We are in day 1 of the SA lock down and everything regarding our normal training has to change:

The only constant is change!

For the majority of us the way we trained until now has to change as we no longer have access to streets, parks and beaches: Instead we are limited to small lawns, house boundaries, even balconies.

We have to adapt to changes and this post and video is about some principles, concepts, and ideas on what you can use to develop training programs for the next 3 weeks or longer.

Actually, I am getting quite excited that this will provide us with a great opportunity – we need to see the positives:

Comrades and Realism:
Realistically few people now expect Comrades to be held on 14 June and expect a postponement until later in the year. I suspect that the CMA are having to consult with their many stakeholders to consider a new date – make absolutely no mistake this is NOT an easy thing todo: ( wont go into that here other then to say that it includes many people up to national government level)
That being the case a date in August could easily bring another postponement and in my opinion end of September or October would be more probable .

The key point here is that normal specific Comrades training should only commence now, so a delay in preparation now for even a month is probably a good thing and could well result in better times in a delayed Comrades.

An Opportunity Opens Up:
In my opinion comrades has to happen in 2020 if at all possible as not having it will then change he date for the 100th event which has already been set with venues etc –
The change of training will not have an adverse effect – and is probably a big positive for us all no matter what we are training for

We have a great opportunity to look at balance / strength and functional fitness –


Assessing Your Training Assets including the amazing Pumatrac App

Each Person is a Unique situation – work to what you have
In terms of running everyone has a different situation with some who can basically carry on as they were using rural estates where they work, but others are restricted to 15/20 metres of drive way and others around the house.

Similarly most international countries follow the WHO guidelines, which allow for solo running: Unfortunately South African culture has evolved to try to find ‘ways around the rules’ and so, correctly, the powers have had to totally restrict running in public areas.

This means i have to stay in the confines of my block and look at what i have available:

For instance I am lucky to have 2 x steep hill driveways of 15m in my block and so will use them for hill skips – a 20m length of grass for style / form work and potentially a 200m flat lap – plus 6 flight of stairs:

On other hand one athlete i assist and advise, lives on a conservation area where they have just asked for someone to patrol the fence-line !! Clearly different scenarios

PLEASE NOTE: Each person who lives in a block / complex / estate has different rules to abide by, but ALL have to adhere as a minimum to the standard ‘social distancing’ / hygiene rules: Although one may allow walking / jogging in the estate, others may not: Each is a decision by the Body Corporate based on may factors probably including: number of apartments / houses: number residents; age of residents and adherence to rules: pets allowed not allowed / size of apartments houses etc – The basics apply and each person must adhere to rules of Government and Body Corporates:

Puma Training App
Ideally we would like to have 2 -3 session per week are tailored to running, BUT we all go to basic principles of 1 long endurance and 1 high intensity session to replicate the principle of at least 5 x 90 seconds high heart rate: Some people have that from running, others from stationary cycles / treadmills or similar, and others need to use stairs or multiple very short reps or even a High Intensity Session (HIT) such as some on the Pumatrac app, which is downloadable on apple or google platforms:

Then 3-4 days a week we can work on our strength – again levels and options of equipment vary considerably: –

Trying to explain exercises in detail would be a risky option as how I describe them and how you do them can be ‘two different things!

I could try to demonstrate them – BUT as a younger member of the community i’m not sure that I would be doing you any favours by asking you to follow my level of flexibility / style! 🙂

What we do have which is a great tool (as I think you will see) is the Pumatrac App

Selecting your level:
What I am suggesting is you do this and 3-4 times per week you can do sessions from that based on the following:

NOTE: This is a time to work on your weakness not your strengths !!!! ☺

Start Gradually! Please do not hammer into tough sessions if you have not been doing them at all before:
Anything new will take time so do a little less the first few times and expect to have stiff muscles and joints two days after.
Adaptation is important but this stiffness is also a sign of improvement which is what we want.

Body Balance:
I have spoken often of the structural balance and function – which we destroy with our work ~(sitting / what we do even if manual labour we work to one side more than another).

It is important to acknowledge that sitting is our worst enemy at this time, and future posts will deal with this aspects in details:

The couch / sitting and chairs are your enemy in the next 3 weeks: get down on the mat, up and down from your knees and use your joints as much as possible:

We will be tempted to become couch potatoes watch news (depressing) movies or working on computer screens.
This is a major problem – please rather lie on the mat on the floor and do hip bridges while watching TV –do stretching or move around but a deep cushioned couch is the absolute worst

Design a new Training program:

Once you have a list of the potential training facilities you will be able to design a program for the coming days and weeks: this can have flexibility depending on how you react to the new work:

Try NOT to have two strength sessions that use the same muscles together try to mix the days up and around so strength day are alternated with leg / run / aerobic sessions.

You can totally redefine your weeks if you are not working, BUT ensure you do at least 5 sessions and that at least one is a High Heart rate session.

Even the long endurance session is even optional as we can get endurance back easily so do NOT worry about the distance work:

The opportunity of this time lies with better structure / better core / better style

Above all Keep Safe, Keep Others Safe, and abide by the rules:
(I mean Bheki Cele’s and the president -not mine)