The Comrades Marathon Association has held the Durban leg of its nationwide roadshows ahead of the iconic race.
The session motivates and empowers the 16 000 entrants with much-needed training and nutritional information to prepare for race day on the 28th of August. Athletes used the opportunity to receive first-hand information from experts.
Preparations by the Comrades Marathon Association and thousands of runners for this year’s race are under way. The coming few weeks are crucial to runners as they ensure that they are both physically and mentally fit for the grueling race.
Comrades Marathon coach, Lindsey Parry, has urged runners to ensure they treat injuries prior to the race. Parry says a large number of runners who do not finish the grueling marathon, had made the mistake of running with an injury.
“The majority of runners who don’t finish Comrades start with an injury so we have done surveys that 64 percent of the runners that do not finish that is roughly between 87 to 91 percent of those who start finish so of those 10 percent who don’t finish, 64 percent of them do not finish because they started with an injury. we know that because we have done the surveys so again I can only stress that the biggest chance of being successful in Comrades is avoiding getting injured but if you do get injured get it treated.”
A sports nutritionist, Nicki de Villiers, urged runners to eat the foods that they would eat during the race, before they start their training runs. She says this conditions the body to these foods and drinks during exercise.
“In terms of the nutrition considerations there are mainly three considerations one is fuel and provision of enough fuel, the other one is hydration the other one is we want to get the best rest as possible. What I really want novices to do at this stage is they need to train with what they are going to run with and they need to make sure it is enough so they need to fill all their needs with enough carbohydrates foods. They need to make sure they recover well after each session by drinking enough water and eating enough carbohydrates stuff and also eating proteins.”
One of the runners who attended the session, Bradley Naidoo says getting information from experts has eased his anxiety.
“I think a little bit so in 2019 when I ran my first Comrades I did listen to coach Lindsey as well. So it does ease the nerves and it makes it more real as well. So the goal is to finish Comrades and get the back to back medal number one, the bronze medal will be nice as well.”
Comrades Marathon Association’s Delaine Cools says the countdown to the race has started..
“We have less than 74 days to the race day on Sunday the 28th of August and the idea behind the Comrades road shows is really to get runners both novices and veterans prepared in an adequate way to actually meet the challenge of the Comrades Marathon. As you know it is a 90 km down run and it is rated among the World’s most grueling on the sporting calendar.”
This year’s race will be the first Comrades Marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.