Friday, January 06, 2006

More on the Taper

In Arthur Lydiard's 1978 book "Running the Lydiard Way" he writes of the final training period-
"During the last one and a half weeks before (the first importatnt competition), you should try to freshen up by lightening the training to build your mental and physical rserves. Some have called this 'super compensation.' It is important, however, and the period of time you need for this should be decided through trial and error methods in less important competitions. Individuals differ in the time they need, although about ten days suits most athletes. You should train every day during this period, but well within your capabilities. If you use fast running, it should be short and intense, not prolonged. The longer runs should be made at an easy pace. Watch your food intake during this time. There can be a tendency to ease up in training and overeat. It is not desirable to put on any weight. So if you are susceptible to weight gain, take particular care."

I typed that last part while eating a scone Kiera made that I took to work. Some have mentioned (and I might have written before) that Lydiard trained his marathoners more as "glorified 10K runners". This would explain the sudden and short taper (when compared to modern standards). In the past I have tapered for three weeks, which always seemed a little long. The trial and error part is scary for someone in his first go-around, which tends to be where you make the "error" in your trial. Still, I'm trying to be good, and today's incredibly windy weather made it easy. This was my last 5K time trial, and I did it at the end of an 8 miler. Instead of going too hard into the wind (which was unfortunately the way the route worked out), I did it as a marathon pace-judgement run. I ran the 3.1 miles in 18:25, or 5:56 pace, which is a little faster than goal pace but I felt good doing it.

Tomorrow is going to be a very easy day, since I missed the 50 sprint/50 floats earlier in the week I was tempted to squeeze them in, but doing so between today's pace workout and Sunday's long run seems like a little much. I may just take Haiden out for a muffin run instead to be fresh for Sunday's last (shorter) long run.

Overall I'm feeling good, no aches or pains to speak of, and Finn only got up once last night so I really caught up on sleep. My only hope now is for winter to descend once again on Arizona, as I'm wishing for a cold morning January 15 for the race.

Training: 8 miles, 52:12, 6:31 pace, w/5K pace judgement time trial in 18:25, 5:56 pace


D said...

Your marathon is so close! I'm excited for you! In following your progress, you've done everything according to plan.

Great news on your son!

Mike said...

Thanks DGC, and I'm so glad to hear you are back on the roads. I'm also happy you're dodging the cortisone shot, sounds like you're on the mend without it.