Running legend and Newton devotee Zola Budd is taking on Comrades Ultramarathon next month in her native South Africa. She was kind enough to take a moment and write a bit about her preparation thus far for the famous event.
Training for Comrades has been a whole new experience for me. It is a whole new world that opened up regarding training and my mental approach to races as well.
The biggest change was the long runs of up to 4 hrs and the speed work that was equivalent to my long runs before I started training for Comrades! Most exciting was running the two Ultra marathons in South Africa during April. First up was the Two Oceans in Cape Town. This is a 56km race where you run along both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. It is a gruelling race which includes two climbs up Chapmans Peak and Constantia Nek. What made the race even more difficult this year was the weather. It rained almost the whole way with strong winds as well. I finished 5th in my age group in 4:29 plus change.
The next ultra was two weeks later in Mpumalanga. It is called the Loskop Forever Resorts Ultra Marathon. The run starts in Middelburg and finishes at the Forever Resorts and is run over 50km. The weather was incredible and I had a better run than at Two Oceans and finished 5th overall in the open Ladies and won my age group in 3:40:02.
Since returning to the US I started my taper and has run shorter and faster distances in preparation for the Comrades. I will be running the Divas Half Marathon in North Myrtle Beach on the 20th of May and will be flying over to South Africa after that.
Keep an eye out for more from Zola before and after Comrades!