I'm getting old! Running out of time to run any more sub-threes!
After the good run on Wednesday night I took a day off on Thursday. Then life got in the way of plans for a Friday run. First up I had to teach a workshop (English Business Letters) at 1:00 on Friday afternoon and was still preparing the bloody thing right up until 12:45, including a late night and an early start working on it. Once the thing was finished and the stress released I was dead keen for a run, but my littlest son Chiaki had received his results for a test to enter a selective public junior high school and...brrrt, had failed. So I was expected (not by him) to rush home and console him. I resisted at first, but felt like an absloute deadshit of a father (I mean I am anyway, but this just made me feel it for once). And the truth was, my legs felt weary from standing all afternoon teaching. So I traipsed home and gave Chiaki a hug and had my dinner and just shrugged off the run. It's the taper after all.
Mika talked recently about a good way to approach the taper. In fact I did something a bit like this before Ohtawara 2004 and 2005, but her approach is more structured. She suggested getting out and running 1-km repeats at your marathon pace with a 200 m jog recovery. You then progressively reduce the number of repeats each day closer to the big day. So today I got out and did a slowish warm up for a couple of km, then set off on a 1-km (turned out to be 1.1 km) stretch of back road that has very few intersections. I still had to dodge the odd daredevil taxi driver and a removalist truck that decided to overtake me and then immediately pull up, cutting off the left half of the road forcing me to run around him on the right within inches of cars coming the other way. The interesting thing about this stretch of road is that it has a gradual gentle grade, so for the first repeat I was all uphill and for the return, all downill. Repeat four times. So the pace was not especially consistent:
4:13, 4:12 || 4:05, 4:03 || 4:11, 4:04 || 4:11, 4:09.
up, down || etc
I did a walking/standing recovery rather than jog and just waited until my heart rate was about 85. A couple of minutes at most.
So I know Ewen is right, I do have to be careful of going too fast. But if my legs and back and energy levels all feel good, I think I'll go for a fairly aggressive pace anyway... and just see what happens. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! At the moment though, not all those things are in place.