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COMRADES 2020 – EXTREMELY EARLY PLANNING

September 13, 2019

One thing I learned from my days studying (as it turned out unsuccessfully) to be a primary school teacher was that planning was everything. The fact that I couldn’t get my head around the formalities of planning to satisfy what lecturers and tutors were looking for probably played a part in me finding employment in the mail service. Yet for big ticket items such as overseas marathons and ultras, the planning for these begins so early it’s almost impossible for the common person to comprehend what I’m trying to do.

I’m not necessarily talking about physical and mental preparation. Sure I have an idea of when formal training will begin and when I’ll be considering increasing distances and weekly goals, but just how I’m going to do this can still wait until closer to January (I know it’s recommended that I shouldn’t train so specifically for Comrades until late February/early March but many will be looking for qualifiers at that time, something that I already have and in a few weeks will be looking to obtain a better seeding if things go to plan). This planning will revolve around what events I would like to do to build up towards finally achieving what I want, how to get there and other logistics. I guess the inspiration also comes from having to finalise leave requests for 2020, so the timing of this entry can be seen as fitting. This can also be seen as some sort of tentative schedule/to do list leading up to June 14 next year.

OCTOBER 2019

– Race Entry procedure to be released on October 2. At this stage anticipating costs to be similar to previous years so finances continually being secured to pay the entry fee.
– Melbourne Marathon October 13, looking for a sub 4:20 run to elevate myself into the F Pen (the 4:23 in Perth on Day 2 of qualifying at this stage gets me into G Pen)

NOVEMBER 2019

– Not part of the Comrades preparations as such, but doing Point to Pinnacle again in Hobart on November 17
– Running in the Singapore Marathon on November 30 (yes it’s a Saturday Night race as opposed to a Sunday Morning race). Part of this is to have a little fun and explore new places, in this case a country where I’ve not set foot outside the airport before. Part of this is to display the national colours (at least unofficially) with the intention of wearing this on C-Day. Part of it is to perhaps try to get sub 4:20 although conditions like Cairns this year and the legs may turn this into a fun event rather than something more serious.

JANUARY 2020

– Formal training to begin January 1, after basically a month off running post Singapore Marathon (to update on that race, all I need to do is book a flight home, just have to decide how I’m getting back into Australia and when I’m required to work on December 2)
– Training week in Brisbane from January 27 to February 1. Accommodation costs to be paid January 23. A week of leave has been requested for that week
– Flights to South Africa to be booked in that week, finances are being secured for this as we speak. At this stage the plan is to spend June 7-9 in Darwin to relax before heading to South Africa. Room in South Africa also tentatively booked from June 10-16. Looking at a minimum $A1700 for this purpose but prices could reduce or increase pending world events and flight availability

FEBRUARY 2020

– Basically a training month. At this point Wangaratta is a possibility pending finances and work commitments as I’m not anticipating seeking time off for travel purposes.

MARCH 2020

– Doing an event on weekend of 7/8 March. At this point looking at Port Macquarie (Treble Breakwall Buster) for the 3rd time, but still outside chance of heading to Orange to run either a half or full marathon.
– Requested a week of long service leave for the following week, partially for travel reasons (difficult to get home from Port Macquarie or Orange on the Monday in time for work) and partially for a training week. Possibility that this could be in Melbourne

APRIL 2020

– April 4/5 is the date given for Canberra. Change in organisers may mean I’ll need to be wary of a price increase. Accommodation booked in Canberra for that weekend, likely to request a day of leave for travel purposes
– Easter weekend (week after Canberra) again in Melbourne. Looking to run on Saturday and Sunday around town.
– Still awaiting confirmation of whether Cairns will take place again in 2020 (was run the weekend after ANZAC Day in 2019), if not I’ll be likely running a half marathon on the Gold Coast on April 26 to enable me to return home that evening.

MAY 2020

– Wings for Life World Run again confirmed on first weekend of May (May 3, Sunday Night). Considering option of whether to run the Puffing Billy race that morning or just travelling to Melbourne that morning, staying one night and returning home on the 4th (a public holiday in Queensland)
– Likely to keep a weekend in late May free in order to have a training run in Brisbane with other South East Queensland based runners. For someone like myself who often trains alone at home this is as good an opportunity to run in a group training run. This year the run was on May 18, some 3 weeks away from Comrades. So far it’s a little too early to predict when this run will happen.
– There has been a report suggesting that the Rocky River Run (my local event) would revert to a late May date rather than the late June date (a week before Gold Coast Marathon) that was used in 2019. No confirmation yet but pending work arrangements should the date revert to May I’ll definitely be running either the half marathon or 10km event as a final training run. If not I’ll treat this day as a normal training run.

JUNE 2020

– With the race a week later than normal (June 14), looking to travel within Australia rather than overseas early with an anticipated departure date of Tuesday June 9. At this point I’m looking to head to Darwin for a couple of days to relax, depending on flight availability.
– Booked Durban accommodation for June 10-16, this time on South Beach as opposed to North Beach (just a few hundred metres extra to travel for the expo, the North Beach parkrun and other activities, but located on the beach front so security and safety isn’t a great concern.

 

There will be additions and subtractions as plans are refined, confirmed or otherwise, and at this stage it’s not going to be overly stressful given there are still a number of months remaining before the training starts, let alone the business of getting off the mark at the 4th attempt becomes reality. For now the focus is on the half marathon in Sydney this Sunday which I’m using as training for Melbourne. It would be nice to get a sub 2 Hour time but time this weekend isn’t everything. It’s all about getting through the distance in reasonable shape knowing this will obviously help for the bigger challenges ahead.

 

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