Author Archives: Coach Aimee

Time to Taper

 

We have made it to the taper into Cap City!  We are less than 2 weeks from race day and the long training runs are behind us.  We have spent 15 weeks building mileage and recovering, then repeating the whole thing.  Many of us who had never run more than 3 miles in January are saying things like “I only have 6 miles on the schedule today!”  It’s truly amazing how our bodies adapt and our thinking changes over the course of a training season.  Taper is the time to allow all of that work to bear fruit.  We must run or walk less miles and give our bodies some respite to heal and prepare for race day.  It’s a time of less training volume and more recovery.  It can be a challenge mentally to give yourself that time and often there’s a drive to do more than prescribed.  Resist that temptation and stick to the plan.  Remember that following your plan has brought you this far, so give it 10 more days!

The Hay is in The Barn

barn_rainbow

The “hay is in the barn” was a favorite quote of both MIT/Premier Races founder Jeff Glaze and also 2007 Columbus Marathon winner Robb Kestner.  Recently, I was asked to explain that quote so I guess the torch has been passed.  As the wife of a 5th generation Ohio farmer this one hits close to home and is a favorite of mine too.  Once you get to taper time, either you’ve done the work or you haven’t.  There may have been runs that you missed or workout times that you wished you had nailed, but that’s all over now.  The collective work that you have put in over the last 15 weeks and the work before the season began, THAT is what will get you through on race day.  A few missed workouts here or there will not hurt you.  Additionally, trying to cram more work in now that the race is looming cannot help your fitness.  It can hurt you though.  Once a farmer brings the last bales to the barn and finished putting it up in the haymow that’s it.  You can’t change the quantity that was in the field and you can’t change the quality of the grass that went into it.  It’s up, your work is over, it’s time to relax and reap the benefits.  Take the time to look back at all that work that you’ve put in and I think you’ll realize that your barn is much fuller than you first thought.

Taper Madness – excerpt from 2013 post (read entire 2013 post here)

Often during the taper before a distance event, runners will feel all sorts of new aches and pains.  Do not worry, most of these are normal.  If something hurts or even feels off, TAKE THE DAY OFF.  Don’t run.  Just relax and get extra rest.  If it still bugs you the next day or so, get in touch with your favorite sports med doc.  Most of these aches and pains are your body’s way of rebuilding itself and some of them are in our heads, but not all.  If it doesn’t get better with a couple days of rest, see your doctor.  Also, stay away from people with obvious illnesses.  After long runs, over about 1.5-2 hours our immune systems are a bit compromised.  Maybe postpone the outing to the ultra-huge screen cinema until after the race.  You want to do the normal things to prevent colds and such during this time: eat well, get good quality sleep, wash your hands, stay away from people who are sick.

How can I make it 2 weeks on less volume?

Running and walking has become routine.  It may be the way you wake up and kick start your day, or like me the way to wind down and relieve stress.  Tapering doesn’t mean NO running, it just means less running.  Enjoy those runs.  Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.  It can be mentally challenging to pull back on your training, but it is worth it.  I fill that extra time by catching up with friends and family that may have seen less of me over the training season.  Often, the taper is the time to meet up with running buddies over coffee or lunch and talk about something other than running (or just more talk about running).  Thank those around you for the giving you the time and space needed to train successfully this past winter.

What NOT to do

Finding ourselves with more free time and feeling less tired, runners begin looking for new outlets.  Don’t try a new sport or physically demanding hobby right now.  Wait until after April 30th to pick up Ballroom dance or begin that landscaping project you’ve been meaning to get to.  It will still be there in May!

Celebrate

Cap City races are all about celebrating the healthy fitness lifestyle. The training was the hard part, but it has become part of our lives.  The races are the celebration of that work and a city that encourages healthy habits.   Congratulations on training for a half or quarter marathon or 5k.  Truly you are an inspiration to those around you.  We all look forward to celebrating YOU on race day.  I will be at the finish line cheering you home!

