Bestmed Madibaz distance runner Mariano Eesou is satisfied with the training he has put in ahead of the World Student Games in Taipei, Taiwan, next week.
The second-year sports management student from Nelson Mandela University explained his training, which was split over two sessions per day, included covering an average of 110km per week.
Eesou explained morning sessions consisted of an “easy” run as well as some core work, with his second session bringing up his total distance to about 20km.
He said he would continue with this every day until the Games, which start on August 19.
“This week I’ve run all seven days but Friday will be my easiest day and I’ll do just one session.
“I’ve started with my tapering so I’m cutting down on some training and sharpening up to get ready for the competition.”
He will represent South Africa in both the half marathon and 10 000m and while he didn’t have high expectations for the latter, he said he hoped to shine in the longer race.
“For the 10 000m I’m just hoping to finish in the top 10 but for the half marathon I believe, not hope, that I will finish on the podium.”
A solid block of training, which included an eighth place finish in the Two Oceans half marathon in April, had him feeling confident in the lead up to the event, he said.
The 25-year-old made his first appearance at the Games two years ago in South Korea, but the experience didn’t quite have the ending he’d hoped for.
“Last time I got very dehydrated during the race and I still can’t remember the last kilometre,” said Eesou, who hails from Uitenhage but currently lives on-campus in Port Elizabeth.
“I collapsed as I went over the line and when I opened my eyes I was in the hospital on a drip.
“It shows how hard I worked,” he laughed. “I had just about enough left in me to get to the finish.”
Despite fading towards the end, he finished 18th and the team third and he said the experience was something he still couldn’t adequately put into words.
“It was great and really overwhelming.”