Planning for the Comrades
Did you know?
Completing an accredited 42.2 kilometre road race qualifies you for the Comrades.
Planning for the Comrades Marathon, held mid-year on a 90-kilometre route between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal province, makes the difference between plain sailing and pure hell on the day.
Watching the athletes on telly, as most of us do, you can see who is in crisis and who is running as if wind-supported. And, chances are, the way they look is all about their Comrades preparation.
If it looked so good and so exciting you want to shift from being a couch potato to a road runner – and you want to begin planning for the Comrades right now – no sweat, there are programmes available to help you on the Comrades website, at sports clinics and through running clubs all over South Africa.
The first recommendation is that you see your doctor for a medical checkup. Once he has given the all-clear, then it's time to start preparing for the Comrades.
Which is generally done by novices in deep winter the year before the race, with 3 gentle 3-kilometre runs on a field every week – these are the necessary baby steps to becoming a marathon runner.
At some stage, you will progress to being able to run 10 kilometres, and then your first half-marathon awaits you. Many runners prefer the half-marathon to any other distance.
The veterans will begin seriously training 4 months before the Comrades, and will start eating right for the event, which involves what is known as carbo-loading. Although it sounds like mountains of lasagna, good carbo-loading involves healthier foods like cereals, fruits, potatoes and 'clean pasta' – without all the fatty sauces.
If you join a group of like-minded runners, you can keep each other company through the long winter months, the pain and the pleasure of being able to easily (and safely) complete one of life's great ultra marathons.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
For more information contact the Comrades Marathon Association on +27 (0) 33 897 8650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org