|Comfortably keeping alive my streak of looking awful in every single running photo ...|
Last week someone mentioned to me that my training week sure looks like a taper, which I initially denied because I wasn't tapering for a training run, even one of marathon distance. However, looking back right now it sure does look like a real taper - with the obvious exception that I would not have raced a 10 miler 6 days before a target marathon.
This week is remarkably similar to last week, and for the same, obvious, reason, namely that I am recovering from a race. My recovery protocol has been tried and tested dozens of times and it works exceptionally well, at least for me: a 5 mile run every morning until I feel better, than an increase to 8 miles and once that feels as easy I get back to normal training. The worst run is inevitable the first one, which this time round was an uncomfortable slog at 9-minute pace on Sunday, but even then I could clearly notice how I felt better with each passing mile. Since then it's been a little bit up and down, I felt okay on Monday, a bit worse on Tuesday (though the numbers looked a lot better) and gradually better again so I increased the distance to 8 this morning. The legs felt a little bit heavy early on but that settled soon enough.
The numbers have improved with every single day, which confirms that the recovery is working very well. Today's 8 miler was a little bit quicker than planned but I take it as a sign that life is coming back into those ageing legs.
The weather helps, it is clear but crispy cold each morning, and after a rather horrendous winter that makes for a nice change. Thankfully it is supposed to last for several more days, well into next week. We'll see of course - not that we can do anything about it anyway.
I wasn't planning on racing again until Manchester but a couple of days ago heard that the 5k county championships are on again this Sunday. Somehow they always seem to be on either the week after Tralee or Connemara, I cannot remember how long ago it was that I last raced them with fresh legs. It's far from ideal, the plan for next Sunday was 22 miles but only if the legs feel up to it (doubtful), so I'm still undecided. It's not entirely clear if I can make it at all because Niamh might have to go back to Dublin, in which case I'd be on parenting duty instead (which isn't any easier!).
Either way, once that weekend is over, the last phase for Manchester will begin. There isn't much training left as the taper will start soon, and this is the one marathon I'll do a proper taper for.
- 14 Mar
- 5 miles, 41:56, 8:23 pace, HR 134
- 15 Mar
- 5 miles, 41:08, 8:13 pace, HR 136
- 16 Mar
- 5 miles, 40:47, 8:09 pace, HR 136
- 17 Mar
- 8 miles, 1:02:40, 7:49 pace, HR 142