Your guide to start­ing Com­rades train­ing

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MAT­SHE­LANE MAM­ABOLO

SEE YOU in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg on June 10 next year.

That was the gen­eral re­frain out in Dur­ban as run­ners from all over the world, the coun­try and dif­fer­ent walks of life parted ways.

Medals dan­gling down their necks as most of them limped about, men and women were al­ready look­ing ahead to the next Com­rades Marathon. Such is the ad­dic­tive na­ture of the fa­mous KwaZulu-Natal ul­tra-marathon won by Bong­musa Mthembu on Sun­day.

Renowned Com­rades Marathon trainer Lind­sey Parry is not sur­prised. He ac­tu­ally knows that while the bug is bit­ten those who were do­ing the race for the first time, sim­ply watching the race – be it on the tele­vi­sion or through­out the route it­self - would have got even the non-run­ners to want to be a part of the event.

“Be proud that you have in­spired a whole new wave of peo­ple back home to tackle the Com­rades in 2018,” he says.

And to any­one con­sid­er­ing to take on the race, Parry has some great ad­vice.

“Act while the de­sire is high­est. Tell peo­ple about it and rope in some re­cruits, ev­ery ad­ven­ture is more fun with com­pany.”

Along with Com­rades spon­sors Boni­tas, Parry has shared some of what he be­lieves are the ‘golden rules’ to Com­rades suc­cess – that is start­ing the race healthy and in­jury free and fin­ish­ing it.

START OFF SLOW

The slower you go, the lower your risk of in­jury and the more sus­tain­able this new life will be. Build slowly, very grad­u­ally build­ing up the time and dis­tance.

WALK BE­FORE YOU RUN

If you are not a run­ner and espe­cially if you were many years ago, lay a proper foun­da­tion. Walk more and run less, slowly mov­ing over from walking to run­ning more.

GET THE RIGHT EQUIP­MENT

Make sure you are in the right train­ers. Spend­ing a lit­tle more money up front will save you lots of money, pain and heartache in the long run.

CROSS-TRAIN­ING

The “unnatural” run­ner will al­most without fail suf­fer from an overuse in­jury. As a be­gin­ner, you will be sur­rounded by ath­letes who are do­ing “big” mileage and the pres­sure is on to run more, more, more. Re­sist this pres­sure; for most run­ning four days a week with re­cov­ery will give you the best chance of an in­jury free run. For those with more time to train, add strength and cross train­ing (cy­cling, swim­ming, row­ing and other non­im­pact car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise) to com­ple­ment your train­ing.

TREAT IN­JURIES EARLY

68% of the peo­ple who do not fin­ish the Com­rades start the race with an in­jury. If you have pain it is best to stop and rest and find out what the prob­lem and cause is so that you can heal and con­tinue stronger than be­fore.

GET ONTO THE COM­RADES WEB­SITE

There are pro­grammes that kick off from July 1 that will guide you through your first 10km run, then a 21km, a marathon and be­yond. Com­rades Marathon As­so­ci­a­tion and Boni­tas want you to start the race and fin­ish the race. I’ll amend that here,’ con­cludes Parry, ‘we all want you to start the race healthy and in­jury free and fin­ish it.

PIC­TURE LEON LESTRADE

The Com­rades Marathon is un­doubt­edly the jewel in South Africa’s ul­tra-marathon crown.

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