What does it take to run the Comrades Marathon?

What does it take to run the Comrades Marathon?

With entries for the Comrades Marathon opening soon, a lot of people are sitting at home thinking ‘I’d love to run the Comrades Marathon, but can I?’.

We did a webinar before entries opened for the Comrades Marathon last year called “Is the Comrades Marathon for me” that was pretty popular.

We have been getting a lot of similar questions recently about what pace do you need to run at in order to finish the Comrades Marathon within the cutoff.

It's a very broad question but what does it take to finish the Comrades Marathon?

Almost anyone can run the Comrades Marathon. We’re talking about running for 12 hours in the region of about 8 minutes per kilometre.

Effectively if you can do a training run comfortably at between 7 and 7:30 minutes per kilometre you shouldn’t be running into problems with finishing the Comrades Marathon.

What pace do you need to run the Comrades Marathon at in order to finish?

In order to finish the Comrades Marathon up run, you need to average about 8:16 minutes per kilometre, although we do need to take into account that you are going to lose 6 to 7 minutes at the start.

So in essence you probably look at about an 8:05 to 8:10 minutes per kilometre average in order to finish Comrades.

For the Comrades Marathon down run you're looking at about 8 minutes per kilometre over 90km. You also need to factor in the time you lose at the start in Pietermaritzburg, which will be closer to 10 minutes.

So for the Comrades run, you'll need to average between 7:48 and 7:54 per kilometre. 

I do firmly believe that if someone kidnapped your kid and said to you that you need to run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in 12 hours or you’re never going to see your kid again I think anyone can run the Comrades Marathon.

Factors to ensure Comrades Marathon Success

There are essentially 4 things you can do to ensure that you finish Comrades. The first is to have a sensible approach to your training... 

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 Short videos showing you EXACTLY what to do (Number 6 will turn you into the "Marathon Slayer" so that you don't hit the wall and implode later in the race)

It's easy to get carried away due to the excitement of training for Comrades. Two things you need to avoid is training too much and also training at the incorrect intensity (paces).

You want to make sure you follow a structured Comrades Marathon training program, that dictates the correct training paces. 

You also want to make sure that you build up slowly enough in order to avoid injury.

Then on Comrades race day it is vital that you set out at the appropriate pace with the appropriate goal. Trying to go out faster than you should in order to 'bank' time for later in the race always ends in disaster.

If you follow this advice, you shouldn’t have a problem finishing the Comrades Marathon within the 12 hour cut off time.

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Shave 20 minutes off your 2023 Comrades Marathon down run time...

 ..with this free strength training programme that you can do once a week, at home and with no expensive gym equipment needed.

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