I've been feeling a wee bit run down over the last few days. Maybe because I seem to have forgotten the concept of "taper". I think in previous years, the marathon has been the be all and end all. But now I need to think beyond next Sunday. I've been reading a bit on marathon taper and, as usual, there' s lot of conflicting advice. Last months' Runner's World (or the official FLM training guide!) provided some sound guidance.
Tapering - scaling back you miles to allow your muscles to repair and your body to rest - is the critical last phase of training before a race. But consider this: Trimming your mileage right back abruptly might not be the best move. In fact, maintaining a higher volume during the taper period can give you a better chance of peaking on race day. "The problem with a big cut in mileage is that your body gets used to being on vacation"...this can lead to feeling sluggish and sickly...So what's the key to successful taper? Some cutback in total mileage combined with a little quality work. It's best to reduce volume by eliminating miles from each of your weekly runs. Multiple studies suggest that some fast-paced running is critical to keeping your lungs and legs sharp.
So with this in mind, here's my plan for the next week.
Sat: Livingston Road Relays - I'm doing a 5K leg.
Sun: 10/11 m with Sharon. I'm hoping she has a hangover, so she doesn't put me in the ground.
Tues: Medium reps with Garscube
Wed: Easy four miles
Thurs: Steady seven - with fast finish
Sun: The big day!!!
I'm still a bit confused about what to do in the last week. Even when it comes to fuel. I understand the concept of carb-loading, but I don't like feeling like a big bloater. Sometimes I feel better and lighter running on empty. I plan on taking a few gels before the race and a few en route. Any advice on tapering would be most welcome. Tim?
Anyway back to today's run. Sonic was off to run the Stoneymollan hill race with the Milburn Harriers. I've opted out of trying my first hill race (there's got to be one sensible person in the house) so I went along to Garscube training. Another hilly killer course devised by him indoors (or outdoors). I might just be a coincidence that he wasn't there to enjoy it.
Just slightly over six miles. Rannoch, Boclair, Milngavie Rd, Mosshead, Ski centre, Drymen Rd. Finished in 49.28 (average pace 8.08). Splits were 8.45, 8.08, 8.33, 8.20 (uphill), 7.29, 7.28, 7.22 (downhill)