Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cautiously Tapering

Connemara is 18 days away, and just in time for the taper the legs are coming round. Things have been a bit up and down during the entire training cycle. I didn't feel great during base training, probably because I felt the effects of 3 marathons (ok, 2 marathons and 1 ultra) in quick succession in my legs. As soon as I started the hill phase, however, things improved spectacularly and I felt great, until the day I ran Donadea. I have been feeling the effects of that ever since, and the fact that I added the shock of 10 miles at 6:07 pace to an already compromised system didn't help. However, on Monday I felt like I was running on springs again. I suppose it took three weeks to recover from Donadea and now I'm over the worst of it. Since it's too close to Connemara to add significant training stress, I should arrive at the start line with a very fresh pair of legs.

Monday and Tuesday were very similar, eight easy miles in the beautiful Kerry spring morning alongside Caragh Lake, the peace only slightly disturbed by the presence of a million gnats. Some of them ended up in my stomach, some in my lungs and some drowned in my sweat. Gross. But the running itself was great.

In order to get efficient at a particular pace you have to run at that pace. It was for that reason that the coach had me do a lot of gruelling marathon-paced miles last year. This year the equivalent workouts have been slower and therefore easier, and I generally tried to extend the pace segment to make up for it. This morning saw another one of these workouts. I eased into it over the first 2 miles and then tried to cruise along at 7:15 pace. I have a tendency to drift into 7:00 pace and below on these runs if I don't pay attention, but I'm slowly starting to tune into it and didn't need too many corrections today. I was still a little bit fast but stuck to the plan pretty well, all said. With a little bit more of that and fresher legs, things are looking pretty good for Connemara.

12 Mar
8 miles, 1:02:37, 7:49 pace, HR 136
13 Mar
8 miles, 1:02:55, 7:51 pace, HR 135
14 Mar
12 miles, 1:26:21, 7:11 pace, HR 145


  1. You put in a lot of hard work and I am positive that you will have a super race. Enjoy the taper!

  2. Hi Thomas. Change your Blogger settings in the 'settings/comments' section 'comment form placement' to 'embedded below post' - that way readers can subscribe to future comments and have them delivered via email.

  3. Thanks Thomas. Hope you enjoy a sunny hay stacking day like that for Connemara.