Manchester Marathon Training: Week 16 of 18

Well if the taper is meant to help your legs recover, so far, so NOT good. The past week has been tough, and today has seen the first hint of “taper madness” as my tired legs are telling me “You are so tired and you’re only doing 8 miles and slower than marathon pace you are never going to do the marathon”. I keep telling the taper gremlins to pipe down, and its working so far – but there is still 2 weeks to go! Lets see how the week went against the plan

pd16And it all went according to plan, except for my Saturday “tune up race” only being 5k at parkrun.

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Monday saw no evening walk for me, but I did manage 3 miles at lunchtime to help stretch the legs. But the quality of Sunday’s run was a little less intense than the week before so the legs didn’t feel so bad.

On Tuesday I had 8 miles with 5 sets of 600m Intervals. Going into the run I really wasn’t expecting much from the reps, but looking back on them I can see they were pretty solid – all around the 6m/m mark. Though the run home was less spectacular!

On Wednesday, I had a 6 mile recovery paced run, which was harder than it should have been but not unexpected given Tuesday’s fast intervals.

Thursday, unusually for me, was a rest day. But this worked quite well as I was travelling back home from Birmingham for the long Easter weekend, and this meant on Friday I went for a short 4m recovery run with some strides. This provided some good strides and the legs felt much better than Tuesday and Wednesday. It was nice to run with Jodie for the first time in a while too!

On Saturday I was scheduled for a tune up race which, as already mentioned, was a parkrun. This week we visited Reading, as detailed in this post. It was at full effort, though not the PB or sub-20 I had hoped for, mainly due to the course conditions I still hope to break that 20 minute mark soon – though now it won’t be til after Manchester.

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Sunday saw my first tapered long run, at a “paltry” 16 miles. My legs did NOT enjoy it. It was not helped by having to stop a couple of times due to toilet requirements. Nor did it help that this meant I diverted from route an got a bit lost. Finally, I fell over after about 5 miles and have a massive bruise on my hip! So all in all, not the biggest confidence boost!

2 weeks out, my legs are still flagging but I am going to do what I have done all along – trust in the plan. I keep looking at the sessions I have left and can’t help but feel I’m doing too much. But people much smarter than me wrote it, and its been used successfully by people around the world – so I’m going to keep trusting it, right til the end. Though I am going to take my remaining easy runs much easier.

With 2 weeks to go, perhaps the most important reflection to consider is that I am injury free! My “dodgy” knee feels much stronger and doesn’t twinge. All in all I think my legs are reasonably well conditioned, though I will reassess that at the end of this week as my mileage is around half of what I have been doing.

Time to put my head down and push through, ignore any hint of taper madness and believe in myself. I know I can do it, I just need to keep reminding myself!

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