Comrades. Morning on STS. Denis Rynda.STS

Does the ice in Death Valley save how the terrible and mighty Comrades has become a magnet for tens of thousands of people and why running down is not at all fun?

-The Comrades South African Ultramarathon. 89 kilometers and 300 meters, not everyone can do it. This morning I will train with a man who is not afraid of such a challenge. Dmitry Voloshin will be the first representative of our republic, who will take part in this very difficult race. It will be a fascinating run, during which you will learn why people put themselves through such a challenge and why they do it.Good morning Dmitry .


-Thank you for agreeing to let us participate in your workout. Today is the final training session before the Comrades ultramarathon. Well, as a tradition, before the start of training, which we will hold today, warm up first. Right?

-Yeah. .

– And while we’re warming up, I’m gonna ask you some questions.

– Let’s go. Come on.

– Everyone thinks that Comrades is one of the most difficult ultramarathons, for many athletes, even the experienced ones. You have a lot of marathons under your belt, in addition to this marathon in the valley of death, where the temperature reached 50-60 degrees, where the sneakers are glued to the asphalt. This distance in southern Africa, will it be difficult for you? Do you feel for yourself that it will be just as difficult, just as extreme?

-I really like and respect journalists. Especially those who exaggerate a little bit the achievement of my and other athletes. It was not 50-60 degrees in the valley of death, there was not a marathon, and a half-marathon at 42 degrees. But it was really very difficult. I covered myself with ice all the time in order to continue running. Of course, Comrades is not 21 kilometers, but much more. It’s 90 miles on the highway.Still, you know, it’s one thing when you run on such a surface, on soft sand, but on asphalt to run much harder.So call it simple, I will not call it.Although this is considered a cult race for all marathoners. It’s a super old race, it started more than a hundred years ago, the first time it was held, there’s a lot of different tricks and gags.

– What is it so attractive to athletes? Extreme conditions, scenic spots, altitude difference maybe, just the distance itself, 90 km practically?

-You know, for couples in love the Mecca of Paris and for marathon runners who have several marathons under their belt, the Mecca of Comrades in South Africa.

-When did you start your training process, specifically for this distance?

-I started preparing in December, it was half a year, just a couple of weeks ago I was preparing to Comrades. And the training process is that you have to run a lot, you have to run a lot. You don’t need super acceleration, you just have to run 300 to 350 kilometers every month.

-Now Dmitry, I propose to talk a little bit about fashion trends. What will be fashionable to run at the ultramarathon in Africa? 

-It’s fashionable to run in what you can run in. As they say in the comrades.  First and foremost, of course, shoes. Because the difference between ultramarathon and marathon running is that after 9-10 hours of running the foot swells, bloats, and if it has nowhere to swell, you get terrible blisters, nails come off, etc.

– So the shoes have to be at least one size larger, right?

– Exactly right. One size, that is, there toe, at a minimum, should go in freely. 

-As for the setting of the foot. Very often when, even when we run amateur jogging, we do it, feet, legs, joints, and it’s 90 kilometers begin to hurt. How not to kill the legs over such a long distance?

– Well look, in addition to sneakers, it is important to learn the correct technique of running. As a marathon runner you should know it. That you can not run starting with the heel, and then roll over to the toe.  Because all these strokes, very strongly affect the knees and hips.  Secondly, very dangerous descents at Comrades. Huge descents. You run 40 km downhill and it feels so cool, so cool to run downhill, but these descents are considered more difficult than the climb. Again, because firstly you make big steps, because you’re flying downhill, and secondly, of course when you make long steps you land on the heel. And you kill all the joints, plus the calves, the hips are hammered very strongly and you just come killed. It’s very important to run downhill in small steps.

– So what are the other dangers that await the athlete at the distance, in addition to the long distance itself, for example, to correctly distribute their strength? Is it the heat? Maybe it’s the difference in elevation, or maybe the animals which live in those parts?

– But the animals don’t, after all, we’re running on the highway there, and it’s not the desert. But you’re right, the heat is very uncomfortable. Because 25 degrees for such a long distance is quite a lot.

-Nutrition, food and water, will it be in your diet?

– Yes. Well, first of all, I will prepare myself properly for the race during the week. There’s a special diet, which lets you accumulate as much glycogen and fluid in your body as possible.  According to the reviews and the organizers, every 5 km you can eat oranges and bananas at a station, and it’s interesting that it’s a Comrades’ thing, boiled potatoes.

-That’s the upside, too.

-First of all it is pure carbohydrates, carbohydrates are long enough and eating potatoes, because you eat banana and fluff, in 15 minutes you are hungry again, potatoes work longer. And I’ve tried, practiced eating potatoes during a long run, super, the feeling is great.

-I suggest we start with a little jog and during our workout I’ll ask you some more questions.

