This is taper week ahead of the Town and Tube but, even in taper week, I’m still getting out every day. In fact, today marks the fiftieth consecutive day I’ve got out and run – I haven’t missed a day since starting this training block after Christmas. I’ve been careful most days not to overload myself and, save a couple of stumbles at the start when getting started with the No Sugar, No Grain (NSNG) diet, I’ve been running well across the whole block.
Looking back at my Strava records, this is approaching the longest period of consecutive running days I’ve ever had. Back in September and October 2015 in the lead up to the Run in Lyon Half Marathon I ran 54 days in a row, a record I should knock over sometime later this week if things continue as planned. In that block, however, I was running a lot less each week. Compare the mileage in my five heaviest weeks in that 2015 block:
This time around the five heaviest weeks look like this:
Put another way, my 5th longest week in this training block is longer than every other week in the 2015 training block – that’s the difference between training for a half marathon and an ultramarathon!
Of course, getting out and running on a taper is all about maintaining the base of fitness that you have and not trying to set any records. No one wants to leave their best performance on the training track and so, in these last couple of days before the Town and Tube, I am concentrating on feeling good, managing my fitness, and not doing anything stupid. Should I accomplish all of these, I’ll consider the week a success.
This morning, then, was the 50th and final run in this training black before the Town and Tube. It was going to be short, relaxed, and the only goal was to make sure that my legs were turning over well and I could work off a little nervous energy – isn’t every taper week just a little bit nervous?
In this last taper run I decided to get my head in the game a little and run a final circuit of the Town and Tube course. I did one last month and I was done in 33 minutes. Of course, while a time like this for the 6.5 kilometer loop would give me more than 25 minutes of downtime at the end of the lap, it would also be far too fast if I wanted to do the same thing for 15 more laps after that. Today, then, was about making a circuit of the loop at ‘race pace’ – where race pace was closer to 6:00 pace and a 40 minute lap than the 5:00 pace of last month.
Heading out along the Saone was easy enough and the turn up to the tunnel was simple, too. There was minimal traffic so I could cut straight across to the other side of the main road, though I have decided already that unless I really want the pause, I will use the pedestrian underpass on Saturday if traffic is heavy and I want to keep moving.
The run through the tunnel was fine and I ducked through the underpass at the other end being careful not to push it too hard on the short descent or the steep exit. After that it was just a matter of crossing the base of the Pentes, dropping down onto the Place des Terreaux, and making the final 700 meter run down to Jacobins.
I clicked stop on the Garmin in a time of 34 minutes flat which was a little slower than last time but still a little faster that where I hope to be on Saturday.
So with that the final run of the training block is done. I’ve banked 843 kilometers in this block over 50 consecutive running days, climbed 7198 meters, and done it all in 76 hours and 45 minutes. Now for three days of preparation and planning, and the first big test of the 2017 season on Saturday.
Bring it on!