Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Saint Notaperyet

* Nope. Not tapering yet. Everyone keeps asking me. No! I'm not tapering yet. Don't tempt me to skip a run, people!

After the race on Saturday I e-mailed dear Tinman telling him how the race went and to get my schedule for my final three weeks before Columbus. As he often does, he replied within a few minutes with a very detailed three week schedule. I quickly noticed that for this week he's increasing my miles. "Hey!" I thought. "You're not supposed to do that!" I had not so secretly been counting down the days when I could replace minutes running with minutes doing other stuff. Also, I've been over 70 miles for two straight months and close to or right at 80 for most of that time. Do I really need to go to 90! Sure, part me of gets off on the numbers and feels like a bad ass for being able to say I peaked at 90 miles this training cycle. Before this training cycle my high was 65! This seems kind of nuts. Or does it?

The funny thing is that I actually feel really good right now! Even after running 18 on Saturday with the 10k and then 22 on Sunday. I have a few little niggling remnants from the race but that's normal for me. Otherwise I feel pretty fresh surprisingly. I'm still doing good with the sleep. No big sleep nights, but I have been consistently getting 8 hours every night. I am trying to keep up with the food but my furnace is just on high all the time. I throw something in there and it's burned up in seconds. I am afraid to weigh myself. My pants are all but falling off these days. I swear I am stuffing my face nonstop and I just can't do anything about it. Maybe I'll start a new style--the business casual chino sag. Or I could just go get a belt.

Yeah, but I was all worried about this "insane" schedule. I decided to investigate. So what did I do? I barraged Tinman with questions! I must drive him crazy. He's a saint. If I ever get confirmed, Tinman will be my confirmation name in his honor. Apparently for some runners (apparently ones like me), cutting back mileage too soon cuts back endurance which results in poor performance over the last 8 miles or so of the marathon. He swears that the runner
"who does the mileage and long runs (just doesn't hammer them) in the last 3 weeks doesn't run out of steam and passes a lot of runners from the 18 mile mark to the finish." After seeing countless people fade in the marathon last weekend, in Boston, etc. I want to be the one that doesn't fade. I want that strong finish charging through the OSU campus.

I trust Tinman, but I was curious just how out there is ideas were. So, I checked out the let's run message board, where else? I found this thread. I always take let's run with a grain of salt because there are so many lying self-inflating assholes there, but when several pretty fast high mileage guys are spouting the benefits of the 2 week taper, it made me feel better.

And then I just thought about it. From my own experience, when I'm running a lot of easy miles I feel my best. I felt like crap the second half of Boston. Part of that was the weather, but I really think part of that was because I screwed something up those last few weeks. My legs felt dead from the start but just three weeks prior I did 15 at goal pace on a very hilly course and felt great. I tapered for three weeks and cut my mileage a bit drastically: 58, 40, 31. And like I said, I'm feeling pretty good and racing pretty decently now with no taper so I think and hope this is going to work out for me.

*Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes.


Joseph P. Wood said...

From what I know, I think two weeks is a solid taper. Lydiard and his minions use the 2 week taper. Rubio does 90%, 80%, 60% for three taper weeks. So, it does make sense not to drop too much IMHO.

E-Speed said...

I like the 2 week taper. I think it is plenty of time to recover from your last true long run effort and it is short enough it keeps you from going stir crazy! You look great to me, I think you are going to rock the taper and Columbus!

Quinto Sol said...

How's the taper going? Just kidding :-D

I prefer a tree-week taper.. no wonder I fade so badly... except in the flying pig where my last mile was my fastest and I had an almost 6-min negative split.