Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Little Sharpening

I'm on cruise control this week, with mostly short runs and shorter anaerobic efforts. Today called for either a mile of 50 sprint, 50 floats or 100 sprint every 200. I chose the latter, as it would be simple to jog the curves on the infield of the nearby track and sprint the straightaways. Running these on grass really makes things easier on the joints, even though it slows me down a touch. The mile went by in 5:35 or so (I added 100 meters to make up for running inside lane 1), and I spent the cool down miles running on as much dirt as I could find in Sabino Canyon.

Since Lydiard doesn't elaborate specifically on the taper for the marathon in his books I've been re-reading my Pfitzinger "Advanced Marathoning" book. He's quite into loading carbohydrates for three full days before the race, and the one time I followed his advice and plan to the letter I felt quite good until mile 23 so I'll probably adopt a similar strategy. I am intrigued by Greg's old-school carbo loading which includes a fasting from carbs for a few days prior to loading up on them, but since I've already changed so many things regarding my taper I'll forego inserting yet another variable.

One thing I've enjoyed about this taper is the welcome absence of frantic comments begging me to taper. I haven't eased off this much before a marathon since my run in May of 2004, but strangely enough aside from a freak out on Sunday afternoon I've been pretty calm about things. Busy at work so that's it for now.

Training: 7 miles, 47:41, 6:50 pace, w/1 mile of sprint 100, jog 100.


Mark said...

How's your mental training?

Food for thought: the 1st 20 miles is a commute, "run forever feeling".

Next, four miles is your warm-up.

Last, two miles is your race :-)

Blaxabbath said...

How is Sabino holding up? Is it all open? I'm thinking about heading out that way this weekend -- I'd hate to drive across town just to be disappointed.

Greg said...

I guess there really is no way to definitively say if the old school approach works any better than the new way, since you'll never really have a controlled environment to compare two tapers. However, during the depletion stage of it, I can honestly say that I hated every second of it. I have become so accustomed to eating carbs that I didn't even know how to eat when I had to avoid them.

However, once I got to the loading stage again, I did feel good and actually the normal bloated feeling that usually comes with the taper never really came this time around. In retrospect though, it probably wasn't worth the headaches (and stomach aches).

I can't wait to see you nail this thing this weekend!

Marc said...

Well, I'm glad you're calm, I am all butterflies!

I echo Greg, you are going to nail this thing this weekend - looking forward to the report.

Evan said...

Good luck for this weekend Mike. All the indications are that you're due a good one, and I hope you get it. But we all know marathoning is a crap shoot. One little mistake can magnify into minutes at the end. So I won't jinx you by saying I know you'll do well -- I'm just 80% confident you'll do well. Those are good odds for marathoning.

Remember, the race doesn't start until 20 miles, the race doesn't start until 20 miles.

Anonymous said...

I'm not entirely sure that Lydiard knew what a taper was. I think he believed it was that sleeping stuff the night before the race. Sounds like you have done everything right. When you get to the starting line, focus and enjoy the moment you have created through your training.

Anonymous said...

If our lack of whining will help you to taper properly now and in the future, it was worth the effort.

Eric said...

See, if you actually taper, nobody bugs you about it!

Remember to go easy on the first two or three miles. Thirty seconds either way in the first 5k can become minutes at the end of the race.

Oh...almost forgot...beat the hell out of this marathon.

D said...

I hate tapering! I can't stand the panic that I go through during this phase! I'm glad you've been busy at work - I'm sure that has kept your mind off this taper period. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're gonna have a great race Mike! I can't wait to find out how it goes. (don't get too relaxed/overconfident though. You gotta respect the distance!)

- Anonymous blog reader and well-wisher