NW – Martin, Duzi went very well for you this year, tell us about it.
MD – It was a special event, Mark Perrow and I teamed up for it, we set it as a goal from March last year and basically set the whole year to build to it. We did the Knysna half marathon to get our running going even though it was 3 days before the Berg River marathon. The race went awesomely, nothing went wrong, and it was fantastic

NW: This was quite long build up.
MD: Being an endurance event it needs good preparation, and it is also the sort of race that requires you to trip on the river. There are many things that can go wrong in terms as a result of the different river levels, so you need to get to know the conditions.

NW In training for Duzi what sort of hours do you put in?

MD; It takes about 3 hours a day in the last third of your training cycle which is the last 3-4 months. You have a day-off per week or maybe active recovery. Being here in Knysna I pretty much design my own training schedules and most sessions are fairly active.

NW How did your training change when you commenced building for Comrades?

MD: The running shoes came out, and I got info from some key people who told me to put distance in my legs. My longest runs for Duzi were 15km and I started doing 25kms with the odd 40km and my longest run of 47kms. I tried to do 100km per week and I had to take 2 rest days per week, just because with my legs not being used to it, I found myself being fatigued when I only took I day off.

NW How many times did you do your long 47km run?
MD: just once- Actually it was 42 and then I had a 20-minute rest and squeezed in another 5km. I was hoping to do 60, as my big run of the training schedule, but my legs were just too sore. It was a good lesson for the race. I went out too fast and my legs were just too sore, so it taught me to make my training long and slow, which allowed me to go out and train more.

NW: Were there any problems in the build up?
MD:  I did have a bit of a hip niggle so I was quite conservative in keeping away from speed work.

NW How does Duzi, which is a 3-day event, vary from Comrades?
MD; Duzi is only about 3 hours each day so we found that we could get through on cytomax, whereas for Comrades I had to add more substantial intake and took a meal replacement every 2 hours. In the final section I added GU concentrate to take me through and I was very happy to finish in 7:21 on my first attempt.

NW: For the average person, which would you say is easier Duzi or Comrades?
MD: Comrades is easier to get into, because you know the distance and you know what’s involved, whereas Duzi there are many unknowns. You can break your boat on the first day and you have got to have experience of river paddling, – It’s not just a case of getting out and paddling. However, in terms of which is harder, I have to say Comrades is harder because 20 minutes after I finished I couldn’t run another step, whereas after Duzi I could have paddled straight back down the river.

NW: You are in and leading the ‘Big Five’ (Duzi, Midmar swim, Argus, Comrades and Mount Kilamanjaro) – How much training did you do in each event?
MD: I can’t say I did much swimming as I come from a lifesaving background, mainly paddling and running, where I have provincial colours, so Midmar wasn’t too bad. I didn’t do a great time, but along with Argus these are probably the easiest to complete. In cycling you can freewheel if necessary and can also get away with out too much training because of the running training if you only want to complete it. In total I probably only did 10 rides of about 35kms from Knysna to Plett and got a lift back from my parent’s house.

NW: Kilimanjaro is the last event. Have you any fears or concerns?
MD: The only concern is really the altitude factor as no one knows how they handle it until they experience it at 14,000 feet. It’s a group effort as we all go up at the same time; so assuming I can handle the altitude I should finish in first place. I just need to keep monitoring myself

NW: What’s on schedule for the future?
MD: Duzi got me my initial success so I will try to defend my title, but doing Comrades has given me the bug to try other endurance events and I would like to try the Speights  Coast to Coast event in New Zealand. That combines, running, mountain biking, and paddling. It’s an event, which requires you to dig deep, but it’s a huge challenge and I think I could do quite well at it. I am a late starter and it’s becoming quite exciting to just see what I can do.

NW: Given your performance on what many will see as limited training, is the temptation there to increase your training?
MD: I feel I got Duzi training ‘spot-on’ for me, peaking at the right time, especially with Mark for this years race. However, now I have a fulltime job so time management and discipline will become much more critical.

Name Martin Dreyer
Height 1.78
Weight 75kg now but fighting weight 72Kg
Date of Birth: 29/11/1968
PB 5km  (track) 15:45
10km   33:10
21.1     76mins
42.2     2:49 in Two Oceans
56       3:51

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