This marathon training cycle, Coach Jeff introduced me to the intense taper. It's something I haven't done while tapering for my previous 3 marathons. Instead of me trying to explain the theory behind the intense taper, check out this video in which Coach talks about the benefits of the intense taper. Here is how my first taper week looked:
Monday: fitness workout. Lunges, squats, and various core exercises.
Tuesday: 5 x 1 mile at 5k pace: I head up to my local HS track. Had a pretty good workout. My splits were: 6:47, 6:43, 6:49, 6:55, 6:52. I remember my legs feeling heavy from Sunday's long run.
Wednesday: relaxed recovery run: 5.40 miles in 45:13 (8:22/mi).
Thursday: back to the track for 5 x 1 mile at 5k pace. Felt better today. Splits were: 6:51, 6:39, 6:45, 6:50, 6:48.
Friday: relaxed recovery run: 5.48 miles in 45:46 (8:21/mi)
Sunday: half marathon tempo run. 1 mile warm up then 10 miles at half marathon pace (around 8:00/mi). Yesterday was a brutally hot day. As you know, I always run early in the morning. Yesterday was no exception. I got out around 6:45 and right off the bat, the humidity caused my asthma to flare up. It took me a few miles to get my breathing under control. My splits were all over the place.7:07, 7:58, 7:35, 7:50, 7:51, 7:48,7:36, 7:47. The last 2 miles were the hardest. Mile 9 (8:28) was mostly up hill and by the time mile 10 (8:02) came around the sun was blazing. I couldn't seem to recover that sub-8:00 pace I had for the first 8 miles. Including warm-up and cool-down I ran 11.47 miles in 1:30:21 (7:52/mi).
I wanted to congratulate everyone that raced this weekend in New Jersey, Providence, Cincinnati, Illinois, Pittsburgh, and elsewhere. I know many of you faced heavy rain, summer-like heat, and other unusual weather conditions. Congratulations!
This week is somewhat similar. Rest days today and Friday, mile repeats on Tuesday and Thursday, and 6 miles at 10k pace on Sunday. With race day less than 2 weeks away. now is the time where I need to force myself to get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, start increasing the amount of carbs in my diet (as if I haven't already been doing that), and most importantly, stay healthy.