Tapering-In the context of sports, tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the long-distance running and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more. (Wikipedia)
My last run of schedule 22 miles but really 24 miles was to be my longest run for this training period. This week I was to run 14 miles for my long run. (Just to clarify, I've been running five days a week but only writing about the day I run the longest. My total weekly mileage over the course of the last six weeks has ranged from 30 plus miles to a little over 40 miles.) I was beginning to taper. To reduce the amount of mileage so that my body can start rebuilding and replenishing and resting itself before the race.
Fourteen miles sounded wonderful to me. It would still take me some time to complete it but not all day like the last few weeks had. I checked in with my coach to get her thoughts on how to approach it. She said "Annoyingly slow and carefree. Don't overthink it, but also don't take it for granted. The day you think "only 14 miles" is the day you run a painful or "bad run" of 14 miles." Since I had stretched myself during the last two weeks, I was going to be extra careful to not push myself for this run.
My goal was to keep my heart rate quite low. I decided to split my run into thirds. The first split between 135-140, the second between 140-145, the third split between 145-150. There was nothing new to contend with for this run. It went not necessarily "annoyingly slow" but was definitely carefree. I don't have much to report. I saw bluebirds near the sheep farm I always run past that I've not seen before.
|Not the sheep farm but another view that always takes my breath.|
It did occur to me that even though I classified my run as "only" 14 miles, I was still running a half marathon plus. I made a mental note that this wasn't to be taken lightly. Respect the distance, no matter how long. And I want to say just because I'm going for 31 miles doesn't mean your mileage doesn't count. It does. Don't down play it because it doesn't seem to match what another person is doing.
And so I finished 14 miles by lunchtime. I stretched a little, showered, ate, and got groceries all before needing to get the kids from school. This was fairly significant considering the past few weeks I've barely made it home in time to blend a smoothie before after school pick-up.
Next week is 10 miles. Next week I'll share another definition: tapering madness.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for a re-cap FINALLY of my Spring Superior 25k race. I FINALLY got it put together. FINALLY!