Thursday, April 28, 2005

Last Long Run Plans and other Tapering Thoughts

Today is supposed to be warm (21C/70F) and sunny, I can’t wait to get out on my 14K/8.7M trail tonight. I want to run at almost recovery speed so that I don’t wear my legs done before my long run this weekend. Speaking of which, one more obstacle in the way before I can start tapering. Saturday is 32K/20M Day, my longest long run on the training schedule.

Our good weather people are predicting 26C/79F, sunny and warm (HOT). Heat wave city! But I plan on starting out about 7 a.m., so should be back around 10:30, before it gets too warm. My goal is a 6:30/K (10:30/Mile) pace, this time I have to be careful not to get carried away again and push it too hard. With rising temperatures it is better to take a little longer rather than overdo it and run a higher risk of injury (especially this close to the BIG DAY). I am thinking about running my 14K route twice, plus an extra loop around my old 4K route. Although this will be boring as can be, it offers the advantage of a fairly accurate 32K distance, plus the fact that I will be swinging by the house twice in case I need to refill my CamelBak or drop off a layer of clothing. I also want to try a slightly larger breakfast about 30-40 minutes before the run, this worked out well on a couple long runs.

I am still looking over a few different tapering ideas. I’ve pretty much decided to limit myself to two 5-8K (3-5M) runs the last week and maybe a 15 minute jog two days before the marathon. My body is already calling for a rest, the last couple weeks have been intensive, particularly with the high humidity we have been having.

Hal Higdon mentions in one of his books that during the tapering weeks novices should start reducing their mileage rapidly, but should try to maintain their normal training pace (e.g. speed). He goes on to say that more experienced runners can do a little speed work, but does not recommend it for the first-timer. Ummm…sounds good to me.

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