Marathon Taper Time

Received my official runner passport for Boston, ready to pick up the bib in two weeks! I’m over the moon that it’s finally here! It seems crazy looking back to when I didn’t have a specific training plan in mind last November and had such lower goals than I do now, even back when I started training in earnest, last December. I gave Brad Hudson’s adaptive training style an honest effort this time around and I’m so happy I did, good race day or not, it has brought me so far already! As for the goals adjustement, I’m very happy I met some of the Greater Lowell Road Runner guys and joined the club, they’ve definitely helped give me the confidence I needed to bump up the training and the mileage to big boy levels.

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It’s officially taper time! As of today I have wrapped up my biggest week yet, 92.6 miles run and feeling better than I did a week ago. Some nagging aches and pains sustained from too many hours sitting in cars and meetings were worked out by the ART of Dr. Mui, once again! I had started to feel the miles and sitting catch up with me mid way through last week and made an appointment for this past Wednesday to get some good preventative work, rather than injury recovery. Within a few days I was back to feeling pretty good, though a little fatigued from the high mileage and still carrying some soreness, I think proper recovery with foam roller and the stick can get me over the rest of it. On to the training log, it’s been a while since the last update, so here goes!

Sun 23rd- (Planned) 24 mile easy pace run. (Actual) Ran 15 @ easy pace 6:30-7 min. + 10 @ 6:19 avg. Ran close to 7 by myself to start the morning, then paused for 10 minutes and ran another 8 with a local marathon training group all at an easy pace. 8 miles in on the group run two Greater Lowell guys came cruising past us at the base of Heartbreak Hill, of all places. After resisting the initial urge to keep pace with them when one of the other guys joined up, I caved in a few minutes later and sprinted the last half of heartbreak to stay with them and on into the city, finished by running up around the Charles on the Cambridge side and back to Boylston St. (25.1 total)

Mon 24th- Easy pace 7 @ 7:00/mile + 10x10sec. hill sprints (7.5 total)

Tue 25th- Progression 2m easy + 6 accelerating from marathon to half pace + 2m easy. This was my first day of travel on a work trip and started with a 7 hour car ride. The run was in biting wind and over epic hills in Valley Forge National Park. Ran at the right effort level even if my pace was slower than I wanted at times. (10.2 total)

Wed 26th- Easy pace 14, ran in Valley Forge again and than discovered an amazing flat and 40+ mile long rail trail for the last half of my run. Only a mile from the hotel to the park and the rail trail. Next work trip I will have a much better attitude about my running there! (14.2 total)

Thu 27th- Easy pace 10 planned. Got home after 8PM and another 7 hour car ride. Everything felt tight and awful by then, ran very slow and tried to stay relaxed. (7 total)

Fri 28th- (Planned) Threshold Run 3m easy + 4×10 min. @ half w/4min. active recoveries + 3m easy. (Actual) Workout skipped, complete rest day. GASP! It took everything in my mind to make myself take a zero day and let the body relax a little, it was much needed.

Sat 29th- (Planned) 7 miles easy. (Actual) Ran more; the farther I went, the better my legs felt. Did my rest day actually pay off? Am I finally training somewhat smart!? (11.2 total @ 6:52/avg.)

Sun 30th- Hard Long Run planned on 20 with 18 hard buffered by mile warm ups and downs. Realized that 20 would bring me to the base of Heartbreak in Newton when running on the course and couldn’t resist a final surge up and over with a mile back to the shuttle bus. I went into this run with slightly low confidence after the tightness and fatigue all week, but ended up feeling great! I ran the first 4 miles easy 6:39/avg. then hammered out the next 18 @ 6:16 avg. with miles 16-21 down to a 6:08 avg. Final mile was around 6:20 as I came back down the hill easier pace to cool down. Never felt like I was really at race pace even with a 6:00 mile over heartbreak. Fastest miles were on the toughest part of the course, too. I did have a couple brief stops throughout the run, for water, stoplights and traffic, but this really was a confidence booster! (22.1 total)

Mon 31st- Easy pace 10 plus 10x10sec. hill sprints. (10 total @7:00/avg.)

Tue 1st- Fartlek 12m planned with 8x2min. @ half pace. Did not feel great and cut it a little short, didn’t even get to half pace on the “on” sections, just wasn’t feeling it. (10.6 total)

Wed 2nd- Progression 14 with last 7 moderate, ran all 14 easy pace. 7:10/avg. Had my hips worked on prior to running and was trying to take it easy. (14.2 total)

Thu 3rd- Progression planned 10 with last 5 moderate. (9.1 total, last 5 moderate) Ran on my lunch break, on very little sleep, too much fluid and low fuel. Felt like garbage all run, and was happy to finish. Did 1.5 hours of recovery on the legs Thursday night.

Fri 4th- Marathon Pace run, 2m easy + 10 @ marathon + 2m easy. Ran the 10 @ a 5:55/avg. It felt okay, but more work than I could sustain over the marathon at that pace. Not too worried though as I was carrying soreness, fatigue and high mileage. I’m assuming that with a full taper and smart racing, I will be somewhere close to that pace on race day. (14.1 total)

Sat 5th- Easy pace 5 at noon + 7.5 pm with a friend on some trails, all nice and easy 7:00-8:00 min. pace (12.5 total)

Whew! Two big weeks of running to cap off this training. Very happy to have the hard work out of the way, now it’s time to be smart and prepare mentally! Total mileage two weeks ago was 75.2, this week was 92.6. Also reached a mileage milestone this week, I’m currently at 1041.5 miles for the year, first 1k is complete!

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