There is Nothing and Everything you can do about it!

Today many people are correct – there is NOTHING you can do to improve your time for tomorrow’s Witness Maritzburg Marathon, half Marathon and 10km races.

The weather is set to be a hot and humid day today, but it is due to end with lightning and thunder which will see an overnight low of 14 degrees and a high of 19.
Let’s hope the humidity is low too.

That prediction is great news for runners and if we can have a little light rain from say 06:00 to 07:30 that would just add to the potential for personal bests and fast times, not just at the sharp end of the race, but also for those who know they are going to be pushed to squeeze under 5 hours.

True the Chinese and Russians have been said to shoot canisters into the air and change the smog and weather, but here is the City of Choice there is no such control on a community or individual basis – It will be what it will be and we should take Peter Dirk Uys’s proclamations under a previous regime as our slogan “Adapt or Die!”

Certainly, although a few will, as you read this, be cutting routes and stomping around the banks of the Duzi in the 5km and 15km trail races, the training for tomorrows races is done, with the exception of a very easy, low intensity 20-30 minute jog and 2-3 accelerations from a jog to fast over 80-100metres.
The sole purpose of this is to cajole the body from the rest day, and hibernation, of Friday into a level of readiness so that tomorrow morning you are activated and ready to go!

So by now indeed there is NOTHING to do to improve your potential time – BUT everything you do from now to the morning can affect whether or not you will receive that Potential time.

Warm up:
The body works best when there is a gradual increase in the level of exercise: This is a fact and the usual suggestion that runners will “use the first couple of kilometres to ease into it” is totally lost with the loud blast of the start cannon.

Instead give yourself your best chance by having a formal warm up from 45 minutes before the start. Commence with a very easy jog for 1 minute then walk 1 minute, now slightly faster for 2 minutes and a walk for 1 minute, now 3 minutes very easy and 1 min walk and finally 4 minutes easy pace with a 2 minute walk followed by 2-4 short pick up as accelerations .. This will take 15-20 minutes then head directly to your seeding pen at the start. – Now you are ready.

Make sure you have collected your pacing information either at the expo or from the website and base you chosen target time on the equivalent marathon target time as given in the table below and your times over shorter race distances..
Do NOT try to run faster than your ability from the gun as this is a sure way to end up walking or battling over the final 8-10km

The ideal pacing is actually even effort NOT even pace. The pacing tables that are provided by the organizers and calculated by Coachnorrie take into account the hills and drops along the route.

Equivalent PB marathon to get Seeding for Comrades
Seeding and qualifying time
equivalent PB marathon

Run and Walk:

The best way to be able to pace is to mix running and walking – The walks are only 60-90 seconds (equating to around 80-120 metres) but these allow for partial recovery of effort and in doing so helps with the way the marathon is run.
It also splits the race into smaller steps, and this is psychologically easier to manage than constantly thinking that there are 42, then 41, then 40 km to go..
Picture running 7 x 6km intervals with 60-90 sec walk recovery and this is easier than looking at a block of 42.2km

Finally, hydration:
As a guide allow 100ml of fluid for every 10 minutes of running. For most adults, this is simply 4-5 swallows of water for every 10 minutes of running. So simply work out what your average pace will mean between the water points, then see how many swallows are required.
For example if you target a 3:30 marathon which is 5 minutes per km which means passing a water table at roughly 15 minute intervals. This will require around 150ml of fluid to keep hydrated and this equates to around 6-7 swallows per table.

With all your planning in place and a clear race day regime you are now ready to do your best in the Witness Maritzburg Marathon – Have a Great Race .