If you’re aiming to set a marathon PB before participating in the Comrades Marathon, the timing of your marathon is crucial. After the Comrades, it’s important to take a proper break before getting back on the road.

Timing Your Marathon PB Before the Comrades Marathon

Ideally, you should target a fast, flat, and cool marathon towards the end of the year, around late October to December. If that’s not feasible, early January can work as well. However, racing marathons later than that could jeopardize your Comrades preparation, so plan accordingly.

Improving Your Marathon Times

Improving your marathon times involves a balance between speed work and endurance training. Here are some key strategies:

1. Focus on Shorter Distances

Improving your times in shorter distances like 5km, 10km, and half-marathon races can significantly boost your marathon performance. These shorter races help build speed, which translates into faster marathon times when combined with adequate endurance training.

2. Consistency is Key

Running more consistently can lead to substantial improvements. This involves regular training sessions without long breaks, helping to build and maintain your running fitness.

Related: Consistently working my way back to Comrades…or somewhere

3. Tailored Training Plans

Your training plan should be tailored to your current fitness level and marathon goals. For instance, the approach for a 4:55 marathon runner will differ from that for a 3:15 runner. It’s important to customize your training intensity and volume based on your specific needs.

4. Endurance Training

Endurance is essential for marathon success. Ensure your training program includes long runs and stamina-building workouts to help you maintain your pace over the marathon distance.

5. Park Run Improvements

Working on your 5km park run times is a great starting point. A faster 5km time can lead to improvements in your 10km, half-marathon, and ultimately marathon times. Incorporate speed workouts and interval training to shave seconds off your 5km personal best

Related: You’ve Run a Few Parkruns – What’s Next?

Achieving a marathon PB requires strategic planning and dedicated training. Focus on improving your shorter race times, maintain consistent training, and ensure you have a balanced mix of speed and endurance workouts. By implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to reaching new heights in your marathon running journey. For more detailed training plans and personalized coaching, visit CoachParry.com and explore our range of programs designed to help runners of all levels achieve their goals. Happy running!


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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