-Let’s go to

– Because I have so many of them. 

-Let’s go.

-The question that most people on the other side of the screen are asking. -Why do you need it? Why such an ordeal, torture, and it’s still some danger, some danger to your body, to your health?

-You as a marathon runner know that if you do everything right, there is no danger. Well, why do I complicate my life all the time, first of all it’s interesting for me to find my limits, to feel how far I can go, because life is short and I want to …

 -Dimitri, can’t you get to the top?


-Then let’s get there.

I have a question for you, then. What will be your high point, after which you will calm down and say that it’s time to stop and rest.

– The high point when I stop… I haven’t thought about it, but I have a couple of plans…

-The next, let’s say, the most extreme, the highest stage, besides Comrades? 

-Well, the thing about swimming, it seems unattainable for me now – to cross the English Channel. I mean, to cross Gibraltar is achievable enough, then La Manche is very difficult. And the race is the marathon de sables. Which I will run this spring in the desert 250 kilometers with the backpack, with food and provision. Probably the question is philosophical. When will you stop? Not the race which will stop you, but when will you say everything? Like you remember, Forrest Gump, he ran and ran and ran, and then he stopped, I’m tired, I’m going home. He didn’t know when it was gonna happen either. And I don’t know how it’s gonna happen. I bet it’s gonna happen, but I don’t know when.

-Are you mentally ready for the Comrades race right now? How do you feel? You spent half a year to get in shape. Today you’re ready mentally, physically?

– Yes. I feel that I am mentally and physically ready. But of course it scares me, when you run a marathon, and you understand, that you haven’t even run half of it, it will be psychologically difficult to perceive yet.  But I feel like I can do it.

-You’re trying to attract people also to do sports, no matter what, whether it’s running, swimming or just a healthy lifestyle, that is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

-You know that theory inspires no one, it’s a personal example. When you see a fat office worker who has never done anything can run a marathon, he thinks that I can do it. And you saw what was going on, look at you, you’ve been reading too. …..

– Yeah. A year ago it was practically an unattainable goal for me. When you started running, it was, what, two or three years ago? ….

– It’s been four four years.

-4 four years ago did you imagine that four years later you would run your first 90 kilometers? 

– I imagined that I would run them sooner. I was supposed to run Comrades last year.  I had already applied, I had already arranged the tickets, the hotels, the visa, but I couldn’t go because I had a running injury, I was over running.

-The main goal of this marathon? Get to the finish line, to come in the first hundred, in the first ten, maybe come first to the finish line.

-Personally, my goal is to be in the top 10 percent. In general, the first one who comes to Comrades is to get there. Because 20 percent of them don’t get there. And I just if I do this program is a minimum, the maximum program to get into the top 10 percent.

-You told me what you’ve gained from a healthy lifestyle and what you’ve had to give up? 

-You know, the only thing I’m confused about is that I had to give up smoking a pipe.

-Were you a heavy smoker back in the day?

-Yes. I was an avid smoker and now, to be honest, I can afford to sit down with friends once a week to smoke a pipe. But I used to do it more often and I liked it, but now my body doesn’t accept alcohol, unfortunately. I just stopped taking it. That is, I drink 50 grams of cognac at some event and everything starts to make me sick.

-I have a lot of information and it’s hard to learn it without help. Do you have people who help you to learn it all? They are coaches, personal trainers.

– When I began to prepare for difficult heavy races I engaged another coach who lives in Moscow, Leonid Shvetsov.  Who ran Comrades and ran it first and set a record for the route, which so far no one has beaten.

-If we talk about self-training of people who just want to do any sport, let’s talk about running. Is it worthwhile to do running on your own, or is it still better to turn to personal trainers and train as a team with people who are already experienced?

– Thank you, that’s an excellent question.  It so happened that I found a trainer almost immediately, he helped me a lot, solved a lot of problems before I ran into them, so I recommend all amateurs to find a coach who will help them not to make fatal mistakes.  Because 80% of amateurs who give up running, they give up running because they make the same mistakes. If a coach were around, they wouldn’t step on them and they would run. Happily for a long time.

– Dmitry, I sincerely wish you good luck in this difficult test.  It is not the hardest test, which you will have in the future. I am sure that you cope with it, because you have a lot of incredible goals under your belt, which you have already conquered. Good luck to you . See you at the next marathon at least . 

-Bye. Thank you.

Marathon in the capital of Great Britain

Marathon in the capital of Great Britain

Why marathon runners dislike Edward VII, where you can pee in a green box and dab the meridian with your foot, who gets Grandma's sweater and why is it better to mix strychnine with Yessentuki?

Wings for LIFE. Race without a finish line

Wings for LIFE. Race without a finish line

What is the price for tomatoes on the food points? What are the meerkats thinking about? How fast you have to run in order to outrun of a car? What can burn a handsome man?