Comrades 2020



  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    It's been busy on here and I've had a lot to catch up on.

    JAR - great news that you are entered for next year's race and I hope that you will be fit for this.

    Snail - well done on toughing out for the qualifier on what sounds like a rotten day.  Hurrah for the New York place.

    lowrez - stick with the exercises.  Hopefully, the standing up desk will help, sitting down all day is evil for body mechanics.

    Getafix - I hope that ankle is improving.  Hopefully, there's time before Valencia but the timing must be frustrating.

    LoveLifeRun - I hope you are better now.  A good idea to focus on recovery.  As far as ultras next year are concerned, I've got Leicestershire Round Series 3 in February.  In previous years I've done SDW50, Green Man, Glasgow to Edinburgh, Canalathon.  I'm not convinced it's necessary to do a long ultra in the build-up as the recovery will potentially impact on training.

    Mark - welcome aboard.  I've entered for the Stamford 30k again.

    Welcome, Britrisky.

    It was good to catch up with Mac in New York.  I had a nice race as well but starting in the last wave meant that I didn't get a very clear run after about mile 9 so I just used it as a run for enjoyment.
  • RR, 2 Oceans looks great but probably need something closer to home. Possibly Dead Sea Ultra but there's no rush to book.
  • Looking at flights, it's cheaper to fly Heathrow-Dubai-Durban than Dubai-Durban on the same flight, crazy!!!!
  • What smart watches is everyone using?  I've had Garmin, liked Suunto but then support left UAE and couldn't get my Ambit 2 fixed, bought a Garmin 235 last year but need better battery life, can't decide whether to buy a Fenix or what else is out there, particularly battery life?

    Right back to flights, Ethiopian or Kenyan....
  • Dubai runner I've been using a Garmin 235 for a few years and been very happy with it so far. With a few things turned off (like Bluetooth) and fully charged at the start it lasted almost 13 hours on GPS and HRM during Race to the Stones, and when GPS was turned off it was still telling the time at least four hours later when I got home. Still I am tempted by a Fenix as a birthday/Christmas present to myself if there are any deals on Black Friday or in the post Christmas sales. I'll need something with longer battery life for the NDW100 is my excuse. 
  • Debra BourneDebra Bourne ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Dubai runner: I have a Garmin 935. Happy with it and wear it for every day - which is why I didn't go for the Fenix (larger, heavier, and I have small wrists). Battery life is supposedly 'up to 24 hours' in normal GPS mode (1second data points) but I've never got near that nor do I know anyone who has. However, there IS a charger lead you can get (not official Garmin) that is in the form of a disk with the connection on the top, that the watch then sits on - so unless your wrist is very large you can actually keep wearing the watch while recharging from a power bank in your pocket. Same for the Fenix, as far as I know. The 935 doesn't have the full mapping that the larger Fenix does (if I recall correctly only the 5X, the largest, most expensive version of the Fenix, has the full mapping?).
    I expect to see Fenix 5 offers  online now the 6 has come out... just checked and both Fenix 5 (not 5X) and 935 available for £299 at the moment.
  • I use a 235. Battery life appears to be around 10 hours so I just charge it whilst on the run from a power bar. The only thing it doesn’t do whilst charging is measuring your heart rate...
  • Thanks guys, may be sticking with my 235 for a bit longer. I think the Fenix looks nicer as an everyday watch however.
  • Next question!!!

