Undergo a Decent Taper Before the Race
Prior to Bruce’s Comrades ascendancy, it was generally held that the last month before the race was the time to train the hardest. Thus the training mileages of previous Comrades greats including Newton (see Exercises 5.1) and Mekler (see Exercises 8.24) show that they all trained their greatest distances in May.
Yet Bruce has modified this by resting more in May and training hardest in April (see Exercises 8.27). He achieves this by following a definite taper, not dissimilar to that advocated by Newton (see Exercises 8.29).
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For the final 10 days before the race, he reduces his training precipitously and rests frequently. Before the 1980 race, his training for the last 10 days before the race was as shown in Exercises 8.30 (Fordyce, 1981).
From The Distance Runner s Log: To the Lonely Breed (9th ed, p. 5) by Collegian Harriers, 1981, Pietermaritzburg: Collegian Harriers. Copyright 1981 by Collegian Harriers. Adapted by permission.
Gauge Your Fitness by Performance in Short-Distance Races and Speed Sessions
The need to gauge fitness at any point in training was discussed in post 4. Two refinements that Fordyce has developed are the abilities to gauge his fitness on the basis of performance in short-distance races and speed sessions.
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