Msunduzi deputy fired up for debut

Msunduzi deputy mayor Mxolisi Mkhize is in training for the Comrades Marathon. | Supplied

Msunduzi deputy mayor Mxolisi Mkhize is in training for the Comrades Marathon. | Supplied

Published Jun 8, 2024


Durban — The capital city’s second citizen hopes to inspire the younger generation to choose a healthy lifestyle with his participation in the ultimate human race on Sunday.

Msunduzi Municipality deputy mayor Mxolisi Mkhize is confident of finishing the Comrades Marathon within the required time, even though this will be his debut race.

He is among thousands of runners who will line up outside Durban City Hall on Sunday for the up run.

His confidence stems from his intense training regime.

Mkhize, from the rural area of Vulindlela in Pietermaritzburg, believes the mountainous layout of his area aided his training significantly, enabling him to develop his fitness to the required level.

He said he hoped his participation would inspire his community.

“I decided to take on the challenge, not just as a personal endeavour but also to inspire others to lead healthier lifestyles. Recognising the importance of holistic preparation, I left no stone unturned in readiness for my quest to conquer the gruelling challenge of the Comrades Marathon,” Mkhize said.

His preparation included enlisting the services of nutritionist Nontuthuko Mashimane and personal trainer Thuso Mosea, a move he insists underlines a comprehensive approach to preparation, ensuring physical and nutritional aspects were optimised for peak performance.

“Miss Mashimane collaborated closely with me, crafting a personalised nutrition strategy tailored to fuel my body for optimal performance. Every meal became a carefully calculated balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, strategically timed to support my training schedule and enhance recovery.

“Coach Mosea designed a meticulous workout programme, blending endurance, strength and flexibility exercises to prepare me for the demands of the ultra-marathon. From long runs to interval training, each session is planned to maximise my physical capabilities and minimise the risk of injury,” he said.

He described the programmes as “very intense” and it led to him losing 15kg, down from 90kg in November to a “prime” 74kg for the race.

“My training programme started in December and I had to sacrifice the December holidays and wake up daily before dawn, often hitting the streets while most of the city still slept.

“Whether it’s pounding the pavement or traversing the scenic trails surrounding Msunduzi, every step is a testament to my commitment to excellence. Training for the Comrades Marathon requires dedication, discipline and a well-structured plan.”

According to Mkhize, balancing the responsibilities of public office with rigorous training sessions was a challenge, especially as this was an election year and he needed to be on the campaign trail for his party.

Independent on Saturday