Have Your Say - November 2009 (Edition 6)

Get Ready to Race!


After my first Comrades this year (finished in 11:37), I started training for the Kaapsehoop Marathon in November with the goal of fi nishing it in a sub 4:00. I finished the Durban Marathon yesterday in 4:34, but had planned to finish in sub 4:20. I seem to fade away after about 28km and am unable to convert my 21km times into 42km. I run out of endurance. I do run at least 21km weekly. I run five days a week with a rest day on Monday and Friday. Could it be that I need to run slower when I train?

Welcome to the wonderful Comrades family. Well done on your 11:37 finish. With your obvious commitment to your training and the fact that you are thinking about how to improve, I know that you will bring this time down.

What’s missing in your training is defi nitely longer Sunday runs. From now until the Kaapsehoop Marathon (7 November 2009), I suggest the following Sunday runs:

  • 4 October 2009 – 25km
  • 11 October 2009 – 30km
  • 18 October 2009 – 32km
  • 25 October 2009 – 32km
  • 1 November 2009 – 21km

These runs should be over fairly easy courses and must be training runs NOT races. You are racing far too much. Although we often go to races with the view to using the race as a training run, we invariably still run harder than we should. Remember that on your Sunday training runs you water and/or a cooldrink and therefore resting. As you progress through October, your weekly distance will increase with these longer Sunday runs. You need to get your weekly distance up to about 75km. Your average pace on your daily runs is okay but I would suggest you try to train a little faster not slower. To break four hours, you need to run at 5:40 minutes a km. You should therefore try to do some of your training at 5:30 minutes and below.

A last piece of advice: ensure you rest up in the week before your race. Your last run should be on the Tuesday leaving three days of no running. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Barry Holland

37 Comrades and 22 silvers

Barry is a running veteran. He has been hitting the roads for the better part of 37 years and is the perfect person to dispense advice to enthusiasts of the sport.