Wednesday, April 02, 2014


I used to very much believe in the taper before a race, and to some extend I still do. But I have come to the conclusion that there are exceptions to that rule. A taper does not guarantee a good race and you can have a very good race without being tapered. My 2:56 in Killarney after a heavy period of training last year was one such case in point, I really surprised myself that day. Since Connemara is not my goal race I decided not to disrupt my training for Belfast any more than necessary and because I've just had 2 easy weeks after Tralee I suspect I don't have a lot a fatigue in the legs left that would require tapering anyway.

Mind, I could certainly feel the two faster weekend runs in the legs on Monday and took it easy. I took it even easier on Tuesday when I ran only 8 miles instead of 10. I also seem to have recovered from that cold during those days, my chest feels perfectly clear again.

While you don't want to tire yourself out with a massive effort, four days before I race is usually a good day to perform one last decent workout. Like last week I went up into the clouds again, and with the drizzly rain you can take that literally. It was still dark when I left the house and I was unpleasantly surprised that light levels were still low when I reached the trail which required a rather cautious approach for the first couple of miles there. It was also the perfect opportunity to test the the Terraflies in tricky circumstances and was very happy to see them perform admirably, I never once slipped even on the steepest sections, be it on stone, grass or mud, neither uphill nor downhill. I did up the ante compared to last week by climbing up to Windy Gap twice but the overall effort was rather measured.

I have four days to recover from this before Connemara, which should hopefully do the trick, and even if it doesn't then I can find solace in the fact that it's not my main race. As you can tell I am going into the race with a rather relaxed mindset, which may well work in my favour, you never know. I'll find out, I guess.

31 Mar
10 miles, 1:18:06, 7:48 pace, HR 139
1 Apr
8 miles, 1:01:35, 7:41 pace, HR 137
2 Apr
12+ miles, 1:51:04, 9:04 pace, HR 141
   2 x Windy Gap


  1. Yeah, I think I may have overcooked the tapering but legs feeling nice & springy; pulse did seem a bit fast after ascending a flight of stairs earlier though - worrying; should be about/at least 20 minutes behind you all the way through the run...what are your thoughts this year on bag-drop positioning? g luck, Andrew

    1. I haven't given the bag-drops much thought yet, probably drop a bag with a sports drink and 2 gels at miles 10, 20 and 30, but be prepared that I might not actually get to them (especially at 30 - funny things can and do happen to the drop bags when the half-marathoners are passing by)

  2. I'm of the same mindset when it comes to a taper, I've tried them all & the shorter one of a week or little less seems to suit me best. This time unfortunately it's been one of those forced tapers, the last month was a bit of a disaster with ankle & IT band issues. Seems ok now thank god but the hills of Connemara will soon find any weakness I have. Hope the rest of the week goes well. You seem to be in pretty good form & I think this race will reflect that. I'll See you Sunday morning.

  3. Same here. I like an easy running day prior to a normal race with a one to two week taper prior to an important race. Deek never tapered for his many wins and CRs on the US road circuit. Good luck at Connemara.

  4. In Scott Jurek's book he talks about still running pretty intently in the days running up to big races, even running through serious injuries rather than resting and then still winning. You don't even have an injury so it you should be good to go :-)

    Best of luck.