Happy training (and tapering)!

More on tapering here

 

 

Tune Up Races

Spring race season is in full swing.  On any given weekend there are numerous races in which you can compete, from 5ks to ultramarathons.  The question is should you run a race before the main event at Cap City?  I believe that tune up races before a goal race are incredibly valuable.  They can be used for many reasons, not the least of which is to simply go through the exercise of race morning in an event in which you don’t have much emotional investment.  If you choose to run or walk in a tune up race, determine your goal for that day and stick to it.  It can be very easy to go too hard and leave it all out there in that early race, leaving nothing left in the tank come April 30.  Determine your goal for the tune up race and be disciplined enough to stick to your plan.

Race Predictor

An early race, about 4-6 weeks before your goal event can be successfully used as a race predictor for your goal race (half or quarter marathon).  You’d want to run a shorter distance than your goal.  For Cap City half marathoners use a 10k or 15k tune up race.  For quarter marathoners, run a lead up 5k or 4 miler.  There are many race prediction calculators out there that allow you to put in your race time at one distance and then predict your time/pace at a different distance.  They all make assumptions of some kind, but I find that a race within the last 6 weeks (but no closer than 2 weeks before) gives the best prediction because you are in good shape and ready to race.  I have my own tables and estimates, so if you want a personal prediction feel free to email me.  Note that your pace for your goal race will be slower than the shorter tune up race.

Pace Practice

Pacers

Maybe you don’t want to race or run hard in an early event but would like to get a feel for how you will perform on April 30.  In those situations, I like to use the tune up race as a pace specific workout.  Half marathoners would run a 10k or 15k with the first few miles at your easy run pace.  With 3 or 4 miles to go, gradually pick up the pace to your planned half marathon pace.  Quarter marathoners should pick a 5k or  4miler.  Run the first mile easy then pick it up the last 2-3 miles for your planned quarter marathon pace.  Feel how your body responds to that pace.  Is it comfortable?  It should be for 3 or 4 miles (or 2-3) at this point.  If not, think about reevaluating your pace goal for your goal.  Are you trying to run something that is faster than your current fitness level?  If it feels good, remember that feeling.  Use the finish line of this first race to prepare you for your goal race finish line feeling strong.

Practice Race Day

Even if Cap City was scheduled to be your first ever race, a tune up race is a good idea.  You will simply go out and run the miles that are on the schedule for the weekend at your NORMAL easy long run pace.  The only difference is that you will be doing it in a race setting.  There’s no better way to get over the race jitters by having gone through everything already in an early race.  You’ll practice your morning routine, warmup, and timing of the trip to the porta potty.  Additionally, it’ll give you a chance to practice running in a group and drinking/eating on the run.  Practice how you will go through aid stations.  Are you planning on running through them and drinking while running, or slowing to a walk to get your drink.  Drinking on the run takes practice and better to learn how NOT to get Gatorade up your nose now, then on Cap City day!

Schedule The Miles – How to fit a tune up race into the training plan

Good news!  The Scioto Miles Training Series was developed specifically to get athletes ready for Cap City.  It features a 5k loop course and runners can choose to run 5k, 10k, or 15k.  If you are following the Cap City online training schedules here’s how to adjust:

Beginner half marathoners – take Saturday off or very easy 2 miles, run the 10k on Sunday, take Monday and Tue off (no running), and then pick back up with the schedule on Wednesday as written.

Intermediate half marathoners – run very easy 2 miles on Saturday, run the 10k or 15k on Sunday, take Monday and Tue off (no running), and then pick back up with the schedule on Wednesday as written.

Quarter marathoners – take Saturday off or very easy 2 miles, run the 5k on Sunday, take Monday and Tue off (no running), and then pick back up with the schedule on Wed as written.

As we draw ever closer to race day, the nerves and questions may start to crop up.  That’s what we are here for, so feel free to email me or join our Twitter chat tomorrow at noon EDT using #CapCityHalf.  I cannot wait for race week to meet all of you and celebrate YOU at the finish line.

