Friday, February 17, 2017

Taper Time

There are 15 days remaining until my A race on March 4th. I will be toeing the line at the Columbia Marathon where I hope to run my first sub-three hour marathon in almost two years. Last year's marathon running in the tropics yielded a best performance of 3:03 at the Trinidad Marathon last January. The year before I didn't even race a marathon. As you can surmise from last blog post about Nashville, my training has been sporadic. I've had some pretty good weeks and then some with barely any miles.

This is usually the time where I panic and start thinking that I can somehow miraculously gain fitness in these last two weeks which will NOT do that and only leave me depleted come race day. So instead, I'm going to get in one last long run this Sunday and then start a true taper.

It's amazing that it takes a marathon to get me to truly think about health, but that's what these last two weeks are all about. Part of my taper will be decreasing my running miles, but a bigger part is to eat and drink healthy. Which basically means no alcohol, refined sugar and eating plenty of veggies. This actually will be fairly easy since I've already pretty much eliminated both alcohol and the refined sugar. The more difficult part is the coffee taper.

If you didn't already know, caffeine is a performance enhancing drug. But to optimize its effect, you need to not have a tolerance to it. Meaning if you usually drink two cups a day and expect any effect by taking in a GU with caffeine, you'll most likely be disappointed with the (lack of) results. However, studies have shown that as little as seven days of abstaining can result in an improvement in the effect of caffeine on race day. So as of next Friday, I'll be coffee-free. Might be a good week to avoid any form of contact with me.

Despite some missed long runs and any form of tempo or speed work, I did get in a few decent long runs and feel pretty good about this marathon. 26.2 miles is a long way to travel no matter what and there is always things that can go wrong but I'll take them as they come and hopefully have good news to report.

Until next time,


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