Everything you need from now till Comrades – We help Tanja put a plan in place for Comrades 2019

Everything you need from now till Comrades – We help Tanja put a plan in place for Comrades 2019

Today's episode of RUN with Coach Parry we help one of our Online Training Platform community members -Tanja Hayes- put a plan in place for Comrades 2019. They discuss chasing marathon pb's versus Comrades goals and how many marathons is ideal in the build up to Comrades

Share your journey and goals with us, use #BiogenJourney and you could win yourself 3 months access to the CoachParry Online Training Platform. There are over 60 programs ranging from 5km all the way to Two Oceans & Comrades, you also get access to all our coaches and our member's only forum (If you listen to the whole podcast, you would hear how athletes like Tanja are loving the forums and community, so CLICK HERE to be apart of it all!)

 

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Transcription

 

BRAD
Welcome to another edition of the podcast. It's good to have you with us coming to you from somewhat blustery Cape Town today. My name is Brad Brown. And this is RUN with Coach Parry. Lindsey is joining us today as well for another one of our fly on the wall coaching calls with one of the members of our online community. And if you haven't checked it out yet we are growing such an incredible tribe of people man, I absolutely love it. I mentioned on last week's podcast that it is definitely my go to place way ahead of any of the other social media because I feel that these people get me and we get them.

So if you haven't checked it out yet, head over to coachparry.com/join and I am super excited to welcome our next guest on to the podcast. She has been an absolute rock star with regards to just following the process, adding a programme and then just ticking the boxes off and the results show. So I'm pretty excited to be able to welcome Tanja Hayes on to today's podcast, and we're going to help her put her plan together between now and Comrades 2019.

So if you're running Comrades 2019 and you are wondering how to structure things, you are going to get so much out of today's podcast so make sure you stay tuned and listen to this call from start to finish. We head to the Northern Cape now to a little town called Springbok. And I don't think many people listening to this podcast will have ever been to Springbok. I know I haven't. Lindsey says he's driven through it. But we seem to be having quite a big Northern Cape contingent on the Coach Parry Online Training Platform. And one of the members who's very active in the forums joins us on the call now: Tanja Hayes. Tanja, welcome.

TANJA
Thank you, Brad. I'm very happy to be here.

 

Tanja's running background

 

BRAD
Tanja, I'm super excited to have you on because often we we interact with our members online and we don't get to chat. So you're one of the people that I've spoken to quite a bit in the forums and on email. And it's finally great to put a face to the name and a voice to the name. So it's good to you have you on. Tell me a little bit about your running, Tanja. How long have you been running and where did your love for running start?

TANJA
So I began running in 2010. And in 2011, I started to think that I'm going to do the Comrades. So I've been running for quite a while but I attended the Comrades in 2012 and I didn't finish. I had an injury. It was an ITB injury. So then running disappointed me so I switched to mountain biking for a few years. And I think 2016 I began running again because I just love running but like I said it's like mountain bike was never for me. I mean, I'm afraid to go downhill and all that stuff. So I just came back to my roots.

BRAD
I feel you on the mountain biking, running especially when you run my pace, it's a lot safer.

TANJA
Yeah, no, no mine too. Like I said, the mountain biking is really scary. So it's nice to actually have your foot on the ground and not be dependent on a bike.

 

Goals for Comrades

 

BRAD
Exactly, exactly. Talk to me a bit about your goals. I mean, you mentioned that disappointment back in 2012 around Comrades, what are we working towards? What do you want to achieve?

TANJA
I really want to finish Comrades now in 2019. And maybe thinking about doing it again in 2020 if 2019 goes well, and everything goes well, so I'm hoping for that. And then Two Oceans, obviously, the 56 kilometre, and I would actually like to maybe pursue a sub 4 marathon. Because now I think I might be capable to do that, like I ran a 21 k the other day in under two hours, not really far under two hours, but like one hour 59.

So I'm just really excited. And I'm really excited for the journey, and I'm doing stuff, a bit different than in 2012. Like in 2012 I was following this programme that was like six days running the whole time, not cross training or anything. So six days running, and then you have one rest day. So that was a little bit hectic.

BRAD
Yeah, Tanja, I mean, you you've been following the process, and you've been with us for for for a while now. And it's been amazing to watch, watch how you progressing. I think you joined us for a half marathon and you basically stuck around and you're just ticking the boxes and following the process. And the results are showing, every time you post something in the forums, I'm just so excited to hear it because you're just getting such great results.