Happy Training!

Aimee – coachaimee@m3ssports.com

 

 

 

Anchor your Warm Up

I’ve been blessed to have some absolutely amazing coaches in my life.  One of the common themes from the best of the best is to find a way to get into the zone on race day.  Olympic swimming great Gary Hall Sr., who’s swim program The Race Club I was privileged to train with last month, calls it “anchoring.”  I call it centering.  It’s the arm swinging of Michael Phelps immediately before he gets on the starting block.  It’s in the words that Serena Williams says aloud on court after a tough point and the scuffing of the ice by Columbus Blue Jackets “Goalie Bob” Sergei Bobrovsky before each period.  The last thing we do to turn the switch to go time, THAT is our anchor and center.

These things do not happen by accident.  This season I’ve written a lot about practice, I realize, but the longer I’m in the sport the more I understand that our bodies and minds crave routine.  Have you ever noticed that when you go on vacation that, as lovely as the free time may be, your body feels a bit off?  It comes right back around when we get home and back into the daily grind.  Why?  Routine and rhythm.  The same is true for sports.  Endurance sports are often said to be “races of attrition.”  That is, who sticks it out and and can deal with all of the unexpected challenges during an event that come up and are out of our control.  Although there is some truth in this, I argue that much more is under our control that we first believe.  Weather, other runners, road conditions are all out of our control.  But what about the long lines at the porta johns or the stressed out feeling while trying to find a parking spot?  If we are honest with ourselves much of that stress is on us because we waited too long to arrive or didn’t plan well.

You play like you practice is a favorite quote of high school coaches.  It may be cliche but is true all the same.  They typically mean if you practice hard you play hard, but for us it’s more subtle.  How much sleep we get the night before, our breakfast choices, how and with what we hydrate during our workouts are all part of our game.  Even the surface on which you run and the time of day make a difference.  I’m an evening runner, always have been because it helps me reset from the day.  I look forward to it.  However, the number of races I’ve run at night can be counted on one hand.  So, when I truly care about the outcome of a race I become a morning runner at least once a week in training to simulate the conditions, the weather, my bathroom routine, and coaxing my body awake.

Playing like you practice is true for a warmup or a centering time as well.  Ideally, you want to develop this for yourself over time.  For some, it can be alone time right before the race to think through each stage of the event.  Others need music blasting through their iPods to put them in race mode.  My own warmup has evolved, but for the last 4 years thanks to my wonderful coach Jon Hastings, I do the same exact thing for every race.  (Ok little white lie, I skip it for marathons and full Ironmans but everything else …).  It does not matter if it is a 5k, a sprint triathlon, a half marathon, or half Ironman the warmup is the same.  12-20 mins of easy light jogging, 6-10 accelerations, light jogging to the porta potty, and change into my race gear.  If it’s a tri, I get in the water for a few 50 meter pulls.  That’s it.  No thinking, no worrying, just doing and only for races.  Coach says, and nothing could be more true, that it reminds the body that it’s time to race.  It works.  No matter how nervous or concerned I am going into a race, after that warmup I’m ready.  Every time.  All the systems are awake and ready and the body knows what to do.

Find your own center.  Develop the warmup that works for you.  If it is your first half marathon, there’s no need to go run two miles beforehand.  But how about a 5 min walk to clear your head and get yourself into race mode?  By planning for your warmup, whatever it may be you have the added benefit of getting to the venue a bit earlier which relieves most of race morning stress!  Oh and that anchor, I’m not telling.  But once I do it it’s time to race!

Happy training!

Aimee

What should I eat (wear, do, etc.) on race day?

