Posts Tagged ‘taper’

Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 24hr race

October 8, 2009

How are the preparations going?

OK.

My mileage has dropped from an average of 100 miles per week to around 80 – 85 for the past month.  This has been mainly due to external pressures… you know… things other than running (!).  I’m not worried about this at all – it should mean that arrive on the starting line fresh and “slightly under-cooked” as opposed to “a bit burnt”.

I’m into my taper now,  this means that mileage will drop considerably for the remaining 10 days before the race.  I won’t be running it slowly though – the aim is to increase the tempo a bit, so that the pace I’m aiming for at Tooting will seem ridiculously slow.  For example, this morning I ran a nice little 4 mile tempo at close to 6:00 pace, this afternoon I may attempt a sub-6 pace. 

In between these tempo sessions I will be jogging a few miles very slowly.  I will probably try to run every day until the race as I find that my legs complain when I’m not running – they tend to “turn off”.

I’ve just recieved the list of competitors from the lovely Shankara (Race Director).  I must admit that I’m a bit daunted by the depth of the field and amazed by the international flavour.  There will be runners from Sweden, Norway, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium amongst others.  A total of 45 have entered.

There is lots remaining for me to organise.  I still need to get on-line and order my gels, Nuun and protein bars.  I need to check tentage and camping stove arrangements with Nick and get my blasted iPod Shuffle replaced for the nth time! 

I have been working on my pace chart for a few weeks now – and I’m finally fairly confident that I’ve got it right.  My crew, and I, will know (to the second) what pace I need to run each lap in.  I have broken the race into 4 x 6hr sections with a pace and distance goal for each section.  This takes into account a controlled slowing and walking breaks.

Most of my training from now until race day will be mental.  By that, I mean that it will be psychological – I don’t mean that I will be running crazy mileage!

I will copy a post I made on RunningAhead about mental preparation in another post.

Have had contact with a few others who will be running in Tooting – Lee Chamberlain (who has just broken the World Record for 7 days on a treadmill – you need to get out more Lee), Anth Courtney and a few others.  I also recognise many other names: Ken Fancett (of course), Robin Gardner (who was just behind me at Crawley), Reima Hartikainen (Swedish international who performed well at the World Championships), Stefan Lindvall (another Swede who consistently performs well), Smiler Sid, Geoff Oliver (multiple world record holder at aged 76!!!), Richard Quennell (won the Draycote 35 and was 2nd at Faversham), Carl Sommer (33 min 10k man with 3 24hr races under his belt).

The competition will be tough.

But I will achieve my goals.

Happy running to you all.

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Tapering

July 22, 2009

Tapering is the pits.  I have managed to get in 100 miles per week for the last three weeks – probably the most consistent 3 weeks of running I have ever managed.  That said, it was all easy, gentle, running with no speed work and just a couple of marathon paced faster sessions.

This week’s schedule looks a bit like this:

Mon: 6m easy

Tue: 5m easy am, 3m easy pm

Wed: 4m easy

Thu: 3m tempo (about 6:00 pace I think – this just to keep the legs turning over)

Fri: 3m easy

Sat: 6hr race

Sun: REST or 5m recovery jog (depending on legs).

Normally I would like a two week taper, but for this event (Faversham 6hr race on Sat 25 Jul) felt that due to the achilles problem I didn’t have enough miles in the legs to warrant the extra week off.  This tactic may pay off… or it may prove to have been stupid.

Anyway, I hate tapering.  Several things happen:

  • You feel sluggish, lethargic and a slob.
  • Phantom niggles and pains appear for no reason.
  • You spend too much time worrying about the race.

But, deep down, you know that your body is repairing itself and re-building to a stronger state following the hard training.  It is not the training that makes you stronger but the REST.

I know that, come Saturday, my legs should feel fresh (er) and I will be ready to race.  I hope.

I am also trying to get in as much sleep as possible.  When training hard I can usually only get about 6 hours per night due to early starts and erratic sleeping patterns from the children. Well, one of them anyway.  I feel that, whilst running 100mpw, I should really be trying to get 8 – 10 hrs per night – so this week is catch up time.

Next post will discuss my goals and race plan for Faversham.