One of the key decisions that you face in the run up to Comrades 2018 is when you qualify. There are two options you have: qualify in 2018 as part of your training run up (the traditional way) or get your qualification out the way prior to January 2018.
I’ve chosen the latter and I recommend that to most runners and here’s why:
- Trying to run a marathon and get the best time to improve your seeding can result (for mere mortals) in needing to take time to recover.
- If you need time to recover from a marathon where you have experienced a great deal of stiffness afterwards this cuts into your training program.
- Training for Comrades and training for a marathon are different, and you may favour one rather than the other (usually the marathon).
- You may get sidelined by injury during your training (more common than you think) and then you’ll be scrambling to get a qualifier done before the cut off. This will seriously impact your training.
- I find it best to start with a clean slate after qualifying (and resting) so that once my Comrades training has started it has my undivided focus.
There are exceptions to the above. It may well be that you don’t exactly race marathons and the amount of damage done completing them is minimal, not necessitating a great deal of time to recover and slowly build up. If this is you then a qualifier from January onwards won’t affect you badly.
Psychologically, there is a lot to be said about putting the qualification issue to bed before you start your training run up. You know your body so it’s your choice. When I coach runners for Comrades I prefer them to get qualification sorted early so that we can have post season recovery and pre season conditioning before the long km’s loom on the training horizon.