Bill Rowan Medal Programme 2020


Comrades 2020 Bill Rowan Program by Lindsey Parry – Official coach of the Comrades Marathon Association:

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Part 2 of your Comrades Journey starts now. Most of you SHOULD have been ready to run a Marathon in November or December 2019, while some of you are still needing to qualify. The principles of this programme remain the same, to finish Comrades in under 9hrs you must be consistent and remain healthy/injury free. You will be expected to do a lot more work than the bronze programme but you should not be broken/exhausted all the time

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 better your adaptation and lower the impact on how tired you feel when running. My suggestion is to do your strength training on 1 of your 2 rest days in the week, and on a shorter day, 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 who have run sub 9hr30
  • Comrades Novices who can run a half Marathon in sub 1hr45
  • Comrades Novices who have come close to/or have broken 3hrs40 for a Marathon

If you do not fall into these categories, then read through the introduction to the Bronze programme to select the appropriate programme. DO NOT follow this programme thinking that the extra mileage will guarantee a finish. The biggest single threat to you finishing Comrades is getting injured and/or sick, 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 be capable of running a sub 3:30 marathon before Comrades. However if you DID NOT achieve that last year, we will not attempt to do so this year as this will affect your training in the closing and most important months.

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.

You will be required to run 2 Marathons and an Ultra Marathon AS TRAINING RUNS, note that a minimum of 3 weeks should pass between marathons or between marathons and ultras.

Training Paces:

Easy (E): 5:10-5:40/km
Long (L): 5:20-5:50/km
Recovery (rec): 5:50-6:10/km
Firm: 4:40-4:50/km
Hills: 4:40-4:45/km
1km: 4:10-4:15/km
400m: 3:55-4:00/km

These paces are a guide for someone who is training for a 3hr30 Marathon, aim to run at or around these paces taking note of how easily you recover.

Enjoy the training!

Download the 2020 Bill Rowan training plan Jan - June 2020: Download

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Jan     45min E 1hr E REST 1hr15 E 1hr30 L
6 Jan REST 45min E 1hr E 45min rec REST 1hr E 1hr15 E
13 Jan REST E 15min; 6x2min hill repeats; E 10min 1hr E 45min rec REST 1hr30 L 2hrs L
20 Jan REST E 15min; 7x2min hill repeats; E 10min 1hr10 E 45min rec REST 1hr45 L 2hr15 L
27 Jan REST E 15min; 8x2min hill repeats; E 10min 1hr20 E 45min rec REST    

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