Thursday, September 1, 2011

Details, Details, Details

One thing I've done differently with my training this year is actually keep track of how many miles I am running, biking, etc.  I have found it incredibly beneficial, too.  My workout log is simple, where I just input what I accomplished everyday.  Some days will have zeros in every box, while other days will be rather intense.  It is neat to see how much I've done since January 1st.

Perhaps the most beneficial thing for me has been the ability to go back and look to see how many miles I was running earlier in the year and how I tapered for my races this year.  For my first 6 half marathons, I followed the same tapering plan.  It was:

4 or 5 Days Before: 10 Miles
3 Days Before: 5 miles
2 Days Before: 3 miles
1 Day Before: 1 mile
Race Day - 13.1 miles

As I'm sure you've noticed, it was not much of a taper. 

For half #7 (in March), I changed some things around:

Instead of doing 1 10 mile long run, I completed 2.  My taper looked like this:

5 Days Before: 10 miles
4 Days Before: 0 miles
3 Days Before: 3 miles
2 Days Before: 3 miles
1 Day Before: rest
Race Day - 14 miles (I decided to warm up)

I once again changed things up in hope for success in half #8 (in May):

5 10+ mile training runs
7 Days Before: 11 miles
6 Days Before: rest
5 Days Before: 4 miles
4 Days Before: 4 miles
3 Days Before: 2 miles
2 Days Before: rest
1 Day Before: rest
Race Day: 13.5 miles (a short warm-up)

For my upcoming half #9, once again things have changed.  Are you starting to notice a pattern? 

8 runs of 12 or more miles since July 1

My tentative taper schedule looks like this:

8 Days Before: 12  Miles
7 Days Before: Rest
6 Days Before: 5 Miles with 3 at half marathon pace and practicing on hills
5 Days Before: 2 Miles
4 Days Before: 4 Miles
3 Days Before: 3 Miles
2 Days Before: 2 or 3 Miles
1 Day Before: Rest
Race Day: 13.1 mile race + 1 mile warm-up very slowly + 7 miles after at marathon training pace

My legs have felt pretty good all week, and I'm hoping that they'll feel even better come Monday morning.  Today's run, 4 miles, went well given the super hot conditions (over 100 heat index = hot). 

As each day passes and Labor Day draws near, I am getting more and more excited.  This race is going to be special for me.

How do you taper for half marathons? 

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