Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Relax, don’t do it – less is more during the taper

Last year the Super Bowl was three weeks before the Mardi gras Marathon.  I went to Jim’s house and partook heavy in the festivities.  Between good food, drink and M&M’s I gained 10 pounds that fateful Sunday.  I think there is a picture of me consume a beef brisket over the sink …

This year I was much better.  I did my 10 mile run at M (marathon) pace (6:50).  As I said, I hit all of my marks but the run did not give me the confidence boost that I was looking for – I guess I wanted the run to be easy.  It was not exactly hard but I let some negative thoughts enter my mind – 16 more miles of this I asked myself. 

Anyway, I was more tired than I thought I would be after the run and relaxed the rest of the day.  I watched the game and took it easy.  And guess what?  I did not gain any weight at all – not an ounce.  That is great news considering that the marathon is this coming weekend.  I don’t have 21 days to shed weigh.  Like I shed much last year – I gained 10 pounds and then lost 8 of them – net gain of 2 pounds or 4 seconds per mile.  Note: a good rule of thumb is that each pound gained or lost is 2 seconds per mile regardless of distance.

So I watched the game and then turned in.  I woke up for Masters Swim.  I turned off the alarm and walked to the kitchen.  I got back in the warm bed  and drank my coffee.  At this point I still had all (or most) intentions to make it to swim.  However, I then proceeded to lay back down and skip the swim.  I was still tired.  My legs were still tired.  When I walked to the kitchen to get the coffee my left leg was hurting.

I also thought about what I would do for lunch.  I couldn’t (shouldn’t) run.  So I decided that I would swim and lunch and skip the Masters Swim.  This was easy rationalization in the early morning hours.
But I was true to myself and jumped in the water at lunch.  I am sure that my session was not as challenging as the Masters Swim session.  I simply swam 4 x 500 yards at an easy pace.  It felt good.  When I was done I noticed the white board with the mornings session on it.  It was a reverse ladder of longer distances and interspersed with harder shorter intensities.  Yep, I workout was easier.
The money is in the bank.  The hay is in the barn.  The training is done.  The hard part is over.  It is time to kick back and relax.

no worries.

From that same Runner’s World article from yesterday.  This final week before marathon:
  • Don't do anything tiring. Let the grass grow. Let the kids take out the garbage. Let the dog walk himself.
  • Don't try anything new. No new foods, drinks, or sports.
  • Don't cross-train, hike, or bike.
  • Don't get a sports massage unless it's part of your routine. You may feel bruised a couple days afterward if you're not accustomed to it.
  • Stay off your feet and catch up on movies, books, and sleep. If you go to the pre-race expo, don't stay long.
  • Remember: During this final week, you can't under-do. You can only overdo.


Francine said...

Keep relaxing...

Matty O said...

Awesome! Let the grass grow... man would my customers be pissed haha.

Negative thoughts entering your head. All I can say is this, grab them, all of them, and put them in one location in your head. Those thoughts right there should be your fuel to push you every time you want to bail.

I hope that you have a good group of people at or a bit ahead of your goal pace to use. I have found that using people during a race is great motivation. When you see you have people running your pace make them your targets, you WILL beat them.

Enjoy the rest.

RunningWhit said...

Good luck with the rest of your taper week. Sounds like you are staying calm and confident. The big question is...how often are you checking the weather forecast for race day?