Training. We are training our bodies by stressing them a little bit more each week, then resting to let the body adapt to that work.  Then repeat.  We train our minds to handle the rigors of more miles and to get out of bed to get in our last snowy run of the season, because we need to be strong minded to reach our goal.  We’ve also trained our spouses, children, and coworkers to get used to seeing us head out the door in running clothes or show up to a meeting with a recovery drink instead of coffee.  All of this work IS training, but we are also practicing. Basketball teams practice inbound plays, soccer teams “set plays,” track relays handoffs over and over again until the simple action becomes part of their muscle memory, almost as unconscious as breathing (almost).

We don’t often call it practice, but that’s what it is.  Running events can be overwhelming.  Not only do we have to cover a long distance by our own power, but we have nutrition, hydration, clothing choices, parking, figuring out how to drink while running and not wear orange Gatorade down your shirt to think about.  Runners worry about EVERYTHING.  There’s even a name for checking the weather on race day, weather stalking, and it starts 10 days out from race day!  It’s easy to say don’t worry about it, but nearly impossible to take that advice.  So, let’s take control of that which we can: pre-run routine, hydration, nutrition (both before and during), proper drinking while running and let go of what we cannot.  PRACTICE all of it before race day.  Start now.

I’ve covered what to eat and what to wear many times.  You can read those here. The bottom line is that the old running coach mantra on race day is true, you should do nothing new on race day. The only way for it to feel normal is to practice it.  Set out your clothes the night before a long run, eat the same breakfast, and yes even try the same pre-run dinner the night before.  We have 7 weeks left, so if you make a mistake and your tummy dislikes broccoli and chicken with whole wheat pasta, you can try something else next week.  Do it until it becomes a habit, just part of your run.

This weekend will be a terrific opportunity to pull out the shorts and singlet to practice your race outfit.  With weather in the 60s and 70s, this is our first opportunity to run in conditions close to that on race day.  Eat your planned pre-race dinner on Friday, get in your chosen breakfast on Saturday, carry (and use) your gels or blocks or favorite fuel, and enjoy every mile.  Look around and smile!  While you are at it, practice your finish line pose.  If you see a bunch of runners with their arms in the air or flexing at the end of the run, you’ll know you are among fellow Cap City athletes!

1476_CapCity2013_PhotoKitchen5D_MG_0748

Cap City athletes celebrate their day in 2013.

 

Happy Training!

Aimee

coachaimee@m3ssports.com

 

 

Time for a Check In

We are in week 8 of our 17 week training program toward the Cap City half and quarter marathons.  The miles are beginning to climb, but the weather is starting to behave as well.  This past weekend in Columbus was a breath of fresh air, warm fresh air.  I hope you enjoyed every bit of it.

Now is a good time to evaluate how your training is progressing.  How do you feel?  Are you tired, but not wiped out?  Are you sleeping enough and well?  How is your nutrition?  Running and walking is not always about everything going well all the time.  Often it is about evaluating something that might be a little bit off and adjusting.  This is a lifestyle and not really about this 17 weeks.  We want to be fit and healthy for the rest of our lives, so really think about how your training is going.  Are you seeing progress?

If everything is going well, good for you!  Keep it up.  If not, think about what you want to try next.  Maybe that means getting a few more fruits and veggies in your diet or hydrating better before or during a workout.  Maybe it means paying attention to your sleep quality and setting a bedtime that is 30 minutes earlier than normal.  Maybe you can’t pin down what to do.  That’s ok too.  Just going through the exercise of thinking about your training is good mental work.  Being aware of how you feel and thinking about why helps us tune into our bodies more and more each time.  You might not know right now how sleep, water, or exercise makes you feel.  BUT the fact that you are thinking about it is the first step to making that connection.  Coaches talk about mental training all the time and often we think that means visualizing your race or goals or hard workouts.  That’s true and incredibly powerful.  However, I believe that learning to understand how the choices we make throughout the day make us feel mentally, physically, and emotionally can be just as insightful.  Being an endurance athlete means taking the leap from going through the motions of doing the work to understanding how our bodies and minds adapt to that work.  How it makes us feel and learning what we could do to feel better is as important as the work itself.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that lies before you, you are not alone!  Fitting training in with an already packed schedule is normal.  We don’t often talk about it, but it is hard.  Try and take it one week, or even one workout at a time.  If you find yourself needing to skip a workout or two, that’s ok.  If it becomes a habit, that’s when you have to reevaluate your goals.  Life is busy and yes we need to make time for ourselves, but when it becomes more of a chore to train than a blessing step back a little.  Take an extra day off for yourself or your family and then get back at it.

Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.  If it is happy and enjoying the training, soak that in.  Remember what you’ve been doing and keep going.  If something is off, really pay attention.  You know yourself best and if you think something is not right, stop and evaluate.  Don’t simply push through because the schedule says to run.  Take the time and make sure you are healthy, so that on race day your body feels its best.  Best thing I’ve ever heard a coach say is “You cannot win if you don’t finish, cannot finish if you don’t start” so make sure you really take heed of what your body is telling you.

 

Train Like a Champion!

There’s a lot of talk about the USA Half Marathon Championships this year and next here at our race, Cap City!  It’s amazing and such an honor for our race and our city.  I cannot wait for all of you to share the same course and finish line with the best half marathoners in our country!  But Cap City is about YOU.  It has always been and will always be YOUR race.  We run 3.1, 6.55, or 13.1 miles with many goals and reasons.  The connection is the love for the sport and the celebration of fitness.  The celebration this year happens to include some really fast runners!

Which distance and training plan is right for me?

What about our training?  We have 3 distances, each with two training schedule options.  The half and quarter intermediate schedules have a quality component that starts next week, but the beginner schedules do not.  Why?  Cap City, indeed all M3S events, are open to everyone who wants to celebrate fitness and get a little swag along the way.  Your goal may be to run your fastest half ever or it could be a long term goal of walking a 5k.  We celebrate everyone!  The reason for the two levels of schedules is to give options based on your current fitness level and goals.  At the bottom of each schedule we have a suggested minimum level of fitness for that particular plan.  We want everyone to get the most out of their training and having the proper background training helps ensure a healthy, fun, and successful season.  Running and walking should be lifetime endeavors and there is no need to rush.  If you aren’t at a particular level of fitness yet you will be soon!  Take a look at the bottom of your plan and make sure you fit that description, if not consider choosing a different plan.  If you have questions email me!

Distanct_training_level_which_one_for_me_table

Quality Workouts

The schedules that call for quality workouts will begin those next week, in week 6 of the training.  The goal of the quality or speed workouts is to introduce our bodies to faster running.  Once our bodies are used to the mileage, after several seasons of training, we get faster by varying both the pace and distance of our workouts.  It is important when introducing speed workouts to make sure that the other workouts are done slowly enough to give us time to recover.  Trying to race every single workout is a recipe for injury.  Follow the guidelines in the schedules and when it is time to run fast, do so!  When it is time to run easy, do that too.  Also, really tune into your body at this time.  If you need extra rest make sure to get it.

Enjoy the training.  We made it through January which in my opinion is the toughest month to train!  So we’re already through the hard part.  Keep going and we will see you at the finish line.  Happy Training!

Questions?  Email me at Coachaimee@m3ssports.com

Congrats_finishers_FBA

Shoes!

Running is a simple sport at heart.  Put one foot in front of the other; repeat.  We don’t need special equipment or a specific location.  It can be fast or slow.  We can run 1 mile or 20.  Just grab your running shoes and head out the door.  Sure, there are other pieces of gear that may make our runs more fun, enjoyable, or social media worthy but all we really need are our feet and a good pair of shoes.  Yes, some run barefoot.  I’m not going into that here!

