Couch to Comrades in 12 months – Is it possible?
Couch to Comrades in 12 months – Is it possible?
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Welcome on to this edition of RUN with Coach Parry. I'm Brad Brown. We've got the coach Lindsay Parry with us. And today we talking about going from your couch all the way to the Comrades Marathon. We get asked this question all the time, and I thought we'd address it. Lindsey, welcome back. Nice to touch base.
Always nice touch base Brad. And I'm going to try and be more exciting this year because at the expo I was told that you're the charismatic one and I'm a little dour. Let's try to do something about that.
Yeah, we need to work on that, Lindsey, but we're off to a good start so far, which is fantastic. Let's talk about Couch to Comrades, obviously, we are just a few weeks post Comrades now. And obviously, every year, there's lots of excited people Googling and we see it on our website, people trying to go from zero to hero in 12 months, is it possible to go from your couch to Comrades in a year?
Like it's definitely possible. And it's certainly not easy. And to be fair, it's not easy to go from being a regular runner to finishing Comrades. The finishing stats were much better this year. And I think that did have to do with the new qualifying time. But there were still close to 3000 athletes that didn't finish. So it's definitely possible. And we've done it on numerous occasions with people. You came pretty damn close yourself. And I think 160+ kg's qualifies you as under the couch to Comrades.
So yeah, I mean, it is doable, but a lot of discipline. And I think what I'm seeing a little bit more of is that you're probably not going to get it right if you're just gonna run. So you need to start pulling in all the little extras like going to see a bio and getting a strength and conditioning programme, going to see a nutritionist and eating really well. And I think if you just look after all the little bits and pieces, then it's absolutely doable to go from doing absolutely no exercise to finishing Comrades in little under a year's time.
Absolutely. And we've got a Couch to Comrades programme that Lindsey's been working on, it's available on our website right now if you go to coachparry.com/comrades, you'll be able to find it. But Lindsey, obviously the key to finishing Comrades is, whether you're an athlete or a couch potato, that the first is training consistently and staying injury free. And that is even more amplified, if you are going from couch to Comrades, you've got to be really sensible in the build up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you also have to make sure that you stay injury free and be consistent. And the best way to do that is to build slowly and very slowly.
Yeah, and I think that's the key because maybe this didn't come through my answer that the margin for error is small. If you're going to go from couch to Comrades, you almost need everything to go, of course according to plan, and the only way to do that is to get a plan and make sure that it's conservative enough that, especially in the early stages, it may actually feel like you're making no progress at all. It'll feel like you're doing more walking than running. But you've really got to play the way and look at every 12 weeks, look back and go Gee, look how far I've come.
In the short term, make yourself very tiny, manageable goals. And those might just be completing all your sessions not caring at all, for what time you do, what distance you do, but just the fact that there on the programme was 20 minutes of mostly walking and a little bit of running. And I think that's what you've got to focus on, is just take each session as a win. But then rather than look at how far you've progressed, how fit you're getting, or how strong you're getting, only look at those things in 12 week chunks.
And if you do that, every three months, you'll actually be quite surprised if you go back in your log and go wow I couldn't run for 20 minutes without stopping 12 weeks ago. I can run without stopping for 12 weeks. And then that's when you start to see these multiplies. But absolutely the slower you go up at the beginning, the lower your risk of getting injured, lower your risk, lower your injury rate is the greater your chances that you're going to be successful, and that you're going to make this change sustainable.
Absolutely. If you want to find out more about that Couch to Comrades programme, head over to coachparry.com/comrades. The link is on the screen now as well. You'll be able to hit straight through there. Yeah, we'd love to help you. We love those stories. We know it's a hard slog. As Lindsey said, I've come pretty close on my first attempt and I think I was bigger than the couch when I started running. So yeah, we'd love to help you go check it out. That's coachparry.com/comrades. You can get all the details there. Lindsey, as always great to catch up and we look forward to catching up again soon.
Awesome. Cheers Brad.