Dreaming of crossing the finish line of the Comrades Marathon, but starting from the comfort of your couch? 

It may sound like a daunting challenge, but with the right plan and dedication, it’s entirely achievable. Let’s dive into the insights on going from zero to Comrades in just one year.

The Journey is Challenging, But Possible

Embarking on the journey from the couch to the Comrades Marathon is not easy, but it’s definitely possible. 

With the right guidance and commitment, many have achieved this feat, even those who started far from the ideal fitness level. The key is to believe in the process and trust the journey.

The Importance of Discipline

While the focus is often on running, it’s crucial to go beyond just logging miles.

 Incorporating additional elements like strength and conditioning programs, nutritional guidance, and consulting a biokineticist can make a significant difference. 

These extras ensure a well-rounded approach to training, setting the foundation for success.

The Couch to Comrades Programme

A structured plan tailored for the journey is essential. The Couch to Comrades programme is designed to guide through this ambitious goal, emphasizing consistent training and injury prevention. 

The programme provides the necessary framework to build endurance and strength progressively.

The Margin for Error is Small

The margin for error is indeed small when transitioning from the couch to Comrades. A conservative approach to training is key, focusing on slow and steady progress. In the early stages, it might feel like more walking than running, but it’s essential to embrace the process and celebrate each session as a win.

Setting Manageable Goals and Tracking Progress

Setting small, achievable goals helps maintain motivation and focus. Viewing progress in 12-week chunks can be enlightening, showcasing the significant strides made over time. It’s a reminder of how far one has come and provides the motivation to continue pushing forward.

Avoiding Injury and Ensuring Sustainability

One of the critical aspects of this journey is avoiding injuries. Progressing slowly and steadily reduces the risk of injury, increasing the chances of long-term success. The goal is to make the change sustainable, ensuring that the fitness level achieved is maintained.

Takeaway: The Power of Consistency and Planning

So, is it possible to go from the couch to Comrades in 12 months? The answer is yes, with discipline, a well-rounded approach to training, and a conservative plan. The key is to train consistently, stay injury-free, and focus on slow, steady progress.

Ready to Start the Journey?

If ready to tackle the Comrades Marathon from the couch, or looking to improve, a structured plan is essential. 

Making sure you do the correct strength training is important. The good news is we’ve created a free strength training plan for runners that you can download by clicking here.

Remember, whether a seasoned athlete or a complete beginner, the journey from couch to Comrades requires patience, dedication, and the right guidance. With commitment and the right approach, crossing that Comrades finish line is within reach.


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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