Training: Taper? What Taper?

This week was the first week of tapering for the upcoming races at Disney, I was expecting to have the usual grumbles and complaints from my body as it normally disagrees with tapering and I generally feel terrible. Not so this time it would seem!

The weeks workouts:

Tuesday: 4M Easy

Wednesday: 6M Race Paceish

Thursday: 4M Easy (Turned into tempo run)

Friday:6M Easy

Saturday: 13.1M Race Pace

The values for the Tuesday and Wednesday runs are only approximate as RunKeeper let me down on both of those runs (more on my displeasure with them in a later post!). Thursday was meant to be an easy recovery run before the longer runs of the weekends, and with it being Christmas, my long run was moved from Sunday to Saturday so I didn’t have to fit it in before present opening like last year. This left me running 5 days on the bounce. My legs disagreed with the idea of an easy run, however, and they decided to take me for a 10K pace run instead!

Friday was a much more relaxed affair. The same cannot be said for Saturday though, I actually set off with the intention of running a reasonably fast time, I thought I would be able to get something averaging 8:10-8:15 per mile based on how I was feeling. Knowing that I was still only 3 weeks from my last marathon, and the previous weekend had been 30 miles, add in the fast pace run on Thursday and the accumulation of it being the 5th day out running and I felt I was maybe a bit delusional about my abilities.

That definitely appeared to be the case for the first 5 miles. I set off at 8:10 pace, and after a couple of miles I was struggling to hold that pace, then I got to 5M and decided that it was $hit or bust and put my foot down a bit to try and do some 8 minute miles. Remarkably my body actually responded and let me do that, it actually let me go even faster for the remainder of the run. The end result was a 1hr44min29sec half-marathon, which is 2 minutes quicker than I have ever gone over that distance in this kind of heat, and less than 40 seconds outside the PB I set in October in cooler conditions. I am sure I could have bested my PB if I had known what kind of effort my body was going to allow, but I am happy with what I did.

As I said at the beginning, my body normally disagrees with tapering, but I am guessing that because the training is different on these 5 weeks between marathons I have been in recovery mode for the last 2 weeks and is now coming back to its best. I am feeling stronger and stronger, which is good, but also potentially bad as I could start to have delusions of grandeur on times etc. that I could attempt!