TANJA
Yes, I am definitely because like in the past, I was thinking, you know, more is better and now I'm seeing that actually less and quality sessions are actually more beneficial than just loping a lot of kilometers on your legs. It's more beneficial to run four times a week, cross train a little bit more and do other stuff and build yourself up than just running yourself tired and stuff like that.

So it's really helping and it's nice to actually have coach Parry and you to talk to and ask, you know, I'm thinking about doing this, do you think with my times and with everything that I'm doing that it's a good idea or not a good idea? Like, I know, I asked coach Parry about Winelands and I was asking, you know, must I do 42 kilometres or 21? And he said I must do to 21 and try to get that under two hours. And I mean, it worked. So I'm really impressed. And I'm really glad, I haven't felt this good about running since like forever.

BRAD
I love it. I'm going to hand you over to Lindsey now. He's got that questionnaire with all your times and a bit of running background. Lindsey, the ball's in your court. Looking at those sort of numbers, what's your take on where Tanja is right now.

LINDSEY
Yeah, so look very, very encouraging and definitely, as you said, still plenty of room to improve. So if we look at your 5, 10, 21 and marathon PB, your five K PB says your marathon potential is around 4:12. And you're you're 21 k PB says that your marathon PB is around 4:10. So that 1:59 21 that you did actually shows that you've already improved some more. So I like your goals. I'm very confident that with the more sensible approach now not running six days a week, training four days a week and doing the pilates for strength, that's going to mean that you have an extremely good chance of finishing Comrades.

And if I do a quick calculation here I reckon you probably do it in about 10 and a half hours. So that's kind of where I think we're working you towards is around about a 10 and a half hour, maybe a little bit quicker mark, but it really is about continuing to build on this foundation that you've laid. Carry on getting stronger, being more consistent and I'm fairly sure that after Comrades, if you recover properly, and then train for a sub 4 hour marathon that you'll be able to achieve both of those goals this year, having finished Comrades in June and then towards the end of the year running a marathon in under four hours. Definitely. Both of those goals are absolutely possible.

I like the balance of your training. Obviously it's hard not to be a little bit biased because I know you are following a programme from the websites. But just looking through what you filled in on the questionnaire here, very happy with with how you're going about your running at the moment. So hopefully you've prepared a few questions or things that you're trying to figure out and that I can help talk you through that now.

 

Putting a plan together

 

TANJA
Okay, so the first thing that I was wondering, it is December vacation, so the thing I was thinking about was like maybe to take a bit of a rest. And then my plan forward, what do you think I must do? Must I follow the Comrades plan until Comrades? Or must I follow a sub 4 marathon plan and like try to better my qualifying time in February?

LINDSEY
So if you want to get as close to that four hours as you can before Comrades, then I would actually not take a break now in December. And I would train through December and use the spare time, obviously on Christmas and Boxing Day those are days that you would probably take some time off. But I would train quite hard through this period and then look for a race at the latest middle of February, to go and run a marathon and then rest after that for a week, one week of very low intensity short runs and then boom, you're back in training following the bronze Comrades programme.

The alternative is to take some time off now to relax and you know, mentally freshen up as well as physically freshen up. But then we would still run some marathons but we wouldn't try and run under four hours. We'd treat those marathons in the buildup as training runs for Comrades. And then you would start training on the bronze programme from January and go forward like that. So, you know, I know you just did the Winelands a little while ago.

So really the way I'd make that decision is how tired are you right now? You know, if training hard makes you go I don't really feel like it, then I would take a break, start in January on the Comrades programme. But if you're feeling pretty good and motivated and body feels good, then we could train for marathon.

 

How many marathons to do before Comrades

 

TANJA
Okay, and then the next question I have is, because I'm living in Springbok and it's far to travel for marathons and such stuff, so how many marathons do you think that I should do? That is necessary I do before Comrades.

LINDSEY
So in the part of the field where you're running, I say that you probably want to try and do three marathon or longer. So you're either doing three marathons plus Comrades, or two marathons and an ultra or one marathon and two ultras but three times between February and race day you want to go 42 K's or longer.

TANJA
Okay, so that's okay. So I'm going to check my schedule and stuff because I was thinking about doing the Peninsula, that's now in mid February. And I was thinking about the Weskus marathon also, because I can remember in 2012 I did it. And I actually did my personal best, I think it was four hours 15 or something like that. But I will use it as a training run. I will not go full out or anything like that.

LINDSEY
I'm just looking at the date for the Weskus, it's in March, I think.

TANJA
Yes. I think it's 23rd of March.

LINDSEY
Yeah. Which means that there's at least four weeks between them which is perfect. So that's great.