Please, if you take anything away from this training season please make it this: be consistent with your training and run in shoes that are right for you.  It is very important to ensure that you are in the right shoe functionally for your foot and gait.  The best way to determine your functionality is to get professionally fit at a specialty running store.  They should take the time to ask you about your running, any injuries or nagging soreness, measure your feet, and then most importantly evaluate your gait by actually watching you walk and/or run.  A good fitter can determine if your gait is neutral, over pronated, or supinated (under pronated).  Basically, an over pronater’s ankle wants to roll inward and a supinator runs on the outside of their feet.  We can talk more about the details, but even better you can ask next time you are being fit at your local specialty running store!

If you are local to the Columbus area, my favorite (and full disclosure I work part time for) is Fleet Feet/Frontrunner in Polaris, Worthington, or Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington.  The most important thing however, is to go to a store that specializes in running/walking and that has good people with experience and knowledge in gait analysis.  They will suggest shoes that are right for YOU and your feet.

Shoes are the one NEED we have as runners.  The other need for female runners is a good sport bra.  Those two things are the foundation of your equipment for our sport.  Yes, specialty running shoes and a high quality sport bra will most likely cost more than what you could buy at a big box retailer.  The investment should pay dividends in healthier, more comfortable training now and down the road.

You should get 300-400 miles or 6 months from your running shoes.  The materials in the shoes that provide the cushioning break down over time and with the pounding from the miles.  All miles count.  That includes walking around in them so if possible keep them special for your training.  Additionally, I like to get a second pair for race day, run about 40 miles on them, then save them for race day.

Enjoy the upcoming warmer weather, grab your new shoes, and head out for a run!  Happy Training!

 

 

Schedule for Success

Start_here

Welcome to the start of Cap City Half Marathon, Patron Quarter Marathon, and Commit to be Fit 5k training for 2016. This year we will be running, walking, and racing alongside the country’s best elite half marathoners in the USA Half Marathon Championships! We are 15 weeks away from the best tour of Columbus on two feet, now we just have to train for it.

Whether this is your first race or your 100th, make yourself and your training a priority. The best thing you can do for yourself in these first few weeks of training is to schedule your workouts. Write them down or put them in your online calendar. Block out the training time at the beginning of the week. Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about your goals and the times you will be out getting your miles done. Not only will that give them a heads up about when you will be away, but it will also help keep you accountable.

What time of day you run doesn’t matter, just do it when it works best for you. Some like to start the day off with a run or walk to set their day up right. Others, like me, use training as a way to rid themselves of the stress of the day and work out in the evening. No matter when you want to train, find a time that you will commit to and write it down. Establishing a habit is the goal of the first few weeks of training. Remember to keep it fun! We are so excited to share in your success this season. If you have any questions email coachaimee@m3ssports.com. Happy Training!

Half_champs_sign

Race Week! Should I use a pacer?

pacers_preraceIt’s race week.  All your hard work is behind you and it’s time for the party to begin!  Sure there will be nerves but that’s good, it means you have worked hard for something and care about the result.  One question that comes up on race week is how to pace and should I use a pacer?  The answers are all over the map but there a few tried and true approaches.

Don’t Start Too Fast

No matter what your planned race pace is, don’t hammer that first mile or two.  If you are properly trained and tapered it is way too easy to blast through the first couple miles and then ruin your chances for a good day.  Take it easy initially.  Either start off right on pace or a few seconds per mile slower than your planned race pace.  You SHOULD feel good in the first few miles but hold off on trying to set the world on fire.  If you are still feeling like you have a lot in the tank come mile 8 or 10, by all means go for it.  Just not in mile 2.

 

We have wave starts so everyone should find room to run quickly, but there is still a little bit of congestion in that first mile or so.  Don’t feel the need to weave in and out of all the runners ahead of you.  It takes too much energy and really doesn’t do much for your time.  Take the opportunity to relax your shoulders and breathe.  Once the field opens up a bit find your pace and just settle in.

