Reluctantly tapering

Less running, more relaxing…

3 days to go until the Cardiff 10K and I suppose I should really be tapering…

Earlier in the summer the GP signed me off all exercise (for rather unheroic, non-newsworthy reasons) and so after my declaration of a sub-51 minute target I was only actually able to fit in 5 weeks of training, including a taper week. Needless to say I am very reluctantly tapering, resisting the tendancy to view these taper days as potential tempo runs missed or a speed sessions slowed.

If you Google the theory behind tapering you will get some very mixed opinions and theories. Some runners swear by it and some hate it, some people taper their intensity, some people taper their frequency. Whatever your position the basic principle is the same, as I wrote about just before running the Berlin Half Marathon this Spring. That was my first properly executed taper and I ran a PB. I’m therefore resisting the urge to run just… one… more… threshold… session…

But that means that I have a 30 minutes and can deliver an extra post this week. Tapering is a treat for both me and you!

I decided to taper my intensity rather than my frequency, a compromise between my body and my brain. I am very keen to keep my legs ticking over until the last minute, but appreciate the benefits of slowing it down in these last few days. This week’s training has looked like/will look like this:

Monday: 3 mile race pace run in the park
(Less gossipy than usual. If I can gossip I’m running too slowly.)
Tuesday: Strength session at lunchtime; 5.5 mile flat run with the club in the evening
(it was supposed to be a 9min/mile run, but I kinda flew of at close to 8:30min/mile and enjoyed it too much to stop…)
Wednesday: 30 min threshold session
(shorter reps of 0.2 miles run at a moderate 10K target pace of 8:12min/mile with 0.1 mile walking recoveries, rather than the usual 400-800m reps)
Thursday: NOTHING
(I’m already feeling restless but I am putting the energy into typing this post instead, which is also acting as an exercise in reminding myself why doing nothing today is a good idea…)
Friday: No running, again, but maybe some yoga in the evening…
(I have planned activities that will keep me away from training opportunities. These include visiting this amazing looking exhibition of  cat-inspired art.)
Saturday: 1-2 mile gentle jog with 4 or 5 60m strides
(I did this the night before the Berlin HM on my speedy friend Tim’s advice. It “fires up the hamstrings” apparently. Or it at least settles the nerves. I’ll be spending the night at my family home in preparation for travelling with my Mam to the start line in the morning…)

The nerves are definitely setting in now.


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