I love how Charlotte is slowly easing into winter. In Pittsburgh, it went from summer to winter in a week flat. :) These cold and crisp mornings better stick around until October 30 (marathon day)!
Pumpkin Loaf Oatmeal
I was craving something seasonal this morning.
Enterâ€¦ pumpkin loaf oatmeal!
In the mix:
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 banana
- 1/4 can pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Taper Time? Not Yet
One of the very best things about maintaining such a detailed blog is that I can look back on Marathon #1 (I ran the Disney Marathon in January) and carefully analyze everything I did and did not to do to make Marathon #2 even better.
Itâ€™s hard to separate out the factors that made the last 6 miles of Disney so rough (it was 19 degrees) but I think one major issue might have been that I tapered too long and too much. A taper is when you start drastically reducing your mileage before a long endurance event to give your muscles time to rest and recover after months of hard training.
Hereâ€™s how I tapered for Disney:
- (Regular Week) T-minus 4 weeks out: Ran 36.5 miles total with a long run of 22 miles
- (Taper Begins) T-minus 3 weeks out: Ran 16.1 miles total, of which 7.0 miles were walking miles
- (Taper) T-minus 2 week out: Ran 16 miles total with a long run of 7.0 miles
- (Taper) Week of Marathon: Ran 3 miles + the race
Side note: my taper was so severe and sudden because I was actually on vacation in England. I ran as much as I could (well, as much as I wanted to) on vacation but it really impacted my training. My drastic taper left me feeling unprepared for race day and it really hurt the last six miles.
Hal Hidgonâ€™s â€œnoviceâ€ training plans recommend that the taper begin t-minus 3 weeks out, which long runs of 12 miles and 8 miles in the taper weekends leading up to the race.
Because my training is going so well (no pains or injuries, and Iâ€™ve been recovering with lightening speed), Iâ€™m going to experiment with beginning my taper at t-minus 2 weeks out (which is this Saturday). Because my taper is so short, Iâ€™m going to forgo the traditional second 20 miler and probably do 18 miles on this Friday. I spoke to some marathon vets who said the benefits of the extra two miles arenâ€™t worth the potential injury risk this close to the race. Then, one week out, Iâ€™ll run a 12 mile long run.
Itâ€™s fun to look back over my past experiences, talk to more experienced marathoners, research training plans, and tweak my workout schedule to try to find the best combination of pre-marathon mileage that works for me. In the very least, Iâ€™ll have more information to make better decisions for Marathon #3. Right? 🙂
If youâ€™ve run a marathon, how long did you taper for? Did the taper period drive you crazy? Did you feel unprepared mentally or physically on race day, or was the break exactly what you needed?