Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recovery beast mode: ON

My long awaited 52.4 miler is now less than 12 days away. Mmm-kay. For the past few days, I have been figuring out how I am going to rest up for this thing. It's always tricky - you don't want to take it too easy, but showing up overtrained and under-recovered is probably the worst option of all. Given this is much longer than the marathon distance I am used to, I really want some fresh legs at the start. Especially since the midnight start time means there is a good chance I will be running sleep-deprived. 

Times two, in this case. Ha!
So, this past weekend I cut back on mileage and time on feet, running 1.5 hours on Saturday and 2.5 hours on Sunday. I am very glad I did not look up the elevation profile of our Sunday route, by the way. It was a gloriously "quality" run. Yes, quality. I worked my butt off on those hills and wasn't even going fast. Hills are your best friend. (Especially when you're coming back down.) 

I also did some research and proved to myself that a type of "exponential taper", which I am doing this time around, is the most effective. That means you cut back on training volume but leave frequency and intensity unchanged. Or even increase intensity a little. The important thing is to cut back on volume. This makes sense. Not running for a week or two before a race is difficult psychologically because you perceive yourself as losing fitness...when, in fact, your muscles are recovering and becoming stronger. An intense workout will leave you feeling "sharp" and fit, even if it is shorter. It re-instills confidence in your abilities and puts your head back in the right place. 

In any case, I had a really fun run today. I kept it short (4 miles) and swift but not too swift (splits were 8:30, 8:30, 7:50, 8:03 min/mi) and I finished with an impossibly large smile on my face. The kind that usually follows a BabyCakes cupcake with peach frosting. Then I hopped on a spin bike for 10 minutes to shake it out at low resistance and high (95-105) RPM. Boom. Add some weights and core for a balanced workout and it was already dinner time. Now that's what I call taper beast mode. 

Update on the running skirt front - I still LOVE it. For all you disbelievers thinking I will get sick of it soon - well, that has not yet happened! 
So comfy. ♥

Oh, and we finally have the course map for the first loop we will be running in San Francisco. SO excited. (I will hold off on looking at the elevation profile. I think that's wise..)

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