Textbook Tapering – Week 16 Review

Tapering.  The time in the typical marathon training plan that sucks the most requires a lot of discipline.  It’s the 2-3 weeks before race day, when all the strenuous training is behind you, and it’s time to scale things back to give your body the rest it needs.  The issue is, leading up to the taper time is some of the most intense and dedicated training.  Then, you’re expected to cut back by as much as 60%.  Ask any marathon runner out there and s/he’ll tell you about a few irrationalities that take over.  Fortunately for me, I don’t have that discipline to taper correctly, so the craziness / irrational feelings haven’t struck me (yet).

Coming off an epic 21 mile run in Week 15 I felt like I needed a little rest, so I shifted everything back a day to take Monday off.  It actually worked out better than expected, since I was going to run both Saturday and Sunday.  During the week I recovered, ran hard, and then recovered some more.  Taper time means boring time, so I wasn’t exactly amped up for any of the midweek fun.

When the weekend rolled around, however, I seemed to forget it I was tapering.  Saturday I headed out for 16 miles and really tried to hold back on the pace.  Some might even say I was successful through mile 5, averaging about 8:11 min/mi.  After that, however, seemingly at the flick of a switch, miles 6 – 16 averaged 7:38, finishing with a final mile at 7:13!  What?!  So much for taking it easy!  At this point I still didn’t think about the 10 mile race I was running the next day.  No big deal.

Sunday was, in fact, the Run for the Water.  I won’t get into it here, since I wrote a captivating race report for you to enjoy.  I will say that it was amazing, and I finished much faster than expected, especially after that hard 16 miler on Saturday.  Overall, Week 16 (aka Week 1 of Tapering) didn’t go as planned, and because of that, was a somewhat manageable week.  Week 17 should prove to be less exciting, with shorter distances and no races, so we’ll see how it all goes.  Come back next week to find out.

Distance Time Pace
Tuesday 6.10 Miles 55:25 9:05 min/mi
Wednesday 8.17 Miles 1:05:13 7:59 min/mi
Thursday 4.13 Miles 36:54 8:56 min/mi
Saturday 16.25 Miles 2:06:55 7:48 min/mi
Sunday 10.03 Miles 1:08:06 6:47 min/mi
Total 44.67 Miles 5:52:34 7:53 min/mi

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