Pacers – The Fleet Feet MIT Pace Team

The pacers are out on the course for you.  They are experienced runners, many of whom pace or coach for Marathoner in Training throughout the year.  It is by volunteer only so they are there just to share their love of running with YOU!  Each of them will hold a consistent pace throughout and will get you to the finish right on time.  The pace teams start at 8 min/mile for the half and 8:25 min/mile for the quarter and go to 15:16 min/mile.  They will be in the proper corral for the finish times associated with their paces.  Please take the time to talk to them if you want to know what their plans are for the race, such as how they will handle water stops.

Should I run with a Pacer?

While pacers are not miracle workers, they can make pacing a race easier for you.  If you are trained and ready for a given pace, they will help you get through the race without the worry of nailing every mile split.  Most have 13.1+ miles worth of stories and laughs to share, so they will entertain you as well.  They are there to encourage, motivate, cheer, and of course pace.  They will have pace signs with their planned finish times.  pacers

If you want more information on the pace team, check them out here.

Enjoy Race Day

However you choose to get from the start line to the finish, whether it is on your own, with a group of friends, or with new found friends and the MIT Pace Team enjoy your day.  Cap City is set up to be a HUGE party.  We are here to celebrate YOU.  It is a huge honor to be part of your journey and we cannot wait to welcome you to the finish line.

See you on Race Day!  Happy Training (and tapering) – Coach Aimee

 

 

Taper Time!

cheerleaders_at_finish David_at_finish

Holy smokes!  It is officially 10 days until race day.  I cannot believe it.  The sun is shining, the trees are flowering, daffodils are out and it is WARM!  We have successfully made it through the worst winter that Central Ohio has seen in a looooong time.  Congratulations on pushing through and training throughout the cold, snowy, gray winter.  This is our reward!  I could not be prouder of all the Cap City runners and my MIT runners!  Shout out to team 9:45 for helping make the winter fun!  I hope you all have fun training partners that got you through this season too.

So now we are in the taper phase of training.  I wrote a very long article about taper last year and you can find it here.  Tapering is as much an art as it is a science.  Getting it right takes patience and support from those around you, because you might be a little grumpy!  Tapering means that we cut the volume of running way down from the recent training weeks.  The goal is to allow your legs and body the recovery time they need to be fresh on race day.  Rest gives you the opportunity to recover from any lingering fatigue.  Robb Kestner the winner of the 2007 Columbus Marathon once told me “You don’t peak until you rest.”  That is very true.  Giving yourself that downtime allows your body to peak on race day.  However it isn’t easy.  At this point we are used to the training schedule and the rhythm of train, recover, repeat.

Reduced Volume

Tapering does NOT mean that we stop running altogether.  If you are following our schedules then you will see that we have you running still in the next week, but the volume is reduced.  We want your legs to still be moving, but we don’t want to add too much stress.  If you are feeling especially tired or achy, take the day off.  You are not going to add fitness by running through it now.  The best thing you can do if you feel “off” is to rest.

PLEASE don’t go out and try to add extra miles or days to your training schedule now.  You cannot cram for an endurance event and extra miles in the few weeks leading up to a race like Cap City will not help, but they can hurt.  Either you have put in the work by now or you have not.  If you haven’t, do not fret.  That’s why we have other shorter distances and races later this year!  If you have put in the work, don’t question it.  You’ve done it, now simply rest.

Thank your supporters

Take the time to do something special for your support crew.  They have put in extra time over the next few months too.  Maybe they did extra laundry or quietly dealt with yours all of the house “drying.”  They’ve taken extra babysitting shifts and listened to you go on and on about the joys of Body Glide.  Whatever it was, now is the time to thank them.

Whatever you do, don’t …

Do not pick up a new sport in the next 10 days.  I know we are running less and you have extra energy, that’s the point!  Don’t start something new and that includes strenuous yard work!  No pulling hedges out of your garden for 10 days.  They will still be there on May 4.  Yes that’s a true story and she knows who she is!

Celebration Time

You’ve got this!  Now is the time to rest, enjoy, and celebrate.  We are so excited to see you all on race day and at the expo.  I will be waiting for you at the finish.

Happy Training (and tapering)!

-Coach Aimee

 

 

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