For all Comrades, south Africa 2013 runners & those wanting to know more
Stevie Michael wrote (see)
Baljc - I used racing flats for the last up run without a problem, so I'd go with whatever you normally use for a marathon.
Stevie Michael - thank you for that. I was really hoping I could use the same shoes for racing and training as for a mara and that's helped put my mind (and wallet!) at rest. Cheers
Bike It / Kevin - Thanks for the info and document.
I think everyone wants a solid pacing strategy when what you're saying (from experience) is that it just doesn't exist until you run the race and see what is in front of you.
Regarding your thoughts on BR time and solid sub 3:20 pace, that definitely pushes me towards a cautious first half approach. It seems a lot of the pacing projections that exist can't really account for how (for a lot of people) hills will wreck most pace predictors.
I guess the best strategy is to pace to avoid cut-offs anc conserver as much energy as possible for the 2nd half.
Stevan - I'm probably a wimp, as the online pace calculators will tell you 3.40 could get you a BR. I took a very easy last 12 miles or so last year once I realised my medal was fixed (mainly walking in with a guy I got talking to), but the last few miles were actually easier than I thought and I think I could have done about 10 hrs if I pushed hard. Thats still a whole hour to find, and an up run to contend with as well. I think the general theory is that the pacing predictors work if your marathon time was set on a hot and hilly course.Obviously most of look for cool and flat marathons....
I think alot depends on what happens on the day. Last down run I had a pb of 3.25 and managed a BR (8.55). This year, going down, my pb was 3.23 (done in December 2011) and was fitter than ever before and did a 9.45 ... it just happened one day and didnt the other!
Agreed Peter def depends on the day. Also wouldn't worry too much on what the qualifier is - i did 3:15 .....in Amsterdam! Complete lack of hills but done to get a B seed and then all training after focussed on long hilly runs - ran 8:38 but everything went very well on the day.On a plus note finally received a Comrades badge!!
Yep, agree with everyone who said that how you feel on the day is a significant factor. All you can do is prepare the best you can and hope that you'll have one of those inexplicable great runs...
This year I went out at a sub-9 pace but only managed to keep it up for the first quarter. I agree with Kevin that you need to be a comfortable 3:20ish marathoner but more importantly you need to put in the necesary long distance work (which I clearly didn't) to have a good chance of a BR...
I'm a good example for once - my marathon PB of 3:20 translated to a 8:48 Comrades. Plus I ran 863miles between Jan 1st and June 3rd with 20+ miles on about half the weeks. I wanted to run 950+ miles which I thought would give me a better chance of a BR but injury prevented it.
Basically I based my whole plan on the advice of a Green Number I met at Abo. He told me 'if you can run 3:25-3:30 in a marathon like this and run 1500km from January to Comrades, then you've got a good chance of a Bill Rowan'
Jeremy - my 2010 numbers are very similar to yours. I ran a 3:14 qualifier and did 8:38 on the day. But as everyone has said, it does very much depend on how the day goes, but wise pace judgement is crucial.
As for the choice of shoes, I asked a similar question on whether lightweight shoes could be used when there was a silver bus thread on the Comrades Forums in 2011. The answer came back along the lines of "I wouldn't want to be carrying any extra weight up all those hills". I ran in Saucony Kinvaras this year. I had no problems other than the standard issue of 2 black toenails on my big toes. No significant problems on the run itself though.
I'm finally running again! Maidenhead Half this past weekend where I ran easy in the first half and hard in the second half to give a 4+ minutes negative split.
Anyone planned their half-marathons, marathons, etc.. for autumn / winter and Comrades seeding ?
I've got Bristol HM weekend after next and then Abingdon marathon a few weeks after that. Also, I fancy doing some marathons as training runs as feel this would be beneficial over always running longer solo.
Is anyone doing any marathons in Midlands / South / South West UK over the next few months / early next year that they would recommend (the lower key and cheaper the better) ?
NB I think there is one in Portsmouth on the 23rd Dec which sounds intriguing, if only for the timing - easy car or train ride from Bristol for me too
Stevan - Portsmouth is a good one to do. I have done it for the past 2 years - it has only been an event for 2 years. It would be good for a decent time other than that would be affected if weather dire as is along seafront prom for quite a ways...out and back. Great event tho.
Had already committed to Berlin next weekend so hoping to use that. Also looking at doing the Thames Trot in early Feb as a 50 mile experiment to gain some experience of longer distances.
Interesting second half of the Zola Budd interview on Marathon Talk this week where she touches on her Comrades down run this year. She ran 8:06 without really training for it.
Thanks for the info Hans - wasn't aware that there was a 50k option as well for Gloucester, tempted (although I might check whether you can switch between options on the day).
OR Portmouth (if shopping duties loom)
Hans / Stevan - I'm doing Chester too, but I'm out of shape so I probably won't use it for the qualifier. I'm also going to try the nearer/cheaper marathon route for training / prep and I've got Luton and Gt Yarmouth booked - both low key I think, but 3 lap courses. Bungay fits that category too, but thats a long way off - 2 laps and was good last year. Halstead gets good reports and I know some people do it, but its only 3 weeks before Comrades.
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