Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Taper Week Plan

For the first time in a long, long time, I think I feel reasonably comfortable the week before my big race at the Rock 'n Roll Arizona Marathon. I have a race week plan, thanks to Lucho's advice, that I'm following. The key is to keep my legs fresh and energized and avoid letting them go flat. So, here's what this week looks like:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Did 4 miles total with 2 miles at 6:40 pace with a 2:00 "rest" (still running) in between. Super easy workout--barely broke a sweat.
Wednesday: Did 4 miles total, 3 of which were at 8:00 pace and 1 of which was at 6:35 pace. Again, super easy. Zero stress.
Thursday: Three 1-mile intervals at 6:40 pace with 1-minute recoveries in between. Hopefully I can do these on the track if it's snow-free.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 3-4 1-minute intervals at 6:40 pace. This is basically just a shake-out effort.
Sunday: RACE!

I'll avoid solid proteins on Friday and Saturday and try not to overhydrate. Rather than eating a huge meal on Saturday night, like I normally would, I'll go light and focus on carbs. My biggest meal will probably be Saturday breakfast, when I have every intention of ordering a huge stack of pancakes!

The high temperature for Sunday will be a balmy 74 76. Yeah, only I could register for a January marathon and then have to deal with unusually high temperatures for this time of year. I'll do the best I can and make adjustments if needed.

My race strategy is to stay at marathon goal pace through the first 14 or 15 miles and then make adjustments if needed. Ideally, I'll stay at  MGP the whole way--from start to finish. I want to get through the first half in 1:27:30 and then get to the 20-mile mark, feeling good, in 2:14. The key is to let those times come naturally and not force myself into a pace that's not feeling good. Also, under no circumstances will I go out faster than goal pace--you pay for that later. I know the last 10K will be challenging and I intend to push through it and run courageously. Hopefully by then the temperature will be in the 60s and I can keep the motor going hard.

After Phoenix I'm going to take it really easy for a few weeks and actually do some weight training and cycling and maybe light running. My foot still isn't 100% and so I'm hoping a little time off will do the trick. I'm now suspecting a neuroma. I may check in with my sports medicine specialist for a diagnosis and then follow whatever treatment plan he recommends.

I'm still trying to figure out what races I'm going to do leading up to the Leadville 100 on August 16. I'll figure that out after Phoenix. But this I do know: I'll be training hard.


  1. I am a lurker. Good luck with the race. Not to jinx you, but you should nail 2:55 without much problem. I ran a high 2:57 a few years ago and my buildup and speed workouts were slower/weaker than yours by a fair amount (and we are about the same age). Just stay relaxed and enjoy the day. You don't need to squeeze out 100% of your current potential to hit your goal time here -- just take it easy and have fun. And if for some reason you don't make it, you can surely hit it in a spring marathon. If you are feeling good, I say go for it. I think you have got enough base and speed right now to go under 2:50 if your body is having a good day.

  2. Nice plan! For my last race I focused on eating a really huge breakfast the day before then topping off in the evening. It worked really well for me and it will for you. Good luck this weekend!

  3. Anonymous and William: Thanks for your support!

    Anoymous: We'll see how it all goes. When I broke 3 the first time it was on 100 miles a week but my training was geared more toward an upcoming 100.

    William: I like the idea of tapering the diet the day before a race. I'm glad to hear it's worked well for you.

  4. I like all the work at near goal pace for the week of Wyatt! Hopefully those temps stay low until you are finished. Either way, you have the done plenty of hard work to feel confident in a sub-3 time. I PR'd six straight marathons on much less than you do :)

    I am curious to read your summer plans once you have them down.

    Good luck!


  5. Watch out for that last 10k. There are some subtle little climbs that can bite ya if you aren't paying attention. My 2cents after last year

    Most of all have fun and go get it!

  6. Looks like a perfect plan for the week. All the best with the race. Enjoy!