With the Thames Path 50 mile just a dozen or so days away, I am into the part of my training cycle where I start to taper in earnest.

Over the last couple of months I have taken some time off injured and then, when things seemed to be healing up, ramped the training back up to the level where I know that I can run well and consistently over a long distance. For me, and for the distance I have in mind right now, that’s about 50 miles or 80 kilometers per week. In the block to this point I’ve managed:

  • Week 1: 46.3km (coming back from injury)
  • Week 2: 80.4km
  • Week 3: 80.2km
  • Week 4: 80.6km
  • Week 5: 80.8km
  • Week 6: 121.6km (first of the +100km weeks)
  • Week 7: 102.5km
  • Week 8: 123.0km
  • Week 9: 80.6km

I’m now in the tenth week of the block of training and I am going to draw things down a little more again. I hope that, by the end of the week, I’ll have something like 70km banked and, more importantly, that I’ll be uninjured. The final days of training before the run on Saturday 17 September will be light, if anything. I hope to get in the Wednesday evening run with the Lyon Running Club just to see the gang before I head off to London the next day, but I doubt I’ll be doing a lot more than that.

All up, I think I’ll have about 900km of good training in my legs before I hit the Thames Path on that Saturday morning, and I’m confident that this will be sufficient to get me through.

This tapering, though, does not come without frustration. Not running feels like I am missing out on a part of my regular day-to-day life, and all I really do instead is bike to work and back and maybe some stretching. I’m sure this is good enough for keeping me on the right track, and I know the tapering will help me mentally, too, but it sure does feel weird. When there are only a handful of days in the last couple of months where I have not run when I physically could have run, it’s more than a little abnormal to be tapering like this.

So how will this week go?

I think I’ll concentrate on 10 to 12km efforts Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for about 30km of total distance. I’ll add an additional 10km or so on Wednesday night with the Club, then split the last 30km over two runs on the weekend- maybe 10km on Saturday morning and then 20km on Sunday morning.

The big run is getting closer and I’m going to spend less time running and more time getting my head in the game mentally – that, in the end, is what a taper period is for.

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