The 2nd last phase of training

Building for peak mileage

The recovery week after the 56 km long run is over. It made me sleep long on Saturday and Sunday and miss the Monday run.

Today I wanted to get out the door and did and felt very strong over ~8 km: run 1 of building to the longest week of my Comrades training this year.

Given my average of 50 km a week so far this year, 70 km over 7 days should be about the maximum.

I might just shoot for 80 km by doing my long run on a Sunday and the next long run on the following Saturday, giving me a good base for doing 80 km in 7 days. I have already done 77 km that way before Two Oceans, so 80 km is not that much more. [You see the hold these numbers have one me. But I have to watch that I don’t do too much]

The thing about an 80 km week is that it’s not too far from 89 km- the Comrades distance. There is an old running adage: if you can run it in a week you can run it in a day. So its a nice aim.

89 km would be a big confidence boost but is lots more than 70 km.

I’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to ruin my training by doing too much.



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.

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.