Running Logic-Assumptions

Excerpts from The Logic of Running©,  a work about,well, the logic of running.


Training for Comrades is simple really.

  • You need to run. Training takes place outdoors, well out of bedroom-, office-, pub- and other-distraction-doors, preferably on tar, preferably on hills.
  • Training means putting distance and strength in your legs.
  • You need to get your drinking and eating right before, during and after every run, to support your running.
  • You need to get your internal systems from the cardio-vascular to the endocrine systems in shape to support your ultra-running
  • You need to allow your body to adapt to the training
  • You have the option of doing more than merely going out on the road following a predetermined schedule in pursuit of mammoth mileage. You are not obliged to do more. It’s just a marvellous opportunity to make the most of your time out on roads and trails and finally on the run itself.


Underlying this view on training are the assumptions that:

  • Those enter and train for Comrades actually want to get to the start line and complete the event, really want to get a medal.
  • They want to do if not their very best then at least their best.
  • They understand what they can do now and work to get the strongest they can, then do the most with what their training allows.
  • Those who want to run know that marathon and ultra marathon running are extreme events that carry health risks becasue they are going beyond their design limits. They therefore know or will take steps to ensure that they are healthy enough to take on the challenge. They will equally know that training for ultras carries its own health risks that they will take steps to manage them.
  • They understand the irrational element of ultra-running is merely that they don’t know in detail why the challenge appeals to them. That irrationality isn’t something they need to apply to their training methods.
  • Runners understand that no matter how obvious a problem is it sometimes takes a lot of effort to correct it; that no matter how logical and simple the solution, the desperation of wanting to be strong enough for Comrades can, though it shouldn’t, override the rational easy solution
  • Runners understand, however vaguely that training for and running Comrades is more than just running, more than physical exercise and want to explore a little of the “more”.
  • Runners understand that the full book of training hasn’t yet been written. And even if it has, it would needs to be adapted to each of us, each of us as we train and age and enjoy.
  • All forms of running are good. There is no lesser Comrades or ultra-finisher. Bucket-list runners have a reason for running Comrades as valid as those aiming for a time-driven goal. Even the sundry masochists, chancers and other personality disorder runners are allowed and empowered to run.
  • That completing the training for, doing Comrades and getting a medal is good for your soul even if you get a blister or ten or worse.