Comrades Marathon taper affected by illness?

Comrades Marathon taper affected by illness?

Illness in the final build up to the Comrades Marathon is a concern for many a runner. Most notably from a recovery point of view; with the affect it has on training and possibly race day. So what is the best thing to do when recovering from illness at this stage. Lindsey tells you this and more, on today’s Ask Coach Parry podcast.

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Brad Brown: You’re listening to the Ask Coach Parry podcast. It’s weird, Friday, that’s actually a proper Friday. There’s been so many public holidays around here in South Africa the last few weeks. But a great question in today from Ntunzi Dadwana.

Ntunzi was saying, in the last two years cold and flu has hit me at the end of April, beginning of May. How should I ease back into the programme given it’s tapering time, at best 10 days of normal mid-week training still in the bag.

Should he be concerned if all he manages is 8-15km runs and then the Randburg Half Marathon this weekend, possibly being the longest he’ll run in May outside of Comrades. Should Ntunzi be worried? What’s the best way to get into things if you have picked up a bit of a bug?

Get symptom free before resuming training

Lindsey Parry: It’s important that if you have been sick, that you do look after yourself and are symptom free. Because if you start the Comrades Marathon sick, that’s going to compromise your ability to finish way more than missing a couple of long training runs.

If you’ve done very little in terms of long training runs through May, then this weekend I would probably do a little more than a half marathon. I’d probably push myself to between 30-36km maximum and then to follow a fairly normal taper from that point.

You really do need to start putting some things into action so that you can try and avoid getting sick in future. So increasing your Vitamin C intake, taking a good multi-vitamin, making sure that you don’t stand around after training in cold, wet clothes. Finish your training, get showered and warm and do your stretch after that.

AVOID sick people close to Comrades

Avoid sick people. If you’ve got kids that means you build an extension onto your house with a lockable door…jokes! If you do have kids and they obviously bring a lot of germs into the house, just keep your hands clean. Try and keep your hands away from your face and just minimise your chance of getting sick.

BB: Just fob the kids off on the grandparents for the next month! Lindsey, thank you very much for that, thanks for that question as well, much appreciated. Don’t forget, you can get your questions in, just like Ntunzi did today. All you have to do is head over to

Also be sure to check out the Coach Parry online community, we’ve got a very vibrant community. We’ve got some great questions that get asked in the private Facebook group. Lots of online training videos, all in that community. So go check it out, head to Until next time, from the two of us, it’s cheers.

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