Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Taper Practise

I got a surprise the other day when I checked my resting HR. It used to be 41/42 back home in Kerry but shot up to 50 when I moved to Dublin, which just goes to show how stressful such a move can be. It gradually decreased again and now has reached the low point of 40 - lower than the Kerry number. However, my running HR for any given pace is usually still 5-10 beats higher than it used to be, so there is no direct correlation to resting HR. Still, I'll take that. At the very least it's a sign that the worst of the stress is behind me.

I'm slowly settling into a rhythm as far as my week is concerned. I cycle into work on Monday morning with office gear for 4 days and then commute by running until Thursday evening when I cycle back home, bringing back all the office gear in a big backpack. On Friday I will usually drive into work and the set off to Kerry for the weekend. That way I get a decent number of miles without having to get up a stupid o'clock and I'm not wasting 2.5 hours a day on the bus either.

The legs felt surprisingly good on my run back home on Monday, which was great after a rather tough weekend. Unfortunately that was just temporary and I was dismayed to find two concrete pillars attached to my hamstrings on Tuesday, though things gradually improved after a few miles.

I was just about to fall asleep Tuesday night when it occurred to me that maybe I should check what it says in the training schedule instead of just jogging to work the next morning. Indeed, the word "taper workout" stared back at me, which rang a faint bell somewhere in the back of my mind; however, while I clearly remembered having done a taper workout before on a few occasions, the details completely escaped me. Old age senility is a bitch. Eventually I managed to dig out an old email stating "4 miles at HR 161, 15 minutes easy, 3 x 880s every 5 minutes". I fell asleep with that plan implanted in my mind.

Things turned out to be a little bit trickier than expected. The initial 4 miles included a 200 feet towards the promenade and the HR would only go so high, though I found myself with the opposite problem on the next 2 miles when the HR seemed to be around 164 every time I checked, no matter how much I tried to relax the effort. I did manage the easy section, alright, though I probably could have picked a better route for the first of the 880s as it included crossing a busy road and I can only assume that it took my focus off running fast, otherwise I can't explain why it was so much slower than the others, which were done inside a park. Things still didn't go completely smoothly there either, first by me getting confused on the second 880 (I told you about the senility, didn't I) and stopping too early and then a group of 3 ladies walking their dogs using extensible leads which formed a formidable ever-expanding obstacle just as I was approaching at close to full tilt. However, I got through it all, though I was close to collapse at the end.

I took it VERY easy on the commute home, though a very strong headwind along the promenade made this rather tricky. Watching the kite surfers do their stuff made that worthwhile, though - very cool!

29 May
5.5 miles, 43:55, 7:59 pace, HR 144
30 May
am: 5.5 miles, 42:39, 7:45 pace, HR 147
pm: 5.5 miles, 43:25, 7:53 pace, HR 147
31 May
am: 9 miles, 1:10:40, 7:51 pace, HR 150
   incl. 4 miles @ 7:03 pace (HR 154), 3 x half mile @ 6:38, 6:14, 6:13
pm: 5.5 miles, 47:03, 8:31 pace, HR 142


  1. Dogs on long leads (or their owners) should be banned! Well done on the session - that pace would be 800m race pace for me.

  2. Working up to a half marathon at the end of the summer/start of fall. We'll vicariously through you and others.

  3. Is the Dublin work move a permanent thing? That must be tough, hope it all works out.

    1. Yes, it's permanent, as long as the job works out. I'm on a temporary contract for the time being