This week was 41 miles of “real running” and 12 “miles” pool running, plus 2500 yards of swimming breathing drills -- training log is here.
Ugh. Good week, but then crappy crappy race. I need to retrench, regroup, and just relax about it.
And of course, I have the National Half-Marathon next weekend. Even before the crappy race, I had decided I’d be doing an “experimental taper” – essentially tapering much more than I normally would.
In a nutshell, I really don’t care that much about this race. It’s a half-marathon, and it will be fun to run through DC, but it’s not the world’s fastest course (though not a slow one).
That’s point a. Point b is that I’ve always felt that I run my best races when I DON’T cut my mileage too much in the days before. Just skip the workouts for 2-3 days before, and take the day before off except for a slight bit of swimming, and I feel fresh and eager. All of my best races in the past 6 months have been where I ran about 12 miles easy 2 days before, plus drills and strides, then took a very light non-running day the day before the race. And the races I’ve struggled most in were those after low mileage weeks.
But, I keep hearing again and again that the fact that I don’t cut back my mileage more holds me back in my races. So, why not give a massive taper another chance? If it works and I run fantastically, then I’ve been proven wrong in the best possible way. That’s a chance I’m willing to take.
So, the “experimental taper” schedule for this coming week (complete with my traditional abuse of parentheses).
M: recovery: combination of very easy pool-running and light swimming breathing drills (pull buoy), plus light weight training and injury prevention work)– this is the same as my normal Monday, which is always very very easy. Cut back the weight training from my norm. Edit: I was feeling ridiculously tired this morning even after nearly 9 hours of sleep, so I canned both the swimming and the weight training altogether.
T: track workout (whatever is prescribed by my coach – doubtless a light workout), skip the most draining of my injury prevention work, but keep floor barre at night.NB: may skip, depending on how I feel
W: recovery: gentle pool-running and light swimming (pull buoy), plus gentle pilates class (zilch weights, just alignment and stretching) at night (skipping my normal run and yoga).
Th: 4-6 miles, very easy (no faster than 8:30 pace; open to much slower). No weights.
F: Standard 15-20 minutes light swimming breathing exercises (pull buoy).
This brings me to about 15 miles of running pre-race – about 25% of my normal weekly mileage. Let’s see how this works.
Monday: In the morning, 60 minutes of poolrunning for “6 miles”, and then some upper body and core strength work, plus injury prevention exercises. Foam-rolling and stretching at night.
Tuesday: In the morning, 10.5 miles including a track workout of 1600, 1200, 2x800, 400. Splits were 5:58, 4:19, 2:49, 2:48, 79. Followed with injury prevention work and 20 minutes of shakeout pool-running. Floor barre and foam-rolling at night.
Wednesday: In the morning 7.5 miles easy (7:44 pace) followed by yoga. Later, 6.5 miles easy (7:28 pace). Foam-rolling/stretching at night.
Thursday: In the morning, light upper body and core strength work, plus injury prevention exercises, followed by 40 minutes very easy pool-running (4 “miles”), and 1250 yards of swimming breathing drills. Foam-rolling and stretching at night.
Friday: 8.5 miles easy (8:07 pace) in the morning, plus drills and strides. Foam-rolling and stretching, plus pilates, at night.
Saturday: In the morning, 1250 yards of swimming breathing drills. Foam-rolling and stretching at night.
Sunday: 3 mile easy warm-up, drills and strides, then 8K crash and burn race in 31:57. Skipped recovery pool-running and yoga in favor of couch, though I did actually do some foam rolling.