Sunday, May 13, 2012

Last Long run, Taper Time!

Hello Runners!
Andy happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful, tirelessly working mothers.  I spent the day hanging out with my mother but first thing in the morning I ran my final long run before the half marathon next weekend.  9 miles.  Easy.  Comfortable.  Somewhat quick.  It felt good.  
Week Recap:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 6 miles (3 High Cliff Hills)
Wedensday: 7 miles
Thursday: 6 miles (6 Slow Jimmy's)
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 9 miles
TOTAL: 34 miles

This upcoming week is the week of the half marathon.  I plan on taking it easy for the week, dropping my mileage for the 2nd week now.  Here is the plan for the week ahead:
Monday: 5 miles (easy)
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6 miles (3 mile tempo @6:45 pace)
Thursday: 4 miles (easy)
Friday: 5 miles (easy) w/ 4x75m sprints/accelerations
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Race Day

The plan is to have two rest days this week with only one moderately difficult workout on Wednesday.  After my final run on Friday I like to do a few sprints/accelerations to keep my legs fresh on speed and turnover.  These aren't all out sprints, they're almost like stride-outs a runner does before the start of a race.  Saturday, the day before the race, I'll rest.  The decision to rest or run the day before a big race is a decision that I think many runners struggle with.  Some (like myself) prefer to rest the day before, giving the body a little extra time to recover from the week's workouts.  Others, (like my friend Jay) like to go out on a short, easy run the day before.  Just something to loosen up the legs a bit, and keep them "fresh".  There's no right or wrong method in my opinion.  I believe a runner to needs to experiment to find which method is most comfortable and gives the better results.  
As I said before, I prefer to rest.  Especially before long, exhausting races like a 15k, half marathon or marathon.  I want my legs to be well rested and recovered before I beat them to hell over the course of many miles.  If I were to run a 5k or shorter, I would have no problem doing a short, easy run the day before the race.  Just a personal preference, that's all it is.  That being said, I think it's important to be consistent in your pre-race formula.  A routine helps to keep you calm and confident.  The training is finished, now all you have to do is go out and run, believe in yourself, and give'r all you got!  I'll post some half marathon race tactics sometime next week.  Look for them!  Good night and good luck... running that is!  

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