Saturday, October 03, 2009

Taper

A Taper is a period of time during which we back down the amount of exercise that we are doing in preparation for an upcoming race.

I've never truly embraced the concept of a taper.  When I decrease the amount of exercise that I am doing, I feel sluggish.  Invariably, I gain a pound or two because I'm not as active.  But, when I stick with the taper plan and am rested before a race, I do well.

Last weekend's 18 miler went much better than the one before it.  I had some good runs this week.  This morning, I ran a total of 8 miles, six of those miles with the LA Leggers 9-minute per mile pace group, which is the first time that I have run with this faster group.  It was a challenge  running 8:20 per mile for eight minutes and then walking a minute, and keeping that pace while running up a couple of steep hills, but I was able to do it.

Tomorrow I'm doing a 5K race, just to get an idea of how much I've improved since July, when I had a personal best of 24:55.  I would love to break 24 minutes.  Then I'm going to go for an easy hour-long bike ride.

My strategy for Race Day at the Long Beach Marathon next Sunday:  Coach Jamie wants me to start at a 9:15/mile pace.  I think that's a little aggressive, but if I'm rested up enough, maybe I can keep that pace up for the race.  If around mile 7-8 I feel like that's a little too fast, I'll back it down.  My goal is to run in under 4 hours and 5 minutes.

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