Words of a Comrades Winner

Overview of my Annual Training

During the “off season” I do a little bit of running but just enough to stay relatively fit. Generally there will be no hard running sessions, just regular runs, so that when the real training starts I am not starting from square one. At the same time my muscles are still used to running but have not placed them under any particular stresses.

Running is hard and if I start from nothing with hard sessions I am likely to pick up injuries, and have many setbacks, when I can’t afford to. Yes, my running season goes from Comrades to Comrades, as I am sure many out there do the same. So a typical year for me is pretty much like this:

June & July: Are definitely rest months from running Comrades in May. This rest I have at home in Zimbabwe where I do absolutely no running at all. This in order for my muscles and joints to recover from the mileage needed to run comrades.
August: I start with easy slow runs, and do nothing more than 15km at any session. I then progress to once a week on one of the runs doing a varied pace, in order to get the heart rate up. This is always hard as you have no real pace in your legs, but your mind is telling you that you can run faster, as I suppose its become the norm. I always think at this time that, hey so much work to do, how will I ever get back to the shape I was in.
September: I do various medium distance runs, and start with strength sessions, yeah – Up and down hills, happy days! I sometimes look at doing a race (marathon) around this time, just to keep me focused for the hard sessions ahead and to also check how my body is responding to the training to date. This is always a difficult race.

October to November: Hard months with what I like to call loading – this is where I do high mileage and little or no speed work.

December: Is a month with various run as well as resting in order that the body and muscles can recover from the previous months. But I do keep a check on things as so that i do not loose any fitness.

January & February: Is regular runs, as well as lots of strength and conditioning, as well as combining the different sessions so that I become an all round athlete.
March: Is the month I complete my programme and then start to focus on Two Oceans. This is also a month to iron out any problems I may have had during training and then I start my tapering programme.

After Two Oceans there is ample time for recovery and finishing touches for the Big C (Comrades). And hopefully if I have stayed focused, injury free I should be in top shape.

So, as long as you stick to your programme and listen to your body you will be just great come race day. An important rule of thumb for me, is that any hard training done within a two week period of the race will only do your race harm, so always plan to complete your training with two weeks to go and taper properly, and on race day your body and legs will be raring to go and you will run just fine.

All the best
Stephen Muzhingi


March 24, 2011 - Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you Muzhingi, highly appreciated.

    Comment by MaNkonzweni | March 25, 2011 | Reply

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