Hellooooooo, taper! The goal this week was to drop my long run distance, overall training time, and overall vert by a good amount, but keep up the double weekly workouts. Tapering is not something I’m great at, and finding the balance between enough rest to be recovered for race day and enough running to still feel fresh is HARD.
Monday: as always, rest day! Getting a solid 8-9 hours of sleep to start the week is always awesome.
Tuesday was originally going to be an easy fartlek workout, but it was so cold outside that I decided to switch it with Wednesday’s easy run. The temperatures were just a bit too chilly for my legs to move fast and feel good, so I just did some easy miles with 7 strides at the end (6:20 avg pace for the strides, a little slower than my usual. Cold legs don’t move well!). Wednesday morning, the temperatures were warmer and I was able to get my planned workout in. I did a 2 mile warmup, 10 x 2 minutes at CV pace (7:10 min/mile), 1.5 minutes easy, and a 9.5 mile (what? more on this later) cooldown to finish. This is an easier version of one of my previous workouts. I made the recovery periods a bit longer than usual and did slightly fewer repeats than before. I wanted to keep the “pop” in my legs by getting them to move a bit faster than usual, but still tapering back on the volume on the workout. If I had done this workout on Tuesday like I had planned, I would not have done the “9.5 mile cooldown”. However, Wednesday was my 25th birthday, and I wanted to run some birthday miles (or kilometers). I decided to try to run 25 km (or 15.5 miles) to celebrate my birthday, and chose to incorporate the mini workout in the beginning of the run.
Typically, Thursday would be my tempo workout. However, due to the switch on Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided to switch my Thursday and Friday runs as well. Thursday was an easy 4 miles. Normally I’d do 6, but I figured I should be trying to cut back on volume… and I just ran 15.5 miles the day before. Friday was a tempo run. I did a ~20 minute warmup, a 20 minute tempo, and a ~20 minute cooldown. My tempo portion ended up averaging 7:27 min/mile pace, with some nice negative splits. It was a shorter tempo than in previous weeks, but it was probably my strongest-feeling tempo run in this entire short training cycle.
On Saturday, I ran around town. No mountain trip this weekend! I did a big 10 mile loop around town and the airport. It’s pretty flat with the exception of one gradual downhill and one gradual uphill, much different than my typical weekend long run recently. I focused on keeping my heart rate low and just enjoying a nice easy run around town in the beautiful weather. On Sunday, we went to a local park to do a short recovery run on the teeny tiny trail system there. It was nice to get off the asphalt for a couple miles, but I do wish this park was a bit bigger. A 1 mile loop isn’t very entertaining.
Overall, not a bad first taper week. Ideally I would have dropped my mileage by more than 4 miles (…whoops), but I got a little distracted by the idea of running “birthday miles”. I definitely am starting to feel a little fresher than usual and I’m getting excited to race! Next week will be a bit of a more aggressive taper, with only one workout and less midweek miles than normal.
Monday: rest day!
Tuesday: 6.47 miles, 98 ft of gain, 9:21 avg pace
Wednesday: 15.5 miles (25 km), 256 ft of gain, 8:53 avg pace
Thursday: 4.16 miles, 52 ft of gain, 9:37 avg pace
Friday: 7.55 miles, 62 ft of gain, 8:48 avg pace
Saturday: 10.56 miles, 220 ft of gain, 9:36 avg pace
Sunday: 4.01 miles, 154 ft of gain, 9:22 avg pace
Total: 48.3 miles, 842 ft of gain, 9:16 avg pace