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February 19, 2019

What a difference a couple of years can make when you know what to expect! This year I may have been a little lax in posting on this blog (it will change in the next few weeks that’s for sure), but the same cannot be said for the training. OK, I’m not covering distances that I know many others around the world that train for Comrades are already covering, but I am comfortable knowing I can afford to search for consistency rather than volume at this stage with the qualifier done and dusted when those runners who are covering long distances are also training for their qualifying race or for their big Two Oceans 56km ultra in April.

This is a good time to reflect upon past experiences and to compare what I’ve done in the last 2 years to this stage of the year to 2019. My first attempt at Comrades was in 2017, and given to that stage I hadn’t successfully completed any event beyond marathon distance (42.195km) it was fair to suggest I struggled to work out what I needed to do in order to prepare properly. This is the Strava record for my runs in the first 2 months of that year, with the green dot being a run on Mt Coot-Tha deviating onto a trail as opposed to the road, and the red dot being a half marathon race in Wangaratta.

After learning more than imagined in South Africa later that year, there was much more determination to succeed in 2018. It was fair to say however the training was far from what I had intended, and a few niggles didn’t help the cause. Getting off my lazy butt though was probably an issue I should have overcome, for doing the work at that time of the year would set the trend for the remainder of the campaign. Of course the niggles in my calf prevented me from running in Wangaratta last year even though I had made the trip, something that I will be rectifying this weekend.

Having had a pair of failures I figured starting well in terms of getting kilometres in my legs in January and February would be key to success not only in my lead in runs throughout the later months, but also it would prove to myself that I am not that lazy. Sure moving into new premises prior to Easter last year helped, especially now that I don’t have to be stepping on egg shells in waking multiple people up should I want to go on early morning training runs. Yes I am still trying to get close to getting the distances that some others recommend doing. Sure I’d like to be able to overcome heat and humidity more effectively knowing that if I can manage fatigue and hydration well in the warmer months I can easily do it when (or if) the weather gets cooler. But the raw figures at least this year show that I am doing a lot more work than previous years and I’m feeling much more positive about future prospects.


This weekend sees me head back to Wangaratta, and this time I will be again running the half marathon on Sunday Morning. If I hadn’t completed the qualifying run last year in Auckland, I would have been completing the full marathon in an effort to get the qualifying time nailed so that the events I’m doing in April (the Canberra Ultra and the Cairns Marathon, which I have entered after consultation with Comrades coach Lindsay Parry, WEBSITE FOUND HERE) can be used as low pressure training runs rather than high pressure high stakes elimination races. The aim for this weekend is just to spend time on the feet, to spend time running in a group as opposed to solo which I’ve been doing for all bar a solitary parkrun on Australia Day, and to finish around the 2 hour marker. If I recall the course correctly, there are some grass sections on this course which is a little different to pounding the pavement (I’ll probably need to try to run a little “softer” on these sections to get through slightly easier), as well as some paths where I’ve got to try to time overtaking moves around slower runners and walkers so that those coming in the opposite direction aren’t affected and so I’m not held up and have to constantly alter the stride pattern and rhythm to keep moving forward.

In terms of a schedule, I am at least now able to confirm much of where I’ll be running and training on many weekends up to Comrades day, although this list is subject to change at any time.

24 FEB: Wangaratta Half Marathon
10 MAR: Port Macquarie Treble Breakwall Buster (21.1 + 10 + 5)
14 APR: Canberra Ultra Marathon (50km)
19-22 APR: Easter Weekend in Melbourne, hopeful of 2-3 training runs during this week to recover/remain sharp, hoping for 25+ kilometres on the Sunday with pace no concern
28 APR: Cairns Marathon (Course isn’t the most appealing in some ways after the half way mark, but it’s the inaugural event so a chance to make history can never be sneezed at. Plus there may be a couple of other Comrades runners appearing)
5 MAY: Wings for Life World Run, Melbourne (like last year, this is a chance to run on motorways which given this year is an UP run and the first section of the race is run on motorways is valuable practice)
19 MAY: Hell On Coot-tha training run, Brisbane (As long as work plays ball I’ll definitely head down to train with some of the South East Queensland based runners)
2 JUNE: Flight Night, PER-JNB-CPT, arriving 3 June just after Lunchtime for a couple of days in Cape Town
5 JUNE: Flight Day, CPT-DUR
6 JUNE: Race Pack Collection, Internationals Run
8 JUNE: North Beach Parkrun (remember the barcode, and to take it relatively easy)
9 JUNE: COMRADES DAY!!!!!!!!!!
You will notice that Rocky River Run is missing from the list, that is now going to be run 2 weeks AFTER Comrades. I’ll look to just run 20-25km on that Sunday before tapering off.


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