TANJA
So then maybe do that too. And then the Comrades or the Two Oceans and then the Comrades?

LINDSEY
Exactly. That's bang on. If you do those three, that'll work well.

 

Driving vs flying to Comrades

 

TANJA
Okay, then awesome, then I will do those three. And another question I have is, so with Comrades training and everything, the day before, because we're going to travel up, I think maybe the best is to fly up than to drive?

LINDSEY
Look, absolutely. I mean, that's a hell of a long drive. So if you going to drive up, I'd say you want to give yourself at least two days in Durban to recover from that drive. So if you're planning on coming in the day before, absolutely. flying is the right thing to do.

TANJA
Okay, because I was planning on driving from here to Cape Town and then catching a flight there, and then going to Durban.I luckily found a place that's close by, like five kilometres from the start so that's awesome.

LINDSEY
Yeah, that's brilliant. Look, that takes a lot of stress off in the morning.

TANJA
Yes. Okay. So then I'm sorted, I know what my plan is til Comrades. Now it's just to finish it, that's the whole thing. Because like I said, the last time it just came to 80 kilometres.

 

Making dreams happen

 

LINDSEY
Yeah. So look, I think the advantage you've got now knowing, as we get closer to the time we will help you to refine what the actual goal is. So in March or April we'll make a decision there. But we can safely say it's going to be somewhere between 10 and 10 and a half hours and the comfort that will give you on race day, is that you know that, okay? If things do start to go wrong, I do have an hour and a half, and I'm going to get a medal. But I'm fairly confident that the way you're going now, that we will get you a bronze, you'll be getting a bronze around your your neck come Pietermaritzburg.

TANJA
Oh, that would be so awesome. It's like I said, it's been my dream since 2012. But like I said, it disappointed me a bit. So I just took off a bit from running. So my mindset wasn't right.

LINDSEY
We will do everything we can to help you to make sure that that doesn't happen again.

TANJA
Thank you so much Lindsey. And thank you so much for the opportunity, talking to me and chatting with me. It's really awesome. For the forum and everything, it's so nice, because like all the questions that I usually have, I go and I look on the forum, I take what you tell the others and advice that you give to the other persons and other members on the forum. So it's so nice. I mean, sometimes I have the same question and then I don't even have to ask it, I just go and check and okay, so this was what you recommend or the advice you give. I really enjoy the forum.

Like I said, since June, I joined. And like in the beginning of the year I couldn't even finish a marathon under five hours. I mean, I was struggling at best. So really struggling, like, I think since 2017, November, I did the Winelands 42. I made it five hours, three minutes. Then I did the Peninsula. It was also 5 hours five minutes. And I did Uppington, and then Uppington there's also a marathon but it's like a loop. It's like two rounds of 21.1. So that's a bit hectic. But I mean, I just made it like five hours. So I think five hours one minutes, I couldn't even get under five hours. So since following your programme I've been just stringing along and getting better and better and better.

BRAD
Tanja, that's amazing. If I can just add something as well. My first Comrades was a failed attempt, I got to 60 k's in 2010. And, I'm sure you experienced this as well, going into comrades, you don't really know what to expect. I mean, you know it's going to be tough. You know it's long and you know it's hard. But it's only once you're actually there and you are on those hills that you realize how hard it actually is. And even though you had a failed attempt, you can take so much out of that, because you've experienced how hard it is, so you know what it's going to take to finish that race.

But you're in such a better place this time around. You're running so much better, you're feeling better. And as much as Comrades is this massive thing that you're chasing, if you just every single week, make sure you tick those blocks off, turn those blocks green in the app, everything will take care of itself. That's all you need to focus on, focus on what you're doing right now in the programme, and the rest will take care of itself. Because if you don't do what you need to do now, Comrades isn't going to happen.

So you just keep focusing week after week after week. And it's like playing with Lego. I used to play with Lego as a kid and you putting blocks on top of each other. And before you know it, you've bought a house and that's what Comrades is. So you definitely on track. Just keep doing what you're doing. You're doing amazingly well. Well done.

TANJA
Thank you so much, Brad. Really, you guys helped me a lot really, really, because like I said, I was struggling very much.

BRAD
We can't wait to see what you do at Comrades. We love stories like this. And that's why we do it. I know Lindsey gets pretty excited, but I do too, just sort of seeing how people get better. And again, we love having you around you. You're very active in the forums. And yeah, we appreciate you. Thank you very much.

TANJA
Thank you so much for you too, Brad, and Lindsey obviously.

LINDSEY
It's an absolute pleasure.

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