Comrades Time Saving Rules – How to bank 20 minutes

Comrades Time Saving Rules – How to bank 20 minutes

Lindsey Parry has a couple of Comrades time saving rules. It is a strategy on how to save yourself 20 minutes on Comrades Marathon race day. This is how you do it...

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Brad Brown: Lindsey Parry has a couple of Comrades time saving rules. It is a strategy on how to save yourself 20 minutes on Comrades Marathon race day. This is how you do it:

There are two basic Comrades time saving rules that you need to know for the start. I’m talking particularly to the Comrades runners in G and H seeding batches. If you look at the finish statistics for Comrades 89% - 91% of the field on the Comrades Marathon down run finish the race. In most of the seeding batches the finishing rates are about 97% and upwards. The finishing percentage in G batch is about 60% and the finishing percentage in H batch is about 50%. The majority of the people that are struggling to finish this race are seeded in G and H. Read more here

Comrades Time Saving Rules

There are two Comrades time saving rules that you need to abide by. The first one is hold back. That must be your mantra. Hold Back. You have 30km to make up that time (That you lost at the start). You don’t need to make it up in the next 5km. So you must hold back, take it easy and do what you need to do.

The second Comrades time saving rule is don’t stop. Make a promise to yourself when you wake up on Comrades Marathon race morning, I will not stop. This is the most important rule in saving yourself 20 minutes. You will not stop moving once you have crossed that start line. There will be lots of walking and you might need to stop to go to the toilet along the way (That is the only exception). For the rest of the day you must not stop. Everything you do, all day, must be moving you closer to Durban.

Let me tell you what happens and it happens to everybody at the Comrades Marathon, but unfortunately the runners who start in G and H are the ones who can’t afford it. You cross the start line and you’ve lost 8 minutes, so you now actually have to run the Comrades Marathon in 11 hours and 52 minutes. You get about 9 kilometres into the race and you think that you need something from the next watering point. You get to the watering point and you stop and grab what you need at the watering point. You maybe take a gel and through the wrapper into the rubbish bin. You just blew 30 seconds to a minute. It is gone, it is never coming back.

You have to realise, every time you stop moving the clock keeps ticking. You run another few kilometres and you stop at another watering point. The clock keeps ticking. So even if you’re only going to stop at a quarter of the watering points, and there are 48 watering points along the Comrades Marathon route, you are going to blow ten minutes.

So instead of needing to run the Comrades Marathon in 11 hours and 52 minutes, you’re down to 11 hours and 42 minutes. You are now starting to see why the Comrades Marathon is getting tough to finish.

You get to Camperdown and you’re still feeling quite fresh and chirpy by then. You see your friends and you stop on the side of the road for a couple of high fives. “How you feeling?”. “ I feel good”. “What do you need?. “I need this or that” so they grab it out of their cooler bag. You’ve lost another three or four minutes lost in that scenario.

Later on in the race it will get worse because they’ll have a chair out for you. Another two or three minutes gone. If you stop two or three times along the route, that is another six to ten minutes down the drain. We’re now needing to run an 11 hour 35 minute Comrades. Things are getting pretty tough.

You’ve made it down Bothas Hill and you’re about to hit Fields Hill and your legs are feeling a bit sore. So you stop for a massage. There are a lot of people who are feeling like you do at that point in the race, so you have to stand in line for your massage. How long do you wait? Three of four minutes, you have your rub. Maybe a minute, the rubs aren’t particularly long. But when you get running again you realise how hard it is to get going because all your muscles have ceased up. Now we’re sitting on an 11 and a half hour Comrades Marathon that you now need to run finish the Comrades Marathon. You started needing 11 hours and 52 minutes.

Don’t stop moving on day. Don’t blow your race in the first 8 kilometres and make sure that every single step that you take after you cross the start line is a step closer to Durban.

You will do lots of walking and you must do lots of walking but you must never ever stop. When you stop another second ticks by and you don’t make any ground. You must always move. If you always move and never stop, your chances of finishing the Comrades Marathon will increase exponentially. You will feel under way less pressure in the last 30 kilometres because you wouldn’t have wasted so much time. The last cut off before the finish allows you 40 minutes to run the last 7 kilometres. If you are able to run that speed at the end of Comrades, you should be running a Bill Rowan! People do it because they have to do it and most of them wouldn’t have to do it if they hadn’t wasted so much time earlier in the race.

So in summary, at the water points, slow down, walk, take what you need, eat while you walk and then you haven’t wasted any time. You’ve moved closer to Durban and you’ve got what you need.

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