On the basis of his three laws, Louw has produced Exercises 2.8 which predicts expected performance in a particular race, the “down” Comrades Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, on the basis of the athlete’s most recent (index) performance at a shorter distance and the amount of training undertaken in the 5 months preceding the race.
Exercises 2.8 is used in the following way: The athlete first finds his or her most recent performance in a shorter distance race, the index run, in the columns under A (Performance grid). For example, let us assume that the athlete has recently completed a 5-km race in 19:12. This places the athlete in the ninth column over from the left. By now looking at B (Training grid), the athlete observes that his or her best possible Comrades time will be 7:30:00 if he or she trains a total of 1906 km during the 5 months leading up to the race. Training more will not improve the athlete’s performance (notice the points in each column), because then the athlete would train for more than the optimum 156 hours and would therefore expect either no further improvement or a slight deterioration in performance.
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Alternatively, if the same athlete runs only 800 km in training, he or she can expect to run no faster than 9:27:00 for the race.
Louw considers the accuracy of his predictions enhanced when allowance is made for the following factors:
Women perform slightly better than do males with the same index performance. This difference is between 5 and 15 minutes with the greatest difference for the slower women runners.