It was finally upon me – my last full week of training before my longest race ever. I reached the point where I used to always get before exams in university – I wanted the prep to be over, and I wanted to get to the race! This week marked the beginning of my taper so my mileage was cut back which worked out well because we had lots of other stuff going on at home that kept me busy.
I started out with a rest day on Monday, and then got out for a rainy 10km road run on Tuesday. I had a bunch of shorter (10-12km) runs scheduled for this week so I planned to run them on the road faster than my planned race pace, but at an effort that was conservative. In numbers terms, this was around 4:30 min/km as a target pace. Including stops at traffic lights, I hit this 10km with an average of 4:27 min/km so I was right around where I wanted to be.
Wednesday was another rest day (yeah tapering!) and then Thursday was a 14km run. This one was all over the place. I started out on about 4km of gravel path and then met up with some friends who I was going to lead around a 5km road course they were racing this weekend. After that 5km I headed back to my car on the gravel path. By myself I stuck to around a 4:15 min/km pace and ran a bit slower on the 5km route.
I took Friday off and then ran my taper-version long run on Saturday. I did 25km on my usual trails and had a decent run. We’ve had lots of rain so the trails were muddy but the sun came out to make it a nice fall run.
I finished the week with a brisk 10km run on Sunday morning – I focused on pacing again, and finished it just over 4:30 min/km including traffic light stops. I am hoping that I can replicate this focus on slowing my pace during the race as its going to be crucial.
It always feels strange to me cut back on the training during taper weeks, but its obviously necessary for a good result. I know I have to put some thought into my nutrition/hydration/clothing/pacing plan this week, so that’s what I can focus on while I am running less than I have for months. Here’s my plan:
- Monday – rest
- Tuesday – 8km road run
- Wednesday – 6km road run
- Thursday – rest
- Friday – rest (or super short run)
- Saturday – Run for the Toad 50km Race
- Sunday – Couch!
I’m a little nervous that this is cutting back too much, but in the past I usually feel better if I am well rested. We’ll see how it goes – its my first race this long so I expect to learn a lot on Saturday!