    I've worn Saucony Kinvara for years, love them, however Saucony have moved out of the Middle East market and I'm on the lookout for something similar. Unbelievably we have no dedicated running shops here (possible opportunity for someone), and seem to be stuck with mainstream brands.
    Yesterday I wore Adidas Ultra boost for a 16 miler but not sure about going further in them, any suggestions other than shipping Kinvaras to Dubai?
  • Mac3Mac3 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Good to see we have quite a full compliment for next's year race. (Mark see you there again!).
    On watches, I have a Fenix 5S which is the smaller version and I use it every day. Battery life didn't get me through Comrades this year but I had the HR running and I was closer to 12 hours.  The new 6 has a much improved battery life but so is the cost of it.  I have one of those disc chargers and it's just about possible to wear it connected on your wrist if attached to a battery pack.  Not sure if it was designed with that in mind.
    NYC was great and the crowd support was so loud in places.  Ghostly quiet over the bridges but in some ways a nice change of scenery.  A lot of hanging about at the start but not surprising given the field size.  Was really cold though and I needed many layers to keep semi warm.  Once under way I could peel off a few.  Was good to meet up with Becca for a late breakfast (her 2nd) after her 5k dash.  Tiring short trip but nice to do this iconic race, collect the tasteful long-sleeved t-shirt and oversized apple shaped medal which required extra attention through security.  As for time, seconds under 4:20, my target, so I move up a pen from Munich, but I felt so much better and could keep the pace.  Aiming for a faster effort in Feb/Mar (thinking of Seville) as my fitness slowly returns. 
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Interesting watch chat. I’m hoping my 230 will last the distance. I’ve got 8hrs 40 out of it with plenty left before and I’m hoping to be faster than that on the day. 
    May get tempted by the Black Friday sales though. 
    XC fixture for me tomorrow 
  • Mac3: Glad you enjoyed NYC and well done moving up a pen - I'm sure you'll move up again.
    Millsy: XC for me tomorrow as well.
    Watches: the 935 is fine for 50-mile races and would be fine for Comrades - it's only the 100-mile races and the Ridgeway 86 that I've needed longer battery life - and had problems with the standard charging cables. Really hoping that the disc one works better on the run.
  • On the watchfront, has anyone got or tried the forerunner 35? It claims to do 12 hours on GPS and I'm on a very tight budget. I don't need loads of whizzy data, I've had higher end watches before but just end up looking only at time, distance, pace and average pace.

    I've lost my mojo since Yorkshire. The husband of my wife's friend, a back-to-back finisher, also just described the down run as "hell on earth", so that's good....

    Final random question: does anyone on here use baby food rather than gels? I had some stomach problems in Yorkshire which would have been unstainable in a longer run, so I'm going to experiment with other options. Will also have to figure out a way of carrying things at Comrades- another new experience for me

    To finish on a positive note, I just picked up a Rio 2016 Team GB running top for just a tenner on ebay, and it looks like it might be the perfect patriotic garment for Comrades. B)
  • Dubai - i purchased a 935 after my older garmin 235 ran out of battery one year. I've had no problems with battery life when using it this year.

    Johnny - your mojo will come back, after all it doesn't really matter now until the new year anyway. Just start 1st Jan fit and raring to go....

    Haven't used baby food myself but a few people from my club do and seem to get on alright, horses for courses i suppose...

    And nice re the top. I run in a London 2012 top and it does the job of getting picked out by the supporters, particularly as we run in a blue number as well.

    And the down is easier by the way.....the following week hurts like hell mind you :D
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    They love a patriotic show! I've lost 12lb since I squeezed into that vest this year :D

    I have a Fenix 3 and use the standard charging plate to boost it in-run, longest I have clocked it for is 38h36m :) know what you mean though about buying expensive tech just to use it as a running mileometer, altimeter and stop watch.

    Well done in NY Becca and Mac!

