It's been a funny week, this first week of taper. On Wednesday I posted that my legs were aching badly, and that evening I had a pretty rubbish run. We did intervals at Jog Scotland, and I really struggled to speed up on the 'fast' sections. My legs just felt like lead.
On Thursday I didn't feel great either, and I was due to run on Friday morning. However, a combination of staying up late to watch the Election coverage, and Emma's surprise appearances in the early hours, persuaded me to postpone to the evening. I planned to do 3-4 miles, but once I got going, I felt really good and ended up doing 4.1 miles in 35.12 mins (average pace 8.32 min/miles). That's quite fast for me! It was great to have a decent run at last.
Then today's goal was a much reduced long run of 10 miles. The idea of the taper is that you cut down on mileage in the weeks before the marathon, so your body can recover from the heavy training in time to feel fresh at the start line. Oh yes, I'm not just doing these runs according to any old whim - there is planning, structure and science behind it!
So today's run was fine. It was nice to run in the sun for a change, and I didn't need my jelly babies or lucozade this week. I felt a bit crap for the first 10 minutes, but then it was alright. Pretty uneventful actually, in fact I'm struggling to remember much about it. The statistics are, I did 10.8 miles in 1h44m05s. Average pace was 9.36 min/miles, which is just over a minute faster than the pace of my 20 mile runs.
This afternoon I had the novelty of not being sofa-bound after a long run, and we went swimming with the kids, which was great. My legs were still tired though, and my right knee is not at all happy - it really doesn't feel like bending today.
So it remains to be seen how effective these training plans will be for me. I can't help but feel that I could have done more training, and more effective training, but now I can only keep rested, keep healthy, and keep my fingers crossed for the big day in 2 weeks' time. Suffice to say, I have done the research (see below), and hopefully used it to my advantage. Yikes.