Posted by: Caroline Thorpe08/03/2010
It was all going so well. I’d managed a clear month of running every training run on my schedule. I was ticking off each completed plod with an all-too-smug sense of satisfaction. I ran 20 miles in the rain and wind the weekend before last – and felt brilliant. No post-long-run stupor, no aching quads or shaken torso the next day.
I followed this happy state of affairs up with a week of 6am runs. Sure I felt slightly broken by the end of the working week; but with just 10 miles scheduled during a weekend away in the New Forest figured I had the week’s training sewn up.
If only. On Saturday morning I woke laden with fatigue and with a nagging sore throat. My husband and I had grand plans to run the 10 miles before tucking into our B&B breakfast. Determined yet foolhardy, we headed out into a frosted Hampshire landscape. I figured it would get easier, repeating the runner’s maxim that the first 10 minutes running are often the worst.
It wasn’t to be. Two miles in and I was bent double, trying not to puke. Clearly my body was trying to tell me something. We turned back, watched by the grazing wild ponies we’d passed just moments before.
That was two days ago, and I’m still decidedly off colour: throat scratching, body aching - you get the picture. I was therefore delighted to read about something called the ‘mini taper’, a pocket-sized version of the reduced mileage – or taper – that comes in the final weeks before the race.
According to marathon guru Hal Higdon, backing off from training from time to time is not only likely to be necessary as you train for the 26-odd mile slog, but may even be desirable. High mileage tears your body apart. Rest lets it come back stronger.
That’s the theory, anyway. And it’s what I’ll be telling myself as I slump on the sofa slurping chicken soup tonight.
Leonie’s run rate
Miles since 1 Jan: 206
Moment of realisation that no matter how much training I do, a marathon is really going to hurt, a lot: about mile 15 of this weekend’s 18-miler.
Caroline’s run rate
Miles since 1 Jan: 233
New BFF: Hal Higdon
Click here to help Leonie and Caroline raise money for Hact
Only in next week’s Inside Housing – housing chiefs don the Lycra as the Home Run girls train with their fellow Hact team members
From Home run
Tracking the progress of Inside Housing staff and others running the London Marathon for the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust