Bike It

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Sub 3h15

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 23:28

Amazing stuff Slokey - those hills are killers when taken together although each is perfectly runnable in isolation.

I'm not running enough to keep stats for the month.  I'm just happy to get a few miles in at the moment.  Running is somewhat casual with no particular plan except to not run on consecutive days and to run no longer than an hour.  I find myself running my local trails over the modest hills of north of Hampshire.

I am reminded I have a place to Abo too.  It will be a training run I think if I can run that far by mid October.

I tried the ASICS Cumulus 16's today over a modest 3 miles.  The word 'plush' came to mind.  I got so carried away I ran at a pace below 8:30 a mile.  That will never do......

The international tent does sound wonderful Poacher.  In fact it is never far from my mind.  There is a lot of memories for me there.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 10:50
Lorenzo, I'll be living where ever I can find a good job. Ideally I would like to live in Durban or Cape Town. Most jobs are in Jo'burg however. I'm itching to start work again having not been working since March.

I mean I haven't had a drop of alcohol for 100+ days. I did around 4 years without previously.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 08:26

Morning All.  Did someone mention Comrades?  I'm planning to be there too, I just don't know whether I'll be entering as an international runner or a local runner.  I'll be trying to earn my Bill Rowan for the up run, which I missed after tonsillitis and 32 degrees C in 2013.

I picked up my SA visa yesterday.  I now have the right to live there for 3 years and start working there.  Now I just need to find a job, which is proving difficult.  (I got the rejection as General Manager of Two Oceans marathon)

I'm just coming back to running after basically stopping in March after continuing periostitis.  My training is not much at the moment - I keep off road and maximum 6 miles to date and very low pace.  My strength and endurance are coming back but no where near previous levels so far.  Progress, not perfection.....

I took a visit to the ASICS flagship store on Oxford street yesterday.  A computer gait analysis of my static foot and dynamic running confirmed my wonkiness.   Nevertheless I parted with £110 for a pair of Cumulus 16.

I've now been sober for 100+ days now which is essential for me.

Happy Birthday Birch


Comrades 2015

Posted: 24/06/2014 at 14:37
Zuluboy - Chester marathon has been used as a qualifier by others recently. It's actually not a problem for any international to nominate pretty much any marathon.

Comrades 2015

Posted: 21/06/2014 at 11:47

Sounds like you have a good pedigree Zuluboy.  Sounds like your engine is pretty powerful if you've been elite cycling.  It shouldn't be too difficult to channel that into full-on running.  Certainly it sounds like you know the disciple and process of training - just you should become specificities of training to race the up run over 54 miles of hills and heat.


Comrades 2015

Posted: 11/06/2014 at 09:32

I'm in for 2015

I'll be going for my second Bill Rowan medal and third finish.

In 2013 I was in great shape for a Bill Rowan.  I got tonsillitis 42 hours before the start and spent most of the preceding hours in bed.  I was helped by a doctor with 8 finishes to get to the start. I was still ill when the gun fired and not sure if I could even get to the first cut-off.   The last 5 hours were the hardest run of my life in the 32C heat and 20mph headwind.  The inevitable collapse came at 4km to go and I had to walk home for 9:23. 

I just have to find out of I'll be an international runner or a local runner.  I have a first interview for a job in Durban tomorrow.

Comrades 2014

Posted: 27/05/2014 at 07:26

Stay upright

1) There is a lot of runners set off too fast and there can be a few collisions in the km, particularly on the downhill out of PMB

2) Watch out for runners discarding clothes as these get snapped up and spectators often run out in the road to get them

3) The cats eyes at the road lines are raised strips of aluminium - avoid at all costs!

My cooling strategy at Comrades:

At the aid station grab 2 sachets of water or 1 water, 1 sports drink.  Drink one (if its water throw the rest of it over your head) open the water and throw that over your head progressively.  Can cause chaffing though! If you are carrying your phone then you need a waterproof plastic bag (see below)


Packing list:

remember the plasters gentlemen!

sun cream

race hat from the runners pack

sunglasses for the second half perched on top of cap for first half

pick-up a zip-lock bag at departures for your phone if you are carrying that with you

timing chip from previous years

Comrades 2014

Posted: 24/05/2014 at 22:04

6)      After

Congratulations you are a Comrades finisher.  I hope you got what you deserved. If you came in just before (or after a cutoff) you will see a man with a gun.  He’s not there to end your suffering though.  Keep going and you will receive your medal, flower and ‘finish time card’ (which proves you finished at a certain time).  Collect your back-2-back medal if eligible.  Keep going left and you will come to the international athlete’s area. Chat to your fellow athletes, enjoy and bask in the glory of a Comrades finish.

Comrades 2014

Posted: 24/05/2014 at 21:58

5)      Bottom of Fields to Kingsmead Stadium - 21km to 0km to go (21km)

If you paced it right then you will discover that Comrades doesn’t start at 5:30 but in the last miles and if you paced it well this section is very hard due to the accumulated miles, hills and the rising heat.  Now is the time to be very tough and push on as best you can.  The grass of the stadium is soft, the finish awesome, you will feel like you won the Olympics and they have beer – you just need to get there.  At the bottom of Fields you turn left under the bridge and then start going up for a short distance – it’s hard with so much fatigue in the legs. Keep going as soon the gentle down starts again.  This section takes you to the foot of Cowies and is gentle down or flat after the initial rise under the bridge.  Cowies starts at 18km to go and is moderate, but at this stage of the game you may need to walk at least a bit (the TV camera at the top may catch you though).  Thankfully it is short.  The Durban side of Cowies is a moderate and runnable.  Again be tough – you are getting closer to the finish.  You are still progressing down and you will mostly be running on a motorway after Cowies before reaching Durban – in this section there is no crowd support when you need it most.  (Also somewhere there is the wicked up on a motorway off-ramp to run up). At 8km to go you reach 45th Cutting.  It is a small hill, but very, very tough at this stage of the game.  Progress as best you can – thankfully it is short.  There follows a little more gentle downhill until you reach Tollgate which has an uphill section too – again very hard.  Thankfully there is an aid station here so refresh yourself as much as possible for the final push.  It is really downhill or flat to the finish now and there are 5km to go and you can see the Hilton and Stadium lights.  You will be on an elevated section of motorway for some of it and then you hit the streets of Durban with about 3km to go.  Strangely there is only modest crowd support as they are all at Kingsmead.  There is no major obstacle now, just push on and enjoy the final moments as you will soon become a Comrades finisher.  In fact, if time allows, I may take a short walk break so that I feel refreshed and can enjoy the finish. You will now enter the last km with the Expo on your left then pass the Hilton on your right.  It is a straight road and you can see to the stadium.  Enjoy it as it has been a long journey to get to this point. Just before the stadium, you turn right, left and then left again in short succession. Then you turn to the right to enter the stadium through a gate and then under a covered area. You then run anticlockwise on 3 straights around the grass in the stadium.  Now is the time to start celebrating and appreciate the last moments – but note that it is bad form to walk on the grass unless after the final cut-off (collapsing or vomiting is OK though). The first section lasts about 50m and there are spectators on the right. Turn left onto a 100m straight.  The international area is on your left where your friend/family will/should be. Turn left again for about 30m to the finish line.  Celebrate - you have completed the world’s greatest race.


Comrades 2014

Posted: 24/05/2014 at 21:56


3)      Foot of Inchanga to Bothas Hill Village – 50km to 39km (11km)

At this point you will start to see why it is absolutely necessary to take the first 2 sections very easy and conserve your resources.  This section is very hard with high gradients up and down.  At the end of this section you will probably be in a much different state to when you entered it.  Firstly is the around 2km climb of Inchanga, be moderate in your pace.  I also take a walk break halfway up.  Next is the 2km downhill of Inchanga.  Once you crest Inchanga and go a little way down you can see the radio mast at Alverstone, which is where you are going.  It is intimidating to see all the down you have to do and then all the up you still go to do.  Inchanga downhill has steeper sections and these can get your quads so take it easy and walk if it gets too steep for you – you still have a lot of downhill running to do so conserve the quads.  The road will flatten and you will see the Drummond sign and look at your watch and celebrate halfway.  Except that it is another 800m up the road and marked by an arch and the celebration was premature.  Recover a bit as you run through Drummond.  Then you will start to climb up to Bothas Hill Village and there will be 3 distinct sections up and 2 sections down.  The first hill after Drummond is very steep initially so walk if you need to.  As you climb see the Wall of Honour on your left and then the hopefully you could get a flower to deposit at Arthur’s Seat on the right.  Keep climbing as best you can all the way up to Botha’s Hill Village, and walk if you need to.  The last 11km may have extremely fatigued you.  If you are running for a particular medal, then this is the point from which you need to push on.  There are few aid stations in this section due to logistics so grab ample supplies at each one.  In particular, Bothas Hill Village has a very long aid station so grab things here to try to recover

4)      Bothas Hill Village to Bottom of Fields - 39 to 21km to go (18km)

Now you have a good opportunity.  From Bothas Hill Village to the top of Field there is some nice gentle downhill running of 15km (I will take a walk break halfway through this 15km).  Bothas hill is not that steep and can be run down.  However, at Bothas Hill village you may be extremely fatigued so if you need take the first few km easy before trying to get to a good pace. Probably your splits are getting a bit slower now, but be tough and keep going.  If you are going for a performance or particular medal then be tough here. At the top of Fields hill there are 2 bridges going across in short succession.  From the second bridge the downhill gets steep – go very easy here as otherwise you will destroy your quads.  In fact I will take 2 walk breaks on Fields.  Also the camber is wicked (probably you didn’t notice on the up) and also the ‘cats eyes’ are very high so avoid the lines particularly here.  Again Field Hill can be very fatiguing.  Fields lasts about 3km and at the bottom your legs will be sore and your fatigue level high.

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