Monday, February 8, 2010

Ready to taper?

That last race (the 30K) took a more out of me than all of the previous races. Last year it seemed as if it took me forever to recover. My first half marathon in November of 2008 – I think it took me a full 2 weeks to bounce back. I was sore and did not have a top gear. Well, I have raced much harder and at greater distances these past two months and I have bounced back week after week. In fact, on the weekends that I did not race I picked up the volume – I had several 3 day blocks of forty plus miles and even a 3 day block of 50 miles. However, this last race was different. I am not sure if it was the distance (18.6 miles), the intensity (6:55 minutes per mile) or the building fatigue of racing. This had me worried.

On Saturday I ran an easy 15 miles with the guys. It was at a comfortable pace for me (9 minutes per mile – that has become low zone 1). I really enjoyed chewing the fat and just getting outside. The “training plan” had called for something more substantial (20 miles @ 7:41). I am sure that I could have gutted that out but I don’t think that it would have done much for my overall run fitness. I stuck with the easy, fun run. I took about an hour break after the run and grabbed something to eat (toast and oatmeal). I then met some other guys for a bike ride.

There had been a ‘fast’ bike ride at 7AM on Saturday but I knew that I probably would not have been able to hang – well maybe… But I wanted the running miles.

So I met up with the late Saturday ride. There were only 3 of us. I am not sure if it is due to the lack of bike fitness, the 15 mile run, or the strength of Dan – but I could not hang with him. I am sure it is a combination of all three. I did try to hold his wheel for a few miles but my heart rate (as well as perceived exertion) were topping out. I dialed it back and just rode my 20 miles. Dan is going to be tough to beat. He also happens to be in my age group.

I was going to run on Sunday morning but the legs were tired again. Not wanting to skip a day I put in a P90X DVD. I have not done any of these since October. I was able to hammer out disc 1 without any problems. The sessions are solid and tough! I will feel this in the chest and back!

At a super bowl get together I was talking with some more knowledgeable runners and asked them about my recovery from this last race. They were reassuring. They said that going into a taper you should be spent – that the training was coming together and time for the body to rebuild. I looked at my training schedule for the next 3 weeks – yep just 3 weeks away – and they are indeed much reduced. The intensity is still there but the mileage is dwindling.


Jennifer said...

Sounds like you're ready!