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Zoe’s Marathon Training Diary: Tapering

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The ING New York Marathon is just over a week away. This time next week I will be in New York, picking up my race number at the runner’s exhibition  at the Jacob Javits convention centre and studying the marathon course to mentally prepare. I’ve done two marathons before but I am still a bit confused about what to do due to the overwhelming volume of ‘advice’ on the internet, so this blog is all about explaining what I am actually doing. If it works, then follow what I do and if it doesn’t then don’t, obviously!

I previously blogged about my diet and then I got waylaid. If I’m truly honest, the training took over and I kind of got on with it. Running a marathon requires hours of extra activity being added to your weekly schedule to practise and I don’t have enough as it is to do that and write about it. Even more hours on top of the running hours. I’m sorry. To sum it up, what I’ve been doing over the past three to four weeks is about three to four runs a week on the roads and three to four speed training sessions so when I cross that bridge I’m at the FRONT of the crowds.

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My schedule is: Sunday – LONG RUN, working up to 20 miles

Monday – speed work at Barry’s Bootcamp London. High intensity interval training uphill and sprinting.

Tuesday – morning run of 6-8 miles and evening session of spinning (I do Flywheel)

Wednesday – morning run of 8-10 miles and evening session of Barry’s Bootcamp London

Thursday – morning session of Barry’s Bootcamp London 

Friday – morning speed run of 4-6 miles, as quickly as possible

 Saturday – rest day

However, it all has to change NOW as it’s tapering time. Tapering is meant to start three weeks before the race but I signed up for the marathon late so I had to fit the entirety of my training into 6 weeks. And two weeks is better than one right?

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So anyway, last Sunday I did my last long run of 12 miles and this week my long run will be an easy 10 miles. Tuesday, I did an 8-mile tempo run. This involved running the first 4 miles at marathon pace and the second 4 miles as fast as I could, which usually falls around half marathon pace. This workout provides some practice with running at goal marathon pace. Wednesday I went to Barry’s bootcamp, Thursday I rested and Friday I did another 8 mile tempo run.

Next week, I’m going to aim for 2 to 4 mile runs three times maximum to keep my legs ticking over. I’m planning Tuesday, Weds and Friday. On Thursday, I am flying so i’ll do 2 miles on Friday to awaken the legs. Hopefully Saturday will be completely restful, except going for brunch. Yum!

Talking of brunch, I’m not exactly sure about carbo-loading so I’ll do another blog post on that. Stay tuned. Wish me luck! I just hope I beat Pamela Anderson…

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Zoe Griffin
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