Week 1 of taper

Now that I am in the beginning of my taper I was thinking about taking the Monday off, but in the end my mind was made up for me as I felt dreadful all day. I suspect eating a large bag of Haribo Tangfastic's had something to do with it as a colleague worked out that I had consumed about 250g of sugar in that sitting alone, forgetting everything else I had eaten that day as well.

Tuesday was back to the 10km on my usual route. I was thinking about doing 7.15 pace, but had a change of mind whilst out and aimed to do marathon pace of 6.52. As I set off the weather was just about dry, but gradually deteriorated with heavy rain in the second half. In the end all timings just went out of the window as I was soaked through so ended up averaging 6.38 pace. I suspect I quickened just to get out of the rain!

On Wednesday 6am I set off for my 12 mile run to work. I ended up intentionally running a bit quicker than normal and got round in a new record of 1.25.41, about two and a half minutes quicker than my previous best. Having said that I never aim to run this route quickly so I suppose the increased pace is mainly notional. One of these days I'll have to run it without my rucksack and blast it, but not sure whether I'll be good to do a full days work!

On Thursday I did my 10km threshold session. On the way to work it was blowing a gale (and bust my brolley in the process) so was thinking about doing a slightly easier session as a result, but thankfully things calmed down a bit by the evening. Having said this it was still pretty windy out there! The first couple of miles I averaged 6.20, but by the end the overall average was brought down to 6.00 min miles (so towards the end I must have been doing sub 5.50) exactly which I'm pretty pleased with as I was still feeling pretty good. It’s also the first time ever that I've averaged 10mph for a moderate length training run, having beaten my previous best the week earlier. This is probably my final session at this speed, but will still an easier speed session early next week.

On Friday I had another rest day although I'm a bit upset with myself for gorging on cakes whilst at work - 13 cakes all counted; 2 vanilla crème (Danish’s with a splodge of custard on top), 2 Horns (cone things filled with cream) and 9 fairy cakes. Needless to say I felt quite bloated which isn’t ideal when I'm meant to be as lean as possible. It’s not easy though as I work just above a Tesco's so not sure what the answer is!

Yesterday I went out for my long run and was intending to do about 16-17 miles. Within about 5 mins of setting off I felt my knee go and had to quickly decide whether to abort the run. It’s only the second time it has gone in the last year, but with my history of knee trouble it is always something to be concerned about. I decided to carry on but ease off my pace to little more than a jog and to change my route so I could cut off early if needed. After 25 mins I had reached the park and decided to run off road for the next hour which is unusual for me as I normally stick to the tarmac. As there are lots of tracks to follow I just went wherever I felt like going and was nice to run in some more remote sections in the winter sunshine. The final 30 minutes was spent back on the road towards home. I'm not entirely sure of my distance, but the main point was that I was out for 1.57 at an easy pace and felt really good, except for the knee of course. I don’t think the knee is too much to be concerned about at this stage, but is just something to keep an eye out for.

Today I went out for an easy 9 miles on one of my usual routes. I just went at a fastish jog and was surprised to find that I averaged 7 min miles. I had to do double check this with mapmyrun.com but it also confirmed the distance was accurate. The knee was nowhere near as bad but began to throb a bit towards the end. Total mileage for the week is 47.5

As a precaution I'm going to change my trainers to a new pair - the old ones have now done 600 miles so were due to be changed anyway. The old pair began life in mid-September so have only lasted four and a half months!

Monday is going to be another rest day which is convenient for the knee. Not sure what my mileage will be but guess its going to be around the 40 mark or slightly less.


  1. Easy on those cakes hey :) I have a weakness for that kind of stuff too, although I have to be so careful before I go for my runs... can barely eat a thing 3-4 hours before I go running. Sounds like things are going well ahead of the marathon... I'm crapping myself about mine... still two months to go! When's yours again?

  2. yeah, cant eat anything too close to running otherwise get bloated. In my old racing days the rule was no solids for 3hrs and liquid for 2hrs to avoid stitch, though depends upon weather etc. Think with the marathon being longer at low intensity the above rules dont apply as much.

    Marathon is now two weeks away!

  3. Hey Lloyd,

    Here's a question for you. When you've done your marathon, what kind of milage are you going to maintain afterwards, and are you going to do another marathon this year?

    I think I'll probably peak at around 60 miles a week ahead of my April marathon, and then I'm probably going to do the Sydney marathon in October as that will keep the focus (and force me to keep the milage up for the 4 months leading up to it as well!). Then from October onwards (well once I've done Sydney), I'll get into serious ultra marathon training me thinks, hopefully peaking up at 100 miles a week for a few weeks in Jan/Feb next year. God that seems so far away, yet it will fly by!

    Jut interested to see what you'll be doing?

  4. Hi Dan,

    Sounds like a plan to me!

    As for what I'm doing I haven't fully decided yet as I want to get Draycote out of the way first. My vague plan at the moment is to follow up Draycote with a half/10 miler in March and possibly a 10k. In April I am almost certainly doing the Shakespeare half in Stratford, but still have the option of doing the mara instead. May I'm probably doing the Coast to Coast with a friend - about 180 miles in 4 or 5 days all being well. Then from September onwards a couple more halfs and another marathon before the new year. Not sure about doing an ultra later this year - I'll play it by ear at the moment.

    In terms of training I am a bit more certain with what I intend to do. I'll probably stay at the 50-65 mileage until the events are over in May - to be honest I find the 40 mile weeks pretty easy now so dont see much benefit in reverting. I'll then gradually ramp up the mileage bit by bit over summer so by the time of Sep/Oct I'll hopefully be in the 60-80 range, then over xmas and early new year before the MdS go up to the 70-90 range for a couple of months. The one big variable though are my knees and feet so will be largely dictated by that, plus anything over 65 miles a week you really are talking about starting to train twice a day.

    We'll have to do a beer or two when you are next in the UK!

  5. Cool... just wanted to check I was on the right track. I was thinking about doing another mara in July, but I think that might be too much to do one in April, one in July and then one in September. Plus I'm back in the UK in July, and come back to Oz in mid July. The mara I was thinking of doing is a week after I land, and I dont think that is the greatest prep for it, so will probably do the half instead just to keep me going :)

    I'll be around in Birmingham w/c 7th July, so would be good to meet up and say hi. And if you fancy a training run, I can make sure we keep you at an 8 min mile pace, as that's about as fast I i'll be going!!

  6. I know what you mean about the cakes... I still have lots of chocolate from my birthday, and it keeps tempting me!!
    Trouble is, it really does make you feel crap after a splurge! Ah well, off to the gym...


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