Comrades 2016



  • Fido best of luck on the diagnosis when it comes,  trust it's good news and you're back to strength sooner rather than later. 




  • Sadly I'm recovering much slower than expected this year,  even 10kms at a moderate pace leaves me feeling like I've just survived a 20miler. Legs feel punished after every run.

    I'm doing maybe 35kms a week with one fast 5km thrown in whenever I feel the urge (or obligation) to work on my speed again. 

    I've also recently upped my rolling and stretching regime for fear of breaking down but it honestly feels like there's residual Comrades fatigue in my legs almost 2 months later ...perhaps this is life after 40 but I'm very interested to know if anyone is still feeling any after-effects?


  • Mr KMr K ✭✭✭
    Tell me about. I am tired. Planned a long run but stopped at 18M (3hrs) but legs said no at 19M - walked like a very old man the next day. Deceided to bin a few 'ticking over' marathons till I get some energy back. Plus my diet has changed.
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭

    As in "cake and wine" Mr K? If so then you're not the only one.

  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭

    I've has residual Comrades effect too.  I am building speed up again for an Oct marathon, but my endurance is poorer than I would have expected. 

    Yesterday I did an interval session - the intervals were at 6:15 min/mile (which for me is just faster than 5k pace).  I thought I was doing fine until I realized that the Comrade winner did that for 88km!

  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭

    Oh dear - two Comrades runners in the top 10 found to have positive urine samples.

  • I definitely consider 18mi a long run Mr K (Comrades feels a lifetime ago)

    Can't seem to shake drug allegations in running/athletics these days ... they should just implement a lifetime ban from ever competing in any races again and hopefully the thought of ending your running career is enough of a deterrent.  


  • Bike ItBike It ✭✭✭

    I have had 2 different responses to the UP.  2013 left me very very flat and tired for months after (as well I picked up periostitis).  Here I trained at very high volume, raced the race and collapsed at 4km to go in 32C heat.

    2015 I ran 1.5 hours slower, off limited training and I think the temp got up to 26-28C or so - I also walked more, but tempo ran the last 10-11 miles to get a bronze after getting eaten by the 11:30 bus.  This year I was sufficiently recovered to run again in about 2 weeks and feel no ill effects (maybe I didn't go hard enough). But,  I did get a regression of the flu I had had the week before.  I am training specifically for 10 km at the moment which is going well so far and also put in a very nice off-schedule 20 miler.

    So I think the recovery seems to be factored on multiple thing - training volume, walking in the race, run speed in the race relative to training pace, reaction to heat on the day.

  • Thanks Bike It -  reckon it could be a reduction in hill training volume from the list of your scenarios above. 

    Missed some key races and swapped them with flatter training runs as an alternative.  It's pretty much the only change from last year besides a little more cross training on the bike. 


  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    Because of that nagging hamstring issue (still with me) I entered this weird world of low effort running combined with weekly leg massages, the fear of something worse befalling me always in the back of my mind. I ended up only running 3 days per week all aimed at ensuring I could build that Sunday long run which rose by 2 miles per week to the giddy heights of 28 miles before taper. I have never had such a careful build to an event. On the big day I was as measured as I had been in training, but prepared to "die" if I had to push it to whatever extreme to get home in 12 hours. It was the most rewarding run of my life. I picked up the 12 hour bus about two thirds in as it cruised past me and never let it go. I felt like I could run for ever, even going over the finish line. I thought I would be a stretcher case the next day but had the most remarkable of easy recoveries, so much so that I ran a marathon a fortnight later in 5 hours (although it was a bit of a "comedy event" - I stopped about 50 times to take photos and wasn't trying to break any records).

    I have consequently taken 3 full weeks off and am now back in training (with nagging hamstrings) but I feel full of running, no fatigue. In dialogue with my physio we think its time to "bully" my hamstrings back into submission, so I am on a sub 4 hour marathon training programme with 5 running days per week and some speed work.

    What am I trying to say? I must be right down the bottom end of the scale on how much I put into last year's prep, consequently I didn't need much recovery time and feel full of beans. I think last year took a lot out of a lot of you, more than you might think. Make sure you recover well!

    F2D - you need to write a book called "Your Comrades Trip" brilliant stuff. Although you need to let Jelly Bean do a chapter on pre-race curries and Slow Duck a chapter on during race dining!

  • I think creating a Bobs Book type thing with photos and experiences would be a fun exercise for anyone however Fido & SD would have the hints and tips to make it an interesting read for newbies and greens alike (wouldn't add Maccie D's as mandatory race nutrition)

    Lowrez  - almost didn't get past line 2 where you said "weekly leg massages" 

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    jar - excellent idea; we need a wiki type app so we can all contribute image 

    I was chatting in general about what a fine life it must be for an elite athlete runner with some running mates the other day; "massages on tap" was one of the luxurys we thought they must have access to; the merest niggle taken care of by concerned hands. And here are we, planning to mount an attack on one of the big challenges in ultra running but access to such essential care is not a cheap thing!

