Morning: 5 miles easy. Weights.
Evening: Joined the lads at Sweethoogte, my favourite training hill, but kept it easy - I want to race tomorrow. 3 x in 1:23, 1:25, 1:20. (Total 7 ½ miles.)
(Total for day: 12 ½ miles / 20 km)
In those early days, all text books and coaching manuals we runners read were American or British, so all distances were in miles. It took me a while to become fully 'bilingual' in kilometres and miles!
Morning: Fast 13 ½ miles. Heavy to begin with, but then I floated along feeling great. Weights.
By 1986, I had become a great believer in the mid-week longer run, done at close to Comrades race pace.
Morning: Tired 3 miles.
Evening: Easy track session. 3 km warm up with striding, then 4 x 800 m in 2:18, 2:17, 2:18, 2:18... with 400 metre jog in-between each one. Easy running, but I was stiff and tight.
(Total with warm up and cool down: 7 ½ miles.)
I wish 8OO's in 2:18 felt easy now! I wouldn't be able to break 3 minutes.
Morning: Very easy 5 miles.
Morning: Gentle 2 ½ miles.
Afternoon: East Rand track champs. 5,000 metres. Hard race. Big field of 25 runners.
I ran first lap in 72 seconds, and was stone last! I tucked in behind Andre Van Heerden and Tulani Sibisi, glued my eyes 5 metres ahead and hung in. 1st km - 3:02, 3rd km - 9:06.
Andre and Tulani blasted away from me on last 400 metres. Finished, exhausted, in 7th - 5:10, Andre 5th - 15:02, Sibisi 6th - 15:03.
(Total: 7 miles.)
Track racing is great fun – but only if you're fit.
Morning: Springs Striders Running Club. 32 km in 2:25. Legs dead, drained after yesterday's race.
Week's total: 67 ½ miles / 107 km
The Striders is a famous South African 20-mile run. It was the first race I ever ran back in 1977.
If you are able to find the time to do 3 gym sessions a week, that would be beneficial, but not critical. This is a down Comrades, so your legs will take a tremendous hammering from Botha’s Hill Village to the finish line.
I was fortunate to have Tim Noakes and Mr Universe, Reg Park, devise a training programme specifically for me. Remember, my focus was on winning for the 6th time - a totally different scenario from the majority of Comarades participants.
As we were heading into February, I continued to concentrate on low mileage, but high quality. Because I wanted to win again, I ran twice a day, something the average runner shouldn't attempt, as it will just lead to injury.