Comrades Marathon training – June 20 to July 17

Based on training schedules of the late Don Oliver, Comrades Coach. Adapted and edited by Tom Cottrell.

The month that counts   

Your June – July Training Programme

Objective: To complete your second ultra-marathon of 50 kilometres using a sensible mixture of running and walking, within a time limit of 5 hours 30 minutes.

How to measure if you have achieved it: Complete a second 50 kilometre ultra-marathon around 2nd to 10th July in 5hrs 30mins.

How to achieve it:

1.         Watch your time management in the 50 km Ultra Try 2 hrs 35 mins for half way and 2 hrs 50 mins second half.  Finish in 5 hrs 25 mins.  Run to your Pacing Chart.  Enjoy the: ”Down Run” Ultra.  Good training!

 2.        Study your weekly training programme and look forward to getting in some good long runs during June/July. “Time on your Feet” that’s what counts.  Then you’ll have a good month of July.

 3.        Believe that it is only reasonable to expect to do a few 50 kilometre runs if we really intend to do 87 kilometres at end August.  

 4.        Under no circumstances try to extend yourself in this period.  Reduce your speed and walk at each refreshment table.  Walk hills to avoid exerting yourself.  Rest by walking/running your eight kilometre run two days after the ultra-marathon.

  • Look forward to the end of July when we will wind down for four weeks before the Comrades.  You will have earned it.  Be patient in June, you must not peak too early.
  • Be strict with yourself.  Recover gently during the week.  No racing at all at any distance between 5 and 50 kilometres. There IS only one race.
  • We have two races in this June – July period. You will be getting time on the road and kilometres in plus race experience.
  • We like to get on the road for a long run – the longer the better.  Makes it easier on Comrades Day when the going gets tough.
  • Use these long runs to get kit and mind right for Comrades.
  • We’ll show them at Comrades – we’ll never look tired.
  • I’m glad I prepared thoroughly so I can really enjoy Comrades Day – no worries.
  • Get used to using a pacing chart. It will be a “Safe Bronze”, that’s 10 hrs 45 mins.
  • Arrange for someone to record Comrades on TV for you while you are in Durbs – see what you really looked like.
  • Follow the programme below at a low effort.  There are no typing errors, just get out and do it.  You’ll benefit on Comrades day.  Above all be patient in June – do too much and you’ll blow it!
  • When you finish this advice sheet your Menu will tell you it was two Standards and two Ultras.  Absolutely perfect Comrades training.
  • Don’t let the Sunday run on weeks 26 and 28 be more than 25 kilometres.
  • Mentally get ready for your Long Club Run of 62 kilometres – third week of July.

Thought for the month:  “Keep a little bit in hand”