Social media platforms would have us believe that Comrades is run in January; such is the hype around this iconic race on 1 January. It is however only now in January that we should really be hitting our straps, I think of 4 March as the true start of Comrades Season.

Provided you have been consistent and slowly built up over the previous 8-12 weeks, this is the period you will look to really get strong and fit. With that there are some “rules” we must abide by to ensure we can line up injury free.

  1. No more racing.

This applies to marathons and ultras. They should not be raced and you do not want to be chasing seeding in your peak training block. For those who need to qualify, you should aim to run at the minimum possible effort to qualify and essentially use the race as a training run.

You can run the odd Parkrun, 10km or half marathon race to test your fitness but these should be spread out and be done a maximum of 2-3 times over the coming 15 weeks.

  1. Ensure there are at least 3 weeks between any marathons, ultras or big training weekends (Route in 3 days, Easter 100 etc)
  1. If you pick up any injury, rest and treat. 68% of the runners who do not finish Comrades start with an injury. Make sure you start injury-free.
  1. Sleep as well as you can, even if you are only getting 30-60 minutes more than usual, this will make a huge difference to your recovery.
  1. Don’t focus on other runners’ training. Stick to the programme, be patient and have confidence in what you are doing.

Good luck through March, this is the first of your 2 big building blocks for Comrades.