Tackling Taper Time
Taper time is one of the most maddening but yet most necessary evils in training for a marathon or endurance event. Here I am a little more than a week and a half a way from my 13th marathon and I have already encountered some neat things as I wrapped up my peak training weeks. As I mentioned before, I have been focusing on true strength training for this marathon training cycle (since August 6th) and I have been able to increase the weights in some way just about every time I went to the gym. There were however some days (especially as I reached the peak training weeks) where I was just exhausted and I had to dial it DOWN! I was so tired from running a month of two 45 and two 50 mile weeks, that I physically could not lift more weight. Even my first week of tapering to a "measly" 40 mile week, I was still not rested in any way. As I attempted to strength train this week, I STILL felt tired. But last weekend as I entered my second week of tapering and after I only ran 2.5 miles on Saturday and 1 mile on Sunday, guess what? I could do more amazing things at the gym on Monday because I was rested.
Compare my output from September 15th to October 2nd below:
ABS 95 100 (Not incrementing a lot of weight but I can do it easier, 10 reps in a row)
LEG EXT 85 90 (Same as above)
LEG CURL 65 65 (I had to regress on this because my left hamstring was bothering me)
GLUTE 125 140 (This is getting easier too. I used to only do 40 measly pounds on this!)
HIP ADD. 105 105 (I can do this 105 so much easier than before!)
HIP ABD. 105 105 (I can do this 105 so much easier than before!)
TORSO 70 80 (80 pounds feels the same way 70 pounds used to feel)
LEG PRESS 210 260 (I might just try to lift the whole damn thing eventually)
After yesterday's easy run and then lifting, I must say I am sore today but it feels good. I love feeling like I worked hard and my body is reminding me of that. That's good. Just as long as the soreness is long gone by race day. Which of course, it will be. I might lift up until a week before the race but then that's it or if I do decide to lift still, just maintain, not add any pounds. I am still wondering if I will be able to keep lifting more and more pounds down the road. I might just reach my limit, I am not sure but it is still fun to find out! Remember though, during TAPER TIME, LESS IS REALLY MORE. It's time to recover and feel rested so on race day, you will fly through the 26.2 miles!!!! Well, I won't fly exactly, but I know I will be rested and amaze myself with how I tackle the race as I always do. Will all of this "heavy lifting" result in greater muscle strength and a subsequent ability to power through my 26.2 miles at a faster pace? It remains to be seen. My goal is to always go for a PR. I hope I feel good on race day (like I did for the Myrtle Beach Marathon) and execute according to plan. I'm always happy with any marathon under 4:30 but always like to get in a 4:15 or under! I'm aiming for a PR (under 4:12) this time. It is thoroughly amazing to me what the human body and mind can accomplish if you set it up for success.