Isavel Roche-Kelly / Silver Medal Programme 2020


Comrades 2020 Isavel / Silver Program 2020 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 2015, while some of you are still needing to qualify. The principles of this programme remain the same, to finish Comrades in under 7hrs30 you must be consistent and remain healthy/injury free. You will be expected to do a lot more work than the Bill Rowan 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 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 easier running days, 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 8hrs
  • Comrades Novices who can run a half Marathon in sub 85min
  • Comrades Novices who have come close to/or have broken 3hrs for a Marathon


If you do not fall into these categories then read through the introduction to the other programme options 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, 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 E on the E days. I must again emphasise here that being injury free and consistent in your training is the key to a successful race, E 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 3:00 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 2 Ultra Marathons AS TRAINING RUNS, note that a minimum of 3 weeks should pass between marathons or between marathons and ultras.

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

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Training Paces:
Easy (E): 4:35-5:10/km
Long (L): 4:45-5:15/km
Recovery (rec): 5:00-5:30/km
Firm: 4:10-4:20/km
Hills: 4:05-4:13/km
1km: 3:34-3:43/km
400m: 80-83sec


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

Enjoy the training!

Download the 2020 Isavel / Silver Plan Jan - June 2020: Download

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Jan 45min rec 1hr E 1hr30 L 1hr E REST 1hr45 L 1hr E
6 Jan 45min rec 1hr E 1hr15 E 1hr E REST 1hr30 L 1hr15 E
13 Jan 45min rec E 15min; 6x2min hill repeats; E 10min 1hr10 E 1hr E REST 1hr30 L 2hrs L
20 Jan 45min rec E 15min; 8x2min hill repeats; E 10min 1hr20 E 1hr10 E REST 1hr E; 30min Firm 2hrs20 L
27 Jan 45min rec E 15min; 10x2min hill repeats; E 10min 1hr30 L 1hr20 E REST    

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