Week Ten: Time to Taper

This is part of a series of posts reflecting on my experiences in the run up to the Yorkshire Marathon in October. I’m currently on week ten of a twelve week training programme. The idea is to write a post every week charting my progress and reflecting on my training.

Without putting too fine a point on it this has been a c**p week for running.

At the beginning of the week I felt run-down (literally) and the long run in the rain last Sunday clearly took its toll. This is exactly what I was afraid of – falling ill just before the race with little time to recover.

What started off as minor doubts have grown into full-blown anxiety, as my fears were confirmed mid-week after an easy run. I have the beginnings of some kind of cold.

The view on my easy run, just outside the village of Letwell

I know, I know – it’s not a disaster. It’s a setback. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. It’s all too easy to lose perspective and let your worries build into something more, something that will beat you psychologically.

So I took each day as it came this week, hoping that I would feel a little better each day. Sadly, I haven’t. I have no energy at all. I feel lethargic and tired.

I haven’t been to the gym or done any running since the easy run. I’m comforting myself with the fact that the training programme allows for a couple of blips along the way. It doesn’t mean I have to quit, but it does mean I have to get better, sharpish.

One other consolation I can take from this week is that it heralds the start of tapering. This means that I’ve already done the hardest runs in my training programme and the distances now start to shorten.

According to the Runners World site tapering refers to reducing mileage because it’s “important not only to allow for full recovery before your race, but also to allow you to reach peak performance in it, too.”

Right now I’d settle for a performance, regardless of whether it’s ‘peak’ or not.

My running number turned up in the post this week too. A subtle reminder that the race is now looming.

My running number – 4671.

When I started blogging I wanted to capture the highs and lows of my training. For sure, this is a low, but I think it’s still important to document it. I want to look back on this as an honest account that reflects not just the successes, but the challenges and fears too. I know I’m not alone in this and I’m sure other runners reading will be able to relate to the concerns I have in this week’s post.

These kinds of fears are normal. I know that.

No day-by-day training section in this week’s post – there’s no point, but I’ll be back next week and look out for ‘4671’ on the 20th of October 🙂

Apologies to those of you who usually drop by for updates about learning technology – I tend to post about that kind of thing on Jisc’s Inspiring Learning blog. I intend to use this blog for more personal, non-related work posts in future.

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