    I don't use gels either, its Maoam Stripes for me; they are individually wrapped so they don't melt in damp conditions... at Comrades though I don't carry anything... the feeding tables have loads of goodies that I devour; coke, shortbread, banana, orange, salty new potatoes, chocolate, ritz...
  • Johnny1984 - interesting question. I’ve wondered about baby food before, but the problem is there aren’t all that many calories for the weight. Gels are much more dense, so you’d have to carry a lot of baby food for the same calories. That said, like Lowrez, I don’t carry much for Comrades. A throwaway bottle made up with Tailwind and some jelly babies get me through the first hour or so without having to deal with the early aid stations which can be a bit chaotic. After that it’s Coke, cream soda and bananas all the way. And a gin and bitter lemon this year from a nice lady in Pietermaritzburg :) .
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    I had a Navy rum and diet coke after my 5 miler last night - keeps the munchies at bay - although I should refer you to the drinkaware campaign for mentioning my radical weight loss regime there!
  • I use Kendal mint cake - sugar, glucose syrup and peppermint oil, so nothing to upset the innards. Comrades i mostly ran on quarter oranges sprinkied with salt, plus some bits of banana and boiled potatoes.
  • I seem to recall Thomas using baby food, and an amusing tale of him trying to explain to customs about why he had baby food and no baby!
  • Debra - ooh yes, definitely Kendal mint cake. Not only does it not upset the stomach it can be good for settling a queasy one. 
  • I use a garmin 920xt. Don’t know how long it will last. What are all the plate/disc chargers you’re all talking about using in the go?

    Johnny - Theres so much stuff on the tables at Comrades that you won’t need to carry your own. Thomas regretted having his water vest this year. 

    The only problem with eating oranges is that it then takes ages removing the pith from your teeth ☹️
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    See that there:-

    Its what my Fenix 3 came with to charge it up, USB end goes in a UK adaptor to plug into the mains. But on the fly you can plug the USB end into a likkle charging block:-

    If you want, you can put the block in a handy pocket, run the wires down your sleeve and still strap the watch in the cradle onto your wrist as it charges, but I bunged it all in my ultra vest back pocket as I think I was 70 odd miles in and wasn't bothered about pace or the time any more. I took it back out at about 90 miles disengaged and put just the watch back on my wrist. I think the watch was actually good for that distance but I was running longer and didn't want to chance a total black-out. So the above is what I called the "charging plate".

    At the time the Fenix 3 was the only watch I could find that did this and kept running.
  • The normal cables stick out the back and you can't wear the watch while it's got he charger attached - and they tend not to stay in place very well. These seem to stay put better and you can wear the watch while the other end is plugged into a power bank/charging block (obviously you lose use of the wrist-based heart rate monitor while charging).
    With the Fenix 6 having just come out prices for the Fenix 5 and 935 are definitely down, so a good time to buy (they both fit this cable). Neither would need charging during Comrades, but this would be useful for NDW100...

  • I carry a small waist bag which has some goodies that i consume en route together with what is on the tables. I enjoy having that flexibility of eating when you want to. Like RR i also carry a bottle to avoid the carnage at the first water station.
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Worth mentioning that there are services that offer support from around 4 tents around the course and if you leave bags with them and tell them what you want at each they will have it ready for you. This saves having to carry bulky items. Consports is one and the running club Rockies is another. 
  • I've joined a gym, yuck

    does anyone have an suggestions for particular machines or exercises which might help strengthen body for the inclines and declines of comrades? To this point, my exercise regime has been 99% cardio 
  • Do they have any sort of weight-to-music classes? I go to a local one and the squats and deadlifts & abs work really make me feel stronger and more to the point a class means the only willpower required is turning up (no lying on the mat staring at the ceiling thinking hard about doing a second rep!!)
  • Hey all,

    Update on the Injury...

    I've torn my Soleus muscle in my calf, its been two weeks with no running now and its a lot better but I don't think running is on the agenda for a little while. I am seeing the physio again on Thursday and will see what he says. I have been using the interval sessions on the X-trainer which has been nice doing something different, i think i will incorporate it into in my Comrades prep next year.

    Also I was in wales at the weekend as I was supposed to be doing the Gower CTS half marathon but instead had a nice weekend watching my girlfriend and club mates doing it instead.
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Yikes, Getafix, sorry to hear that.  It's still early days as far as Comrades is concerned so fingers crossed you heal well.

    Johnny - I don't tend to use weights machines at the gym.  As Fido suggests, squats and deadlifts can be good, not just as part of a class but as a gym workout.  Single leg stuff such as single leg squats will be useful as the quads take a pounding on the down run.  
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