Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let the Taper Begin...

Just finished my last (and only) 20 miler under pretty much perfect conditions out there. I was planning on targeting a 5:30/km pace, but my body didn't want to cooperate on that front and I ended up averaging 5:07/km. Either way, I felt great for the duration of the run (likely thanks to the weather) and even had enough left at the end to accelerate substantially for the last two kilometers (4:47 and 4:21 respectively). As such, it's done a lot to boost my confidence for the marathon in three weeks - just have to cross my fingers that the weather will be half as good as it was today.

Either way, this was the last run before the three week taper begins so my mileage will be dropping from this point on. This should allow any residual injuries to heal themselves and hopefully when I reach that starting line I'll be able to give it everything that I have. I've trained harder than ever before over the last 15 weeks and, while there were a few setbacks, I'm certainly in better shape than in the past. Thankfully, aside from the blister everything else is feeling great so hopefully that process will continue ;)

While today did a lot to boost my confidence, I think that I will still stick with the 3:30 goal for the marathon this time out. I might be able to do better, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong over this distance and I'd rather play it safe the first time through. As noted in previous posts, I tried the equivalent of a 3:20 pace during Around the Bay and it was a bit more than I could handle. While I'm in better shape at this point (the first injury cost me a couple of weeks in close proximity to ATB), I don't think that it's necessarily enough to make up for that difference.

As for cycling, I took my weekday sessions off to help the blister to heal. While cycling would likely be easier than running for it, this was my last hard training week so I wanted to avoid skipping runs if at all possible. As I missed the other two 20 milers in my schedule, I didn't want to miss the final chance this week. Cycling is just cross training for me at this point, so I'm open to skipping those sessions if it will help. I had hoped to make it up a bit on the weekend, however the great weather has brought out the hordes so the bike shop was backlogged and I had to leave it there over the weekend to get the rear tire switched back out for outdoor use. Unfortunately, the weather this upcoming week doesn't look like it will be great for riding either - but I'll have to work around it as best I can.

Weekly Totals:
Running: 81.2km (50.5mi)
Walking: 3.4km (2.1mi)
Cycling: 0km (0mi)
Total: 84.6km (52.6mi)

Year to Date:
Running: 804.6km (500.0mi)
Walking: 143.7km (89.3mi)
Cycling: 885.0km (549.9mi)
Total: 1833.3km (1,139.2mi)

Cycling will likely be a little more unpredictable than normal this week as I've taken the bike off of the trainer, so the weather will be a significant factor again. With that said, riding outside is much better than inside and I'll be able to begin increasing the mileage once again (50K was about all that I could psychologically take inside). I can't do too much right away, as cross training is also supposed to be tapered along with the running - but I might still try to squeeze in some longer rides and just do fewer of them.

Upcoming Week:
Mon 50K Cycle
Tue 8mi (12.9K) Recovery w/5x600m @ 5K Race Pace
Wed 30K Cycle + 6mi (9.7K) Recovery
Thurs 50K Cycle
Fri 4mi (6.4K) Recovery w/6x100m
Sat 10K Simulated Race
Sun 16mi (25.7K) LSD

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