Taking on the challenge of Ironman South Africa and the Comrades Marathon in the same year is an impressive feat. 

Both events demand exceptional physical and mental strength. If you’re embarking on this double challenge, the period following Ironman is crucial for your Comrades Marathon preparation.

In this article, we’ll explore how to transition from Ironman to Comrades, ensuring a smooth and effective training process.

Ironman as Your Final Long Run

I suggest viewing Ironman as your final, long training run for Comrades if your goal is simply to finish both events. This approach can alleviate the pressure and allow you to transition seamlessly into your Comrades training. However, the key lies in listening to your body post-Ironman.

Listen to Your Body

Recovery is paramount. If you experience stiffness or significant fatigue post-Ironman, taking a few days off is essential. Allow yourself to recover fully, which might take anywhere from 3-7 days. During this time, it’s crucial to focus on rest and gentle recovery activities, such as stretching or walking.

Building Consistency

Once you feel better, it’s time to resume training. Lindsey emphasizes the importance of consistency between Ironman and Comrades. You don’t need to pack in many kilometers; instead, focus on maintaining your fitness and consistency.

If you’ve genuinely taken Ironman easy, your training adjustments for Comrades should be minimal. However, if Ironman was a tough day for you, adjustments in your Comrades training plan may be necessary.

No Pressure on Cross-Training

One of the advantages of transitioning from Ironman to Comrades is the reduced pressure on cross-training. While it’s beneficial to maintain some level of cross-training, such as cycling or swimming, there’s no obligation to do so.

If you’re feeling fatigued or not up for a session, taking it off can be a wise choice. This reduced focus on multiple disciplines can make your training feel lighter and more enjoyable.

Enjoy the Recovery Period

The period between Ironman and Comrades is a valuable time for recovery and rejuvenation. Embrace this time to rest, recover, and focus on your well-being. Listen to your body, prioritize sleep, and nourish yourself with healthy foods to support recovery.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on the Ironman and Comrades double is a significant undertaking. The key to a successful transition from Ironman to Comrades lies in effective recovery and maintaining consistency in your training. Remember, it’s not about packing in more kilometers but about listening to your body, building consistency, and enjoying the journey towards achieving your goals.

Best of luck to all the athletes taking on this incredible challenge! Whether you’re aiming for a personal best or just looking to finish, trust in your training, listen to your body, and enjoy every step of the way. Cheers to your Ironman and Comrades journey!


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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