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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'Stick to your routine' - Lindsey Parry's pre-race advice for Comrades novices

With 17 920 athletes set to line up for this year's Comrades Marathon, coach Lindsey Parry is advising novices to stick to their race plan and not get carried away with the excitement that precedes race day. The 96th edition of the The Ultimate Human which takes place on Sunday is a Down Run from Pietermaritzburg to the Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban. Parry who is a renowned Comrades coach, has shared his thoughts with those taking on the gruelling 87km event for the first time.

"I think the most important thing for runners who are going to tackle the race for the first time is for them to take enough time to rest in order to be fresh on race day,"he told #TheTopRunner.

Runners (including a novice) celebrate finishing the 2022 Comrades Marathon. Photo Credit: CMA Media.

"I'm a fan of not doing anything a day before the race. I know people will want to join their friends at the expo or visit the beach but I would advise not to do that too much. Another important thing is to not change your routine, if you were used to get your supper at the specific time then don't change it. In the morning of the race, try to eat something because you don't want to feel hungry early on in the race. I always emphasize that you must drink a lot of water, eat bananas to get you ready for the big day," said the man who also coaches Olympian Sibusiso Nzima.

Parry believes most runners tend to ignore the instructions given by their coaches which can end up in disaster. He says novices tend to stick to advice which is why they generally have higher finish success rate than those who think they know what to expect.

Parry (centre) poses for a pic at the Comradees Expo with Run Zone athlete Theo Adams (left). Photo Credit: Theo Adams.

"Novices always record a high finishing percentage for one reason, they are scared of the race. It something they never tasted before so they pay attention to details given by coaches. They don't to miss instructions. You will find the guys who have done three of four races failing to finish because of trying to do something out of their plan, unlike novices who are driven to earn that maiden Comrades medal."

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