So this is taper week with a twist.
I have a big run coming up this Saturday so I want to make sure I am ready and raring to go. This means tapering in the days before and, indeed, I’ve been doing this for the last week already. After running my last high volume week two weeks ago, I cut things back last week and will – for the first time this year – spend a few days not running at all this week.
This planned rest has two real benefits: first, it will help me start the Town and Tube on Saturday morning fresh, ready to go, and with the energy I need to put in a strong performance, and second it will give me a chance to rest the niggle in my left calf a little.
Still, even in a taper, I wanted to keep a little running on the agenda this week, if only to keep the legs turning over. The plan for this morning was to run for about half an hour, no hills, no speed, and just keep things nice and easy. Ideally I would be running at 5:30 to 6:00 pace the whole time, enough to be moving forward in a run but not fast enough to stress the calf or lift the heart rate too much. Indeed, the lower the heart rate, the better for a run like this.
I set out from Jacobins and headed straight down to the Place Bellecour, crossed over to the Rue Victor Hugo, crossed the Place Carnot, and then turned right for the Saone. I dropped down onto the path next to the river and followed it all the way down to the Confluence Mall where, by my reckoning, I was about half way done for the morning.
Crossing over the footbridge at the marina, I passed Starbucks and Burger King (neither of which were open or seemed interested in catering to the pre-6am tapering ultrarunner…) and then turned left onto the Cours Charlemagne. This is a straight shot up to Perrache where, after negotiating the bike path under the train station, puts me back at the Place Carnot and heading for home. The Rue Victor Hugo followed, then Bellecour again, then Jacobins, and I was done.
I kept a good eye on my calf and didn’t feel anything pop or strain there. Indeed, it felt fine the whole time, something I am putting down to the compression sleeves I wore last night. With a similarly easy run planned for tomorrow morning and then three full days of rest, I don’t think I’ll have anything to worry about come Saturday and the first real ultra test of the season.