Its been a while so this blog captures the crucial weeks pre taper as I build up to the Marathon of the North on May 6th. With two and a half weeks to go and the race pack imminent in its arrival it is now TAPER Time!
Here is a run down of the last few weeks since the welcome distraction of the Road Relays.
Week Ending 8th April - started the week with a few days recovery post Relays trying to shake off a tight hamstring. Wed - 10 miles at marathon pace (actually a bit quicker in 6.13 per mile), Steady Thursday and a 23 miler on Good Friday at average pace of 6.35 per mile. Most pleasing was the final four miles of this run completed in 25.53 which was the quickest four miles of the run with a bit left in the tank! A recovery run Saturday was followed by a 10 miler again at Marathon pace on Sunday. This ended my biggest week of the build up with 80 miles. 4 weeks to race day!
Week Ending 15th April - spent a few days away so opted for early morning runs before taking advantage of the hotel's all you can eat cooked breakfast washed down with lots of fruit, yoghurt and danish pastries....carbo loading right? What too early! Damn! These early morning runs were all 8 miles and all completed at around 6.30/6.35 pace. Thursday - easy run am followed by a very satisfying 5 x 1200m on the track. These were meant to be at 5km pace but ended up being slightly quicker with reps of 4.02, 3.54, 3.55, 3.55 and 3.57. Recovery was scheduled as 400m jog recovery. As a warm down I decided a mile at marathon pace was in order - it ended up being a 2km warm down at 5.40 pace. Amazing how easy this felt after running a set at 5km pace. Not so easy the next day when my body refused to go any quicker than 7.15 miling! I decided to finish the week with my my final long effort. After much deliberation I opted for a marathon pace run for the first half of my long run then a steadier pace to finish with the aim of a total run of about 19 to 20 miles. As has been the theme of my long runs I broke down the runs into 4 mile blocks. First four miles (24.45) felt fairly easy and comfortable. Miles 5 to 8 (24.57), 9 to 12 (24.52) all completed at a pace slightly quicker than marathon pace so decided to continue in this vein. Miles 13 to 16 was completed in 24.54. At this point I felt that continuing at this pace would have started to become counter productive so "eased" down and finished at around 6.30 miling. Ended the week with an easy recovery run on the Sunday to notch up a 70 mile week. 3 weeks to race day.
So far this week I have opted for shorter runs mainly at a steady pace but did throw in a few "tempo" miles yesterday at the end of my steady run (three miles @ 5.45 pace).
So.....the main work is done.....In 2012 so far I have run 850 miles....10 runs have been completed over 2 hours......longest run 23 miles (twice) and now 17 days to taper, sharpen, recover, carbo load. I have read a fair bit about tapering and there is a lot of different opinions out there but generally a reduction in mileage, less long running, more easy days should see me right. I will be watching the London on Sunday but unlike previous years where I have been motivated to the point of going out before for a long run and pondering if the marathon distance is something I should have a serious crack at I will be sitting there pondering my own race strategy for two weeks time!
In the words of Mr Miyagi.....it's time!
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