I turned 40 this year, became a Master’s runner and promptly got my first major injuries in decades. Coincidence? Probably not.
It’s race week and if you’re an athlete, you know what that means. Call it what you want: tapering, peaking. Most everyone agrees it works, is necessary and can improve your race day performance, but how exactly do you do it? Every coach and every athlete seems to have their own opinion.
And maybe it is personal. What works for one, might not work for another.
Unlike a lot of training, it is more art than science. This can freak people out that are used to following a plan and a routine.
Twenty years ago I could lace up my shoes and get out for a run without any serious repercussions. There was no thought of nutrition, no warm up. There wasn’t much thought beyond, “Let’s go for run.”
Those days are long over. Today, I rarely roll out of bed without some ache or pain nagging at me to notice it. Some of those aches are just age, but when the chorus gets too loud, I know I’ve probably been neglecting my pre- and post-run routines.
Other than one day, the cold, wet spring continued this week, so more time on the treadmill and trainer. I’ll be honest, I’m nearing my limit and I’m the type of person that usually doesn’t mind the indoor winter grind. Or maybe it’s just coinciding with a natural middle of a training block sag. The excitement and initial gains from starting have leveled off and the race is still far enough in the future to not totally feel real yet.
It’s not helping that I’m repeating a block to pad out the time resulting in a 20 week total block. So it’s literally the same workouts as the previous 8 weeks. I should have learned my lesson from my first marathon plan that that is just too long for me. I seem to thrive and peak on a 14-16 week cycle and 16 is probably the very outer edge.