The taper really kicked in this week, with just 52 miles on the board – the lowest weekly mileage I’ve done since July! The taper continued to go well, and after a few gentle days I headed down to the track on Thursday for the final intervals of the plan, 3 x 1600m. The session went well, with nicely even splits of 5:55, 5:54 and 5:53, right on the 5K pace Pfitzinger calls for. The efforts felt hard but controlled, and the legs definitely felt fresher than normal.
The only other real run of note was today’s 13 miler, the last double-digit run before next Sunday. It was a beautiful autumnal morning for it, Regent’s Park looked lovely and the view from Primrose Hill was stunning. I had to reign myself in as the pace kept creeping up without me realising on my fresh legs – no point tiring them out today. It might be the last time I run this route, so I took the time to take in the sights and take a few photos.
Looking back at the same run (on a very similar route) from my spring plan, I’m 45s/mi faster and with a lower average HR, which bodes very well for my performance next week. Indeed the entire taper seems to have gone far better this time around. Looking back I wonder if I had a slight bug about me before Brighton, as during the taper my HR went way up and I seemed to lose some performance. This time around the recovery and easy runs have gone far better, and I’ve performed much better during the faster stuff too.
Overall then I feel like I’m in a great place to put in a good performance next week. My priority now is to get to the start line healthy and injury free, so I need to be extra careful stepping off curbs and very liberal with the hand sanitiser! I also want to make sure I get my nutrition right, I’ve managed to keep my weight steady during the taper, despite the reduction in activity, so now I just need to make sure I take on plenty of carbs in the couple of days leading up to Sunday.
Scary to think this time next week it will all be over. It has crept up fast but I feel like I’m the most ready I’ve ever been for a marathon. The training has all gone well, I’ve done the most mileage I’ve ever done, and the legs are starting to feel really good now the taper is kicking in. All being well as long as I execute the race properly, and keep my head about me, I can produce that sub-3:05 performance I’m looking for…