    I recall a comment in one of Hal Higdon's schedules a good few years back, managed to find similar here:

    I'm very good at producing knots in my calves. When I first discovered the horrors of massage some years ago I was 6 weeks out from running the Buenos Aires marathon but hardly able to move due to calf pain. The physio that got me to the start line called me a "little girl" as I squealed my way through several session of returning my knotted calves to smooth tensile muscle.

  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭

    If he compared you to a little girl, lowrez, you should have taken that as a compliment.  Girls are made of tough stuff. image

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    Becca - He was a she - much to the shock of my better half! But once she learned of the torture I was being put through she was eager for me to go back for some reason? image

    You put a lot of miles in - what's been your post Comrades recovery approach? What does your weekly schedule currently look like? Have you got a next event in your sights?  

  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭

    I was going to do the 100 mile event in Berlin that they had flyers for at the Comrades Expo.  Then, when I decided to do Comrades again, I thought I would be better off getting a decent qualifier at an autumn marathon, and running 100 miles in August wasn't really compatible with that (hats off to all those who ran Comrades and then the SDW 100 the following week).  Running at the moment is therefore geared around marathon training and I'm also doing a few of the shorter midweek races and county league races.  Hopefully sub 3:40 at Kosice or Leicester.  I'm also running the Leicestershire Round - a 100 mile footpath - in sections.  Running as much of it as I can, as some bits are overgrown or otherwise unpleasant to walk on, not to mention those with evil cattle.

  • Sounds like you've fully recovered already. 

  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭

    Thanks jnr - I think I still had Comrades legs up until the end of June but July seems to have been fine.   I ran a 5 mile race last week at 7:29 pace, which was better than a similar one I did in the week before Comrades at 7:32 pace. 

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    I once had to dive under barbed wire through a hedge into a ploughed field and the pursuing "cow" proceeded to run down the other side of the thankfully substantial 7ft hedge I was sprinting along to get the hell out of there leaping up to check where I was every few strides! Evil indeed! 

    Great schedule Becca. Good luck for Kosice/Leicester image

  • I'm suffering as well. Took it easy for six weeks or so, just a few short runs a week. Now trying to get back into marathon training and my legs are just dead. Half way through a 10 miler yesterday I had to pull over into a coffee shop for some bags of sugar because I ran out of blood sugar. I'm thinking of trying some plyometrics to try and encourage a bit more zip.
  • Fido2DogsFido2Dogs ✭✭✭
    Shame Becca, I was looking forward to tracking you and getting tales of derring do!
  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭

    Speaking of cows.... I once landed my balloon in a large field and decided I'd wait there for the chase team to arrive.  They did not, but a herd of cows and bulls did and quickly surrounded me.  A few of them looked a little menacing but I thought I'd be fine as I had a rather large flamethrower should I need to defend myself (even if technically it was still mounted to the top of my gondola).  Well, one bellow from a large bull and a stab at the gondola and I fired up the flames - and flew myself outa there as quick as I could!

  • lowrezlowrez ✭✭✭

    Dannirr - I am still laughing as I type! I thought we were in for a braai ending with flame grilled steak all round...great escapeimage

  • Mc HillyMc Hilly ✭✭✭

    I've been struggling a bit with my running since Comrades... a niggle calf that isn't that bad, but won't go away and its getting a bit frustrating, longest i've done in the last 2 months is 11 miles. I've adapted my plan of building on my Comrades endurance and get faster with the hope of a PB in Berlin, to take it gently see what happens, just get around Berlin and go for Boston next year. Despite feeling running isn't going great at the mo, had a good run last night image which increased motivation, so considering a half (sturminster) on Sunday, and booked my flights to Durban today , of out now for a gentle few miles, i expect i'll see cows in the local fields, but hopefully no bulls!

  • Don't panic McHilly with any luck there'll be a chap with a rope ladder hovering from a balloon above!
  • Mc HillyMc Hilly ✭✭✭

    survived my run, just a few dogs, horses and chickens, no Bulls, but if I thought it could lead to a rope ladder balloon rescue, I'd probably go seeking them out!

  • Hi chaps,  Just registering some potential interest in this for me and the missus.  We're 40-somethings from Lymm, Cheshire looking for a new challenge.  Plenty of useful info in this thread, thanks.  

  • So my priorities are:  Booking cancellable hotel room, running a qualifying time before March, booking race tickets when available in Sept and then picking up flights at some point before May?

  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭

    Welcome James - sounds like you have it sorted.   One warning:  "registering interest" very quickly turns into "going for my back to back medal" image


  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    Hi James, if you scroll a page or 2 back you'll see details of my cancellable rooms.  I booked the Hilton and one other.  The Hilton is expensive but i can cancel it so am holding on to it for now. The other hotel is about half a mile from the Hilton I think.

    Am pondering flying to Joberg and driving down to Durban. A local I work with said its not too far and a nice drive. Any thoughts?

    Oh and James, I am with Dannirr.  I think posting on here counts as committing to doing the race!

  • A ?6? hour drive, after an overnight flight, a couple of days before another sleepless night and an event which is VLMx2+parkrunx1+BoxHillx5 in 27+ deg C...

    or ??50 for an internal flight.

    It's a choice we all have to make for ourselves image
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