Last week. First up, if you haven’t begun training yet then I’d suggest you give this year’s Trim 10 Mile the skip and do it next February.
If you have managed to get out more times than you didn’t, then well done. Reward yourself with what should be a taper of sorts this week. To those who don’t know, the taper is not a South American jungle mammal often appearing on-screen alongside David Attenborough but the period of time prior to a big race where you allow the body to recover from all the training it’s been doing.
In marathon training, the taper is usually a three-week period. For a ten-mile, a week is plenty. The idea behind the taper is that you are as fresh as you can hope to be, come race-day. And to ensure this, you reduce the distances you’re running, keep a few short quick ones though not as intense to keep the body alert, and concentrate on staying hydrated and rested. Easier said than done.
Last week I only managed to get back on the road Thursday evening for a tempo session where I ran a number of sections at race-pace with a few slow jogs in between. It was tough. And I was hanging on at the end as the last remnants of that seasonal flu left me. Thankfully a light 5-mile with a friend the following evening felt a lot better. And so today I was able to take a spin over the course one last time with three race-pace miles put in at the end. It was tough and something that could only be done in the company of two other racing friends. We’ve set ourselves high targets next Sunday and if one of us gets close we’ll be delighted. To give us a chance ideal conditions like today would be great. With the roads were quiet, the skies clear and the wind absent it was perfect and it made me look forward to next week.
So, what to do these next few days along with the training listed below? A few tips:
Hydration – Hydration should be done throughout the week so carry a bottle around with you at all times. Don’t bother drinking any more water on the morning of the race more than you would usually. If you do, then you will be amongst all many others who will be stopping at country gates from mile 1 to mile 4 taking a leak and cursing themselves for the 30 seconds that it costs them. One thing I can guarantee next week is that it will not be warm so dehydration is not going to be an issue.
Clothes – Get whatever clothes you are going to wear on the day ready. You’ll only be out a couple more times between now and race-day so grab a different pairs of socks, shorts and t-shirts. It will allow your race clothes times to rest as well as ensuring you aren’t searching the wash-basket for your damp pair of lucky running socks next Sunday morning.
Food – Eat sensibly. Decent meals that are not huge. They say eat smaller portions more often if you can. If you have children, finishing off their left-overs before you have yours later works well. On the day before, I’d suggest a nice lunch with a decent snack or sandwich that evening. Don’t start trying home-made quinoa if you haven’t eaten it before or stewed beetroot juice because you read it on a blog.
Relax – After that, just enjoy the week. You’ve done the training so you’ve earned it. Well done. All you now have to do is race.
I’ll give a final word of encouragement Saturday and see you there Sunday. Good luck.
This week’s training:
Slow run: 30 minutes.
Tough run: 30 min steady run with 4-6*50 metre strides.
Long run: Race Day!!!