14 weeks of seriously hard work, and now we’re here…. tapering! In some ways, even though I’m relieved to have got to this point, it’s my least favourite part of marathon training. I hate the feeling of being in limbo, falling towards an end point but helpless to do anything to feel any more prepared. Have I mentioned I’m something of a drama queen?? I think it’s probably best for all of us if I just get on with it!
30 mins stretching
EVERYTHING felt tight. So it felt great to start my taper with a really good stretching session.
Intervals: 10x400m with 90 seconds jog recoveries
These were actually quite tough. Although it was a shorter session, I think I’d eaten at weird times and I just felt heavy and a bit sick. I survived though, with 400m splits of: 1.29/1.30/1.34/1.34/1.33/1.33/1.32/1.33/1.36/1.33. They were all supposed to be between 1.35 and 1.40, so overall I’m taking that as another battle won!
6 miles easy in 50 mins 18 seconds (Average 8.22mm pace)
Weirdly, after yesterdays intervals, my legs felt the freshest that they had done for a long time. It was a beautiful evening and the pace felt good. I can’t tell you how nice it was not to have to fit in 10 miles after a late finish at work too.
I had planned to go to grit strength, but I’m not going to lie, sleep won. There have to be some perks of tapering. Right?
6.54 miles with 4 at tempo (HMP) Overall 51 mins 46 (Average 7.55mm pace)
This was my final real effort. I was actually aiming for anything between 7.30 and 8mm pace, so I’m fairly pleased with my middle splits of 7.17/7.24/7.17/7.28. Particularly as summer seemed to have hit overnight, and it was 22 degrees! Here’s hoping that’s not the case next weekend! I really had to hang on for the final mile, when my legs felt like they were about to fall off, but as I was only about 10 seconds outside my 10K PB pace, I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to improving that after London.
Oh, yeh, it was also the first outing of my pale legs this year too!
6.25 miles including Bournemouth parkrun in 26.03 (Average 8.27mm pace)
Another b-e-a-utiful morning for running. Really, these runs are just about ticking my legs over now. I ran really easy to the start and then moderately easy around parkrun. It was actually super busy. Bournemouth usually averages in the high 500’s in terms of numbers, but there were 704 running this morning. Not bad for something that started with some mates timing their morning run in Bushy park!
10 miles in 1:27:07 (Average 8.42mm pace)
The final ‘long run’. Eeeek! I remember when I was tapering for Edinburgh last year, and my final long run was the biggest disaster ever. In fact, I think I abandoned it part way through! This one wasn’t great, but it wasn’t quite that bad. I just felt like I was struggling at 8.30 pace. To be honest, it was really hot and I didn’t take any water, but I think your meant to have some terrible runs in your taper, it’s just an unwritten rule. So I’m trying not to read too much in to it.
After 4 months of hard work, there are now just 7 days, and 4 easy runs between me and race day! I’m already starting to doubt my ability to hold 8mm pace. I don’t feel like I’ve done enough training at race pace, I’ve missed some runs due to being unwell, all sorts of mind games are raging in my head. But, it doesn’t matter because all of that is beyond my control now. Tapering is all about the ‘less is more’ principle. So, if you need me, I’ll be watching Netflix with my feet up, trying to bury my head in the sand with the best of the ostriches!
This time next week………