Friday, September 30, 2011
Training and Tapering...Who Needs 'Em?
While I have been getting in some good mileage at quality paces, it is nothing near marathon training. I've been slowly working my mileage up to prepare for the 50 mile in December, and I thought the marathon might fit nicely in the middle...but it came a little soon and my longest run up to that point had been 12 miles.
So last Saturday (a week before the marathon) I did a little test and ran 16 miles to see what it would feel like. I haven't run that far since April. I held around a 9 minute pace most of the way and felt fine when I finished, although my legs were pretty tired and a little sore the next day. I was also reluctant to taper because I am in the middle of ultra training and I have just gotten cranked up on that. So I didn't want to slack off on ultra training just because I'd agreed to this crazy last minute marathon.
I ran 7 miles on Monday, a total of 12 on Tuesday (9 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon), and 6 on Wednesday. My leg soreness came back so I took yesterday off and this morning I ran 3 with my No Boundaries runners, driving to meet them instead of running there like I usually do. So that's a sort-of taper. If all goes as planned and I finish this marathon (which is the main and only goal, by the way), I will have 51.5 miles for the week. While that is a good mileage number, how it plays out is not exactly what I was looking for, but hopefully I can take it easy enough tomorrow that I can resume my ultra training shortly after without having to take too much of a break.
Smart? Probably not. A good plan? That's a negative. Kind of fun anyway? Yep. I will admit to being a little curious to see how I will fair on so little training. Am I seasoned enough to hang in for 26.2 miles? What kind of time will it be? This will be marathon #25, but regardless of how seasoned a marathoner may be, a lot can happen in that distance, and I am approaching it with caution.
I plan to start off slow, around a 10:00 or 9:30 pace for the first 3 or 4 miles. Then I will try to hold between a 9:00-9:30 the rest of the way. If I feel good at the end, I will pick it up, but I'm not expecting to have a whole lot left after about 20 miles. I've packed 4 Gu packets to pin to my shorts and will try to stay well fueled. That, a slower pace, and a history of finishing marathons is all I have to take with me on this one.
I'll let you know how it goes.