I kind of make it up as I go
– @britishbulldog (winner of the ’09 Cayman Marathon) on how he approaches his marathon training
And so it begins…the part of the training cycle many of us dread – the Taper.
Two weeks before race day and we’re supposed to drop our mileage by 20 – 40%. Since I haven’t been following a particular training program – encouraged to make it up as I go – see above – I’m not exactly sure what to do for the next 2 weeks.
My training program has essentially been “run a lot” – and I have. With 250 miles in five weeks, a little over 600 in the 16 weeks leading up to this point, I know that I need to lighten the mileage, but I also know that I need to keep using the engine to stay sharp. Maybe the plan should just be “run less”.
What to do, what to do.
Last Friday I went out for what was supposed to be an easy four miler. I came back with a non-race PR of 26:30, a hopping 6:38 pace. The weather, the rest day before, my first run of April all combined to tempt me into flying. It was a fantastic run, but I know that it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. You start running at top speed and you raise the risk for injury. I don’t want to do that right before my race.
The running gods smiled on me a couple of weeks ago. I need to respect that and be smart in these next two weeks leading up to Boston. The problem for me is, I’m not sure what that means. Right up to Eastern States I was piling on the weekly mileage, and my legs felt pretty fresh. Do I continue that approach this week? Put in 40 – 50 like I want to? or would taking it easy these two weeks make my legs feel even fresher? I just don’t know. Unfortunately, experience lies on the other side of this race.
Why do we hate the taper so much? Is it habit? Addiction? Shouldn’t our bodies welcome the reduced pounding that is marathon training? Whatever the reason, I know, KNOW, that these next two weeks are going to be the most difficult part of the training for me.
And of course, if I fail in my attempt to qualify for Boston at Boston, how do I approach the next 13 days before Providence? It’s going to be an interesting month. With 2 marathons in less than 2 weeks, I don’t anticipate April’s mileage approaching March’s. Is there such a thing as a month-long taper?