One Last 20 Mile Run Under the Belt: Time to Taper

I’m now three weeks away from my goal race: Macau Marathon 2015. I just finished the last 20 mile long run and so now the training will settle down to reasonable levels. 

So the key at this stage is to focus on the mental game. I’ve narrowed it down to three priorities (sorry for the blatant self-affirmation):

  1. Diet. The primary focus for these upcoming weeks will be on eating well, so that means plant-based whole foods and home cooked meals whenever possible. 
  2. Strengthening  and stretching. Ok, it’s not like I won’t be running in these upcoming weeks. In fact I’m still planning to run 56 miles this week. But this will be a step down from what I’ve been doing and there should be some available time for taking care of core strength and making sure my body is limber. I will step up my usual mini sessions of kettlebells, yoga, and core exercises. I will try to make time for yoga in the PM because I really believe it helps aid recovery and build strength. By the way, Jason Crandall‘s easy PM yoga rocks. Not specifically designed for runners but feels pretty good to me.
  3. Chill out. Actually, I probably don’t need this point. Chilling out is not hard to do… or is it? Yes, I think I do need to remind myself that I’m past the point of making real fitness gains. There are a few more tough speed sessions, but apart from those it is all about maintenance.

Everything else is going really well. That last 20 mile run this morning was a killer because I decided to push it and ended up averaging around 7:10 min/miles. This was not a spontaneous decision but something I had planned. The idea here was to run strong (around 7:15) and finish the last 3 miles at marathon pace, which I almost did. I’m happy with it, but I hope it wasn’t too taxing and I can recover in time. Three weeks can pass by so quickly!