Comrades Marathon novice – how to pick a training programme

Comrades Marathon novice – how to pick a training programme

Coming up on this episode of the Ask Coach Parry podcast, we look more into the 2016 Comrades Marathon training programmes. A lot of excitement was sparked by their going live at the start of July, but how do you know if you are on the right one?

What are you training for?

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Welcome to the Ask Coach Parry podcast, I’m Brad Brown and Comrades Marathon coach Lindsey Parry joins us once again. Lindsey, I’ve been having quite a chuckle to myself watching social media with people asking, sort of in the build up to the start of July, where the training programmes are and when will they be on. Eventually when they did go on the people were so excited to start training again and a good question I think from Handre today. He wants to know, what is a good training programne for a beginner in the Comrades to follow and what? We’ve chatted about strength training just a few podcasts ago, so Handre, what I would suggest is go and listen to that podcast. But as far as what training programme to go, Lindsey, if someone is thinking about running the Comrades Marathon, there’s obviously various training programmes on your website, on the Comrades website, what training programmes should they choose to follow?

Complete running novice? Only one Comrades programme for you

Lindsey Parry: Look, it depends on a couple of things. There’s certainly not enough information to say you must follow this programme. But if there’s no history of running, so you’ve woken up after watching Comrades and you’ve been inspired by what you saw on TV. You’ve decided to run the Comrades, then there is actually only one option for you now. That is to follow the finishers programme. Build up slowly and then depending on where you end up at the end of the year in terms of your 10, 21 and marathon times, then we can make a more accurate assessment of whether you should move to bronze or possibly a faster medal. To start running, that’s your safest option.

How to pick between a Bill Rowan and finishers Comrades Marathon programme

Obviously if you have been doing some running, regardless of your level of experience, if you are pretty fit and you’ve done a couple of road races. Well then it becomes a little easier because if you look on the website and you read through the descriptions on each program, it actually gives you very clear indication. If you are capable of running a sub 1:45 21km for example, then the Bill Rowan programme is appropriate for you. If you’re running slower than that, up to about 2:05, 2:10, you could probably get away with the Bill Rowan programme. Anything slower than that, in fact I’d say if you’re under 2:00 I would even go to 2:05; but if you’re under 2:00, then good for the Bill Rowan and over 2:00, probably best to be on the finishers programme. So there are fairly clear guidelines but you do need to take into account your actual running history. BB: Handre, thank you very much, good luck with that, if you have any other questions in the build up, please do be in touch. We’ll be more than willing to answer them here on the Ask Coach Parry podcast. Thanks for being in touch, until next time, from the two of us, it’s cheers.

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