Training

2nd screen

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Part 2 of your Comrades Journey starts now. Some of you may have been ready to run a Marathon in November or December 2017, while many of you are still needing to qualify. The principles of this programme remain the same, to finish Comrades you must build up slowly, become consistent and remain healthy/injury free.

The eccentric load (pounding) on your legs is extremely high, to help prepare for this, strength training is highly recommended for the down run. Strength training is important for both directions, but I feel non-negotiable for the down run.

The earlier you start with your strength programme, the sooner you will be used to the added work and the lower the impact will be on your programme. My suggestion is to do your strength training on 2 of your 3 rest days in the week, leaving at least 1 full day between each gym session. If you have not yet started strength training and have 30min 1-2 times per week then start NOW.

Who should follow this programme?

  • Comrades finishers
  • Comrades Novices who can run a half Marathon in close to 2hrs30
  • Comrades Novices who have come close to/or have broken 5hrs for a Marathon

DO NOT follow other programmes for faster medals thinking that the extra mileage will guarantee a finish. The biggest single threat to you finishing Comrades is getting injured. Place a premium on recovery and ensuring this through following the appropriately designed programme for you.

This programme is time based so people of more experience and greater running ability will get relatively more out of the programme and progress faster. Time based programs also prevent you from settling on a route that you need to run faster every time you do it. It is easier to maintain discipline and run easy on the easy days. I must again emphasise here that being injury free and consistent in your training is the key to a successful race, easy days are there to ensure full recovery, so you can get the most out of every days training.

The aim is to run a sub 5:00 marathon before Comrades. We will aim to qualify in February/March, however you will have until April to do so, so do not panic if it does not work out at the first attempt.

There are recovery weeks built into the programme every 4 weeks, do not be tempted to do more as this will only compromise you later in the programme, leading to injury, illness and under performance in goal races.

Training days are interchangeable, if your club has Time Trials (TT) on a Tuesday or Wednesday you can swap Thursday with one of these days.

The programme is written for a late February to early March marathon. If this does not fit into the available marathons in your area and you cannot travel to a marathon, you can shift the marathon a week or 2 earlier or later as required.

For the dates of races in your area you can go to www.runnersguide.co.za for a full fixture list.

Training Paces:

Easy (E): 7:00-7:30/km

Long (L): 7:10-7:40/km

Recovery (rec): 7:30-8:00/km

These paces are a guide for someone who is training for a 5:00 Marathon, aim to run at or around these paces taking note of how easily you recover.

Enjoy the training!

Download the 2018 Finishers Plan: Download



January training plan
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1 Jan REST 40min E REST 50min E REST 55min E 1hr10 E
8 Jan REST 45min E REST 55min E REST 1hr E 1hr20 E
15 Jan REST 50min E REST 55min E REST 1hr10 E 1hr30 E
22 Jan REST 55min E REST 1hr E REST 1hr20 E 1hr40 E
29 Jan REST 1hr E REST
February training plan
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1 Feb 1hr05 E REST 1hr30 E 2hrs L
5 Feb REST 50min E REST 5km Time Trial REST 1hr E 2hrs20 L
12 Feb REST 1hr10 E REST 1hr10 E REST 1hr30 E 2hrs40 L
19 Feb REST 1hr15 E REST 1hr15 E REST 1hr30 E 3hrs L
26 Feb REST 1hr E REST
March training plan
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1 Mar   45min E REST 20min E Qualifying Marathon if necessary or Training Marathon
5 Mar REST REST REST 30min E REST 45min E 1hr E
12 Mar REST 1hr20 E REST 1hr25 E REST 1hr45 E 3hrs L
19 Mar REST 1hr20 E REST 1hr30 E REST 2hrs E 3hrs30 L
26 Mar REST 1hr20 E REST 5km Time Trial REST 1hr E  
April training plan
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1 Apr   2hrs L
2 Apr REST 1hr E REST 1hr E REST 45min E Marathon or Ultra as training
9 Apr REST REST REST 20min E REST 30min E 45min E
16 Apr REST 1hr20 E REST 1hr30 E REST 1hr30 E 4hrs L
23 Apr REST 1hr20 E REST 1hr30 E REST 2hrs L 4hrs30 L
30 Apr REST            
May training plan
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1 May   1hr E REST 45min E REST 30min E REST or 50-55km Long Run
7 May REST REST REST 45min E REST 1hr E 2hrs L
14 May REST 1hr20 E REST 1hr30 E REST 2hrs L 3hrs L
21 May REST 1hr20 E REST 5km Time trial REST 1hr30 E 2hrs L
28 May REST 1hr E REST 45min E
June training plan
 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1 Jun REST 1hr E 1hr E
4 Jun REST 30min E REST 20min E REST 10min E COMRADES
11 Jun REST REST REST REST REST REST REST
18 Jun REST REST REST REST REST REST REST
25 Jun REST REST REST REST REST REST REST

Training