Comrades Training 2012. Another good week

Another 48 km in the legs. A solid 4 weeks at this distance with a 22 km long run in it. I know I could do more. But this base will be fine. Hardly need to recover from the runs anymore.

Copiong with this distance is a good place to be. Unless something goes wrong I can go into Comrades training with a good base for where I have come from, be well recovered and build from there.

The time is right. I can enter a 42.s km marathon soon, recover from that, enjoy end of year easy running and then hit the 24 week Comrades program fresh and strong.

I made an effort to be better hydrated and a chomped an energy bar well before the 4 km hill that comes 15 km into my Saturday long run.

That powered me up. I have now got hill gears and could shift down a couple and cruise up the hill.

Last weekend I tried to tough it out and it was hard. Maybe good training. But hard.

Comrades 2012- Base training

I’ve been thinking lots about running and drinking – the hydration kind not really the beer kind.

Hydration on a long run like Comrades  – which for most goes on for well over 7 hours is, as we all know, very important.

So my thoughts on that soon.

The effort of the these weeks is accumulating. Even recovery runs are hard and I have to recover from the recovery run.

But its okay. Fresh orange juice, muesli,  home-made health bread help. So does sleep.

Compared to last year its all looking good:  Weekly totals between 46 and 50 km are better than last year; running pace easily 30 sec per km faster and still sustainable. I’ll get a rest soon and a 42.2 km marathon before the end of the year.

Its good when running is sustainable and allows me to ramp up distance from time to time.

Comrades 2012 training: Gotta get serious now

Well not too serious.

More like focusing a little more

Last year (2010) this time: recovering from a seriously twisted ankle. Gingerly running maybe 7 km a day, 3 and if I could, 4 times a week. I had my focus and inspiration: in deference to getting older, I wanted just one more medal; one more finish within the cut-off time. I wasn’t sure I would get it but I had the hunger.

This year (2011) this time;-) I have a comfortable base of over 40 km per week and a good 5 day-a-week pattern. I’m not pushing anything much, just strengthening my base so that I can build up from early next year. My internal system are much more in tune after all the consistent running. That makes it easy to find a pace that I can sustain for a couple of hours without any oxygen debt – or quickly recovering on a downhill after the effort of a long up. My comrades quest doesn’t have a focus yet but I’m not worried about that. I know I can do it and if I stay uninjured and healthy things will be just fine and I might even get to the end an hour faster.

Plus warmer weather is coming, I’ll get sunrises on my run. That’s enough to get me out the door.

Plans: lengthen on of my midweek runs; run a 42.2km marathon in November.


1 September

Running logic: you can’t do what you didn’t do. No matter a long day went past the bed time story – Michael and I are re-telling Star Wars 10 – with a glass of wine, while rain came ever harder.

A serious runner would’ve slept to the alarm after 500 sit-ups while reciting lessons of a Training Tome.

I’ll start on 1 September when Comrades entries open. Aargh .. tomorrow … already.

Time to get serious again

Its the end of August and the next few weeks are important. In a very real way ones best Comrades Marathon time is determined by the end of October. After that its one training is about getting strong enough while remaining fresh enough to achieve the best time.

More on this will follow. In the meantime, especially for runners like me who have recovered from this year’s Comrades these weeks in September and October are there there to get right the key ingredient that will take ones Comrades to the best it can be.


For some it might mean getting ones mind right or for doing a run longer than Comrades to get perspective from “the other side”.

For me it will be about doing work to improve my slowing running speeds. That means maintaining a good base weekly-mileage and also doing some effort work, intervals, fartlek, hill intervals, time-trials. Maybe two three-week sessions with a rest between. The second one harder than the first.

At least I have got rid of the ‘flu-like illness I got from the rest of my family. Spring is nearly here. Summer is coming. The warmth will be good, my tan will be richer and sunrise will come closer to my normal running time.

So after 20 min this morning (and that after 10 days of not running at all) all the zest and zip of my running came back to me.

Life looks good again.

A running week

Friday cold wind howling, rest day

Saturday, just feel tired, cold wind howling, wimp the run

Sunday, still tired, cold wind howling, not normally a running day

Monday, I understand that my recovery from Comrades is not yet complete, though my legs are getting perky. Wind cold still howling.

Tuesday, no wind and a perfect light, lusty 8 km, filled with numbers of running. A maths complicated to symbolise but easy to do: 4 with overlays of 4 and 2 deliver 8, 20, 1 like this : 4 days no running, no moon, empty streets; 4 days wind chill, warm bed, fuller dreams; 2 days bouncy legs, glinty eyes, itchy feet. Morning coffee always rich. This a.m.’s 8k stirred up my running residue, polished it in the moon. Then 20 min to delight in its starlit glitter; puffing it up again with sips of coffee. 1 perfect run, you see.

Wednesday, habit recovery day after a run, an indulgence and rememberance day.

Thursday: Yes! Rain on roof. Rummage for technical gear. Not wimping this one. Like a surfer into storm-big waves. Fetch in the last of the kids toys and visitors’ walking shoes Run, winter is come. And gone. Sweat-wet isn’t rain-soak. Even Venus looked through a gap in the clouds. Yet nicely, back at the gate, thumb hesitated over the remote. Maybe another 8k loop? Yes! Not really.

And still there’s Friday to come



Recovery, recovering

The medal still warm in my pocket, my mind turns to next year’s run.

Still another 4 weeks of recovery running before I start my secret plan improve my time:

  • 1 min because its a down run, further sure but easier in a way and it ends at sea level, Toll Gate hill just isn’t Polly’s although that steep little from under the bridge up to the freeway is a real challenge
  • 1.25 minute through training more
  • 1.5 min through training better
  • 1.75 min through losing weight
  • 2 min through less Merlot during training
  • 2.25 min because I got through 2011 in time

Phew, at this rate I’ll get there before the sun goes down. One day I want to finish the Comrades Marathon AND get home again before the sun goes down.

My dreams are cocky. They want more running, faster running, bouncy running.

My legs are wary. They want a massage, arnica oil, ice, rest, Cabernet Savignon.

My mind is happy, my soul, whole.