Sunday, October 22, 2006

8 days To Go

There was plenty to ponder about in the last section of comments. First of all, I’ve been doing some of the recommendations already; e.g. stretching and icing. I’ve been icing my quads more vigorously since reading Mike’s comment, but it hasn’t brought on any improvement so far. I’m usually very anti-drugs, and have avoided taking ibuprofen so far, but have made an exception since Andrew urged me to do so. The marathon is a week away, and I’m apparently willing to poison myself up to then.

The goal time hasn’t changed with all those minor troubles, it’s still 3:2x. The plan is to run the first 2 miles at 8:00ish (probably slightly slower), then gradually accelerate up to 7:50 pace, and hold that for as long as I can. If I’m still feeling like it at mile 20 (yeah, right), there will be plenty of time to put the pressure on a bit more. If I remember correctly, the course is slightly downhill from miles 20 to 22, which would be good for a couple of fast miles, as long as I’ve still got some quads left at that stage.

What have I been doing since the last entry? Not much, I’m afraid. I did 8 miles on Friday with 3x1600 repeats. Andrew recommended not to do any speedwork with a dodgy hamstring, but I only read those comments after the workout. While I had been looking forward to get some fast training done, I stopped enjoying it soon enough, as predicted. I nearly missed my turn-around point in my oxygen-starved stage, but remembered it just in time, or I would have been rather late for work that day.

Saturday is usually my rest day, but after missing Wednesday’s workout, I went out for a 5 mile recovery run. I couldn’t really relax, and noticed that my HR was higher than it should be for a recovery run. Coming home I realised that I had run faster than I should have, which explains the higher heart rate. I guess with all the tapering, my pace judgement is a bit off at the moment.

This was confirmed today again, on my 7-miler. I eased into the run over the first 2 miles, and then tried to tune into marathon pace effort for the next 1.5 miles, but when I reached to turn-around point, I saw that the pace had been more like 7:30. I must not do that on marathon day. 7:30 is way too fast for me. The rest of the run was taken over by a set of 8x100 strides, and a relaxed 2 miles cool-down.

I’ll cut a few miles out of next week’s schedule. The one thing I don’t like about Pfitz’s schedule is the amount of mileage right before the marathon. He recommends 9 miles in the 2 days before the race. I’m set on binning those 2 workouts. I did them for my marathon last year, and felt like they cost me precious energy. This time I’ll try and rest instead.

Lastly, Good Luck to anyone who’s running Chicago today. I’m envious. I want to run, too.

20 Oct: 8 miles, 1:02, 7:45 pace, including 3x1600 repeats
21 Oct: 5 miles, 44:08, 8:49 pace
22 Oct: 7 miles, 56:30, 8:04 pace, including 8x100 strides


  1. Yes, those taper runs are always faster than MP it seems. It is probably the reduced mileage. Keep up the poison and the ice to keep the inflammation down. On race day, go out way too slow and you'll find it's dead on target.

    You're strategy sounds great. Many times a slight increase in speed after 20 can access some fuel otherwise denied to you. But do it as late in the race as you see fit. Too early and you'll have the typical slog to the finish. I started a little too early in my last race and ran out of steam at 22. I just didn't have 10 fast miles in me.

    Good luck! You're training calls for a great race so now just run smoothly and you'll get that 3:2x for sure!

  2. You'll get your chance next week. You're ready to go. Stay relaxed and focused on your goal. You've done all the work.

    P.S. For some reason your posts are not updating on bloglines. I have to remind myself to check on you even though bloglines is telling me that you have not written anything.

  3. Hang in there Thomas! You are having an extreme case of taper madness - just a few more days and you can relax into the race. Hold on.

  4. Icing your legs?? Didn't I say ice-cream, and all you can eat, it cures all (ha!)! Hope it goes away.

    As far as the last few days, I follow Pfitz to the letter except for the last week. Run as I feel or not and rarely do any running at all the 2 days before, in fact anything in the vertical position (standing, walking, etc) is counted as being on my feet and taking away from the big day. TAKE IT EASY!!!

  5. Rest up. You're in great shape and will knock 'em dead next week.

  6. Thomas, the aches and pains, and doubts, are what we all go through in taper time, so don't worry yourself unduly. You have done more than enough to run a great race next Monday.

    I won't be running, but I will be around. At the expo Saturday and Sunday, with a 3 pm meet on Sunday at the Connemara Stand planned.

    Best of luck in the last 7 days, hold back now and UCD flyover will see you flying home.

  7. I agree with Rob: stay relaxed and focused on your goal. On the last issue of Runner's world I read an interesting article about the troubles during the last week of tapering, so don't worry, you will run a very good race.

  8. Hey chill out, only one week left! You'll do great, you have some great training behind you.

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