muzhingi5h23

Words of a Comrades Winner

Comrades Build Up

My build up and preparation towards Comrades 2011 began in November 2010, where I ran the Township to Township 50km race in Durban. I then went back home to Zimbabwe for a few months to be with my family, as well as to do my “Zimbabwe training,” which I do every year. I pretty much follow a training programme based on Mileage for stamina, Strength training and then lastly speed work.
Although Comrades is run every year, the Up and Down runs are completely different and I do very different training dependant on which direction the race is going. The Up run is all about strength and stamina, so I have done a lot of strength training and included the speed endurance side of things. It has been a hard 6 months of total dedication where all I do is concentrate on running and have little time for anything else. My family plays a big part in my preparation for Comrades as I am not able to spend quality time with them during the preparation months and for this I am eternally grateful.

My Coach (Cliff Chinnasamy) and Manger (Craig Fry) have equally important roles in my life. The Coach from keeping me on track and making sure that I develop and peak at the right time, and not to soon and not to late. The timing has to be just right. My manager takes care of all my business such as making sure I have the right shoes and kit from my sponsor, Nike and that I have the correct supplements to keep my body from breaking down from the stresses and strains of training. He also makes sure that I am able to have an income so there is little for me to worry about.

Winning in 2010 was a lot harder than winning in 2009, despite the fact the Leonid Shvetsov was not running. The mere fact that I was the defending Champion so the expectation from most was that I would win again. There was a lot of media exposure which I wasn’t used to at that time, and on race day many of the top athletes were watching my every move. But as they say, thats all History as I overcame all the pressures and know what to expect this year. I do however think that the competition will be very stiff this year, as everyone wants to win the “Ultimate Human Race” and all the top guys have trained harder than ever.
Initially I was concerned with the contenders from East Africa, (Kenya & Ethiopia), but seeing what happened at Two Oceans last weekend I don’t think these athletes will be a big threat. Make no mistake, athletes that come from these countries are of the best in the world, but that is over the Marathon and shorter distance races. Comrades is more than Two Marathons in one race. I would say the biggest threat will come from the Russians, and from the local guys, such as Bongmusa Mthembu, Claude Moshiywa, Petros Sosibo, Prodigal Khumalo. One can never write off an athlete like Fusi Nhlapo – the man has had 9 starts at Comrades and has achieved 1 win and 8 top ten places. So the competition will be steep but on the day the best prepared athlete will win, and I hope to be that athlete.
I have not finalised the race plan as yet, but will do so now that Two Oceans is out the way. I now have a good idea as to where I am since Two Oceans, and we can now get the strategy finalised. I watch previous Comrades Races at least twice a week, which helps with my mental preparations as well as studying other athletes so on race day I am mentally 110% ready and from simple body movements of the other athletes I know how they are feeling and what they are going to do, so can counter what they do during the race.

Two Oceans last weekend was very good for me, as I ran a personal best time by two minutes. I had a time of 3H08 – 3H09 in my mind and I knew if I ran that time I should be in the top 5 places at the end. Although I finished really strong I did hold myself back a bit as I didn’t want to hurt myself for Comrades. But since the race I feel like I haven’t even run a 56km race a few days ago, so I am really happy with how I feel at the moment. After all from the Comrades runners that took part at Oceans, I was the first home, as well as in 2009 and 2010 so maybe a good omen.

Since signing up for twitter and face book and have my own blog, I have been completely overwhelmed by the support I have received from the public. The amount of wishes and messages I received after Oceans has really made me feel pretty special, and to receive this type of support fires me up to want to win Comrades, not only for me, but to give something back to all the people that support me and have shown their faith in me. One thing about me is that I love top make people smile and be happy, so if I win again, then I know that I will bring smile to many faces. So to everyone that has supported me I will give 200% this year that I can assure you.

On Comrades day you can follow live updates from my Face Book and Twitter sites and this I have arranged for my followers and friends. I am doing this so my friends can get exactly what is happening as it happens, so hopefully you will see another part of what goes on during the race.
A huge thank you to all my sponsors, Nike, 32GI, Rudy Project eyewear, Future Life, Bluff Meats for their support and most of all to my followers and supporters, thank you.
What I really want if I win Comrades this year is a new Double Cab vehicle! Lets see!
All the best

Stephen Muzhingi

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April 28, 2011 - Posted by | Athletics, Comrades, Comrades Marthon, Exercise, Fitness, Marathon Running, Running, Stephen Muzhingi, Two Oceans Marathon, Uncategorized | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Thanks Muzhingi, give your sponsors some airtime. Tell me how you corbo-load and what you use may be I might give you a run for that “double cab”.

    Comment by MaNkonzweni | April 28, 2011 | Reply

  2. well done you did very well what i liked the most is you paced yourself very well.must admit you had me worried there when you slowed down,but now i know that was the plan.

    Comment by salwa | June 1, 2011 | Reply


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