 16/9 23/9 30/9
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 10 km
Friday Rest  Rest Rest  Rest 
Saturday Rest 5 km 5 km  Rest
Sunday 10 km 10 km 10 km 21 km
Race Gerald Fox Fred Morrison Daxina Bonitas 
Total 30 km  35 km 35 km  41 km


For completeness I have listed below all the races in the Gauteng region during September 2012.

If you live outside the Gauteng region, simply substitute a race of similar distance.

Complete list of races in Gauteng for September 2012
Race date Race KM Venue
Sun 9 September 2012 Gerald Fox Memorial 21.1 & 10 km  21 km & 10 km Johannesburg Zoo
Sun 16 September 2012 Fred Morrison 10 km  10 km Germiston Stadium
Sun 23 September 2012 Daxina Half Marathon 21 km & 10 km & 5 km Lenasia South East Community Centre 
Sun 30 September 2012 AHP Zoo Fun Run/Walk - 10 km & 5 km  10 km & 5 km Johannesburg Zoo
Sun 30 September 2012 Bonitas City-to-City Ultra Marathon, Half Marathon & 10 km  21 km & 10 km Centurion Rugby Club

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