An old, but relevant message from a wise coach – Iano

Hello All,

Here is are a few notes from a wise runner, Iano (I came across this old email yesterday and thought I would share it with you):

Regarding the sessions, here are a few notes I’ve made over the years:

  • For comrades, the most important run is the long run – it should be run slower than predicted race pace
  • Next important is the tempo run, which should get longer and longer – I like the idea of a moderate and hard session alternating. Don’t be too tempted to make it shorter, though once or twice is okay for variation – remember that the end goal is comrades (which is a long run!!)
  • Hills are important – build up the reps and length of the hills (up to at least 3 mins). As I said this morning, don’t ignore the downhill running. I’d suggest a least an equal interval down, but preferably shorter. I’d also look for a steeper gradient hill than the one we used last year. Gill Hill is good, but probably too short.
  • Intervals are probably the least important. I’d suggest doing your best to get to the track for these. Doing intervals on the road has a number of detractors: 1. People tend to take them too easy, which negates any effect that you might get from them. 2. If run correctly on the road, the chances of picking up and injury are much higher. Be careful when running road intervals. Don’t cut the warm-up down. I like to do a 15 to 20 min warm-up before doing anything strenuous. 5-10 mins is too short.
  • I’d also suggest promoting gym sessions to help strengthen for the run. It would be good to build core strength and leg strength, particularly in the quads (i.e. squats). I’ve been using the Power Plate in the gym as it is great for compressing the time needed for a great workout.
  • Also, stretching is really important. The more mileage you put on, the greater the focus you need to put on stretching and recovery. Sport’s massage at least once a month is a good habit to get into.
  • This weekend at the club run, Doug and I ran with Arnie Gheerts. Do you remember before the 2005 Comrades, he did a visualisation talk. He’s offered to come and do it for a group again this year and I think Doug will arrange at Morningside. Last year I had intentions of doing more of my own visualisation sessions, but didn’t get around to it. This is one way that you can easily improve performance without spending hard time on the road. I’m keen to do something on this again this year, so maybe we could do some group sessions. (Gill comment- see if you can attend one of these visualisation sessions- I am not sure if Arno is still doing them).

Happy running and last few weeks prep for Oceans.

Kind regards

Gillian Whittal


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