It’s the final countdown to Comrades – The big training weeks and long runs for Comrades are done and dusted, and many runners understandably feel that they now deserve a good rest before lining up at the start on June 9, while others are in panic mode, cramming in kays. CoachNeville explains how to get to the start of the Comrades feeling rested and ready.
I used to over-race and only coped with low levels of training resulting in average performances and injuries. But since I’ve been coached by Neville for the past 3 years, I am now able to balance my training and racing schedules and delivered outstanding results, which included representing South Africa at the Long distance Trail Running World Champs in Switzerland and at the World Skyrunning Champs in Spain. I also finished 2nd in my longest ever run, the Salomon Skyrun 100km. With his individual attention and great planning I’m sure I still have a lot to deliver under his guidance.
I needed a coach to give me direction and focus, someone to tell me when to run when to rest, when to push and when to take it easy. Coach Neville has given me exactly that and more. Knowing that there is someone there to support you all the way, to guide you and to share in all your success (and sometimes failure) makes it so much more meaningful. In addition to the guidance and support, the learning that has come from working with Coach Neville has been invaluable to me. From nutrition advice, to advice on shoes, pacing yourself over distances, racing short distances, breathing, etc there is always interesting and useful information shared.
I have been coached by Neville for about three and a half years. Before I started with him, the first nearly 3 years of my running, I was constantly injured. By getting me to rest more and train properly, Neville completely stopped me from getting injured and I haven’t missed a days training due to injury! I have progressed as a runner from being a complete novice to being selected for the national team to compete in the World Ultra trail champs after running my best race ever at the SA Ultra trail champs and coming 3rd. Now that I’m concentrating on Comrades I am still amazed at Neville’s running wisdom, from individual sessions to overall yearly strategies and plans to make me a better runner. Thanks Coach Neville!
I tend to question people and exert great pressure on myself, but I learnt a long time ago that Neville knows best and I do what he says. He is quick to respond to any queries or phone calls and listens to any suggestions and thoughts that I might have on my performances and programme. He is always researching running and training which gives me the confidence that not only is he basing his advice on his own experiences (having been an accomplished runner himself), but has also studied other successful coaches and athlete performances. Some coaches tend to over train their runners, but I find Neville’s programmes to be easily doable with a busy lifestyle, yet still produce the results. I have never had an overtraining injury in the many years I have been running with Neville.
I ran my first ultra in 1977 when I was 15 years old, the 48km Lowveld Marathon between Barberton and Nelspruit. Not very clever, but back then we didn't know better!
The 50km Om Die Dam in 2012 was my 252nd marathon and last long road race after having run 10 Comrades, and I now mainly do long trail races.
I've been coaching runners since 1999, and in 2015 four of my runners represented SA at world trail champs in France and Switzerland, and in 2016 one of my runners represented SA at the World Skymarathon Champs.
- 1000m (grass track): 2.31
- 5000m (grass track): 14.58
- 10km: 32.12
- 21km: 72.14
- 42km: 2.34
- 50km: 3.06
- Comrades: 6.38
- 100km: 7.31