I already knew before I started the race that this would be a tough race.
But I completely underestimated, how tough it would be…
After COVID 19 hit the world, my running focus had vanished and I lost a lot of fitness. I was determined to run Comrades 2022 again – but it was very hard for me to get into a training routine. So I postponed long runs, took it (too) easy,
Look at these charts, comparing the distances I ran 3 and 5 months prior to the Comrades race in 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2022.
My finishing times were
You can see, in the 3 months before the race, I ran significantly less than in previous years – between 160 and 234 km less in just 3 months! That’s massive.
Actually, ultra-marathon training takes much more than 3 months.
Looking at the 5 months prior to the race shows an even bigger difference.
I ran between 317 and 413 km less than in previous years. That’s not ‘a little less’; it’s a massive difference.
Before the race, I did not dare to look at previous years and make the calculation I did just now because I was worried that knowing the lack of training in detail would hurt me psychologically on race day.
Well, it did hurt me anyhow, as you can read in my race report.
PLEASE DO NOT LOOK AT MY DISTANCES AND COPY THEM FOR YOUR TRAINING. We all are different, and have different foundations, goals, prerequisites, etc.
Just take it as an indication that you can not outrun the lack of training on race day.
You do not always get out what you put in – and with that, I mean that we might train very hard to run a personal best, but we don’t achieve it.
But we will always get punished for not putting in the minimum requirements 🙂
You can see for the 2019 race, I ran almost the same distance as for the 2015 race. But I was 46 min slower in 2019. Because I did not train as hard as in 2015. And in 2015, I was determined to get a Bill Rowan medal (sub 9h), while in 2019, I wanted to have a good race.
What might have hurt me the most in 2022 was not only the lack of total distance but also the lack of having many 30+ km training runs.