12 weeks to a half: taper down [week 11]

can we get a ‘woot’ for just finishing the longest run of this 12-weeks to a half training plan?  week 10 ended with a bang running our longest run yet. mine: 11 miles! holy camole. there’s something exhilarating about finishing strong though, because it’s a good indicator of how you’ll finish come race day.  i mean, it’s just 2.1 more (don’t forget that point one – it’s a doozy)!  for me, it felt incredible to finish 11 miles feeling 10 (or actually 11) times stronger than when i ran the half just 5 months ago. don’t get me wrong though, i’m properly fearful of running in san francisco: holy hellish hills.  in preparation, i’ve started adding in one 5-6 mile run during the week training hills and each week gets a bit better. yes, it’s safe to say that i am training out of sheer fear of the hills, but i’d rather be ready than not. ready or not san francisco, i’ll be there in 2 weeks to dominate you – hills and all.

[editor’s note: i actually did my 11 miles last saturday and should have ended week ten with my final long run of 12 miles, but got sick. as hard as it is for me, i listened to my body and rested up. if i proceeded to cough & sniffle my way through even a short run, my body won’t have enough time to recover before race day – only 2 weeks away. i’m actually going slightly insane not having worked out for 5 days, but i’m trying to keep my eye on the prize: getting well!]

miles: taper down
so now that we’ve conquered that long run, it’s time to taper down our mileage. oh this is a lovely time, yes it is. this is when your miles start creeping downward in preparation for race day. your miles will depend on which mileage schedule you’re following – included below (again) for your downloading pleasure in case you’re new to this series.  but regardless of your running level, you start tapering down 2 weeks out from race day.  so for me that means:

this week: 3-mile speed work (tuesday), 5-mile hill run (wednesday), and a shorter long run of 6 miles (saturday)
race week: 2-mile speed work (tuesday), 3-mile easy run (thursday), race day (sunday!)

rumor has it that runners get cranky when they start tapering mileage. why? because your body gets so used to being pumped full of endorphins. and once you take those away, it’s almost like going through withdrawals: full on cranky, moody, the works. it’s like healthy crack. and i didn’t experience that til this week. granted, i was sick, but not being able to run or workout for 5 days? yeah – no bueno. lil’ miss cranky pants. so this cranky taper syndrome? i’m affirming that this is not just myth. don’t believe me? ask my boyfriend.

lifting: dial it back
now, since this IS a training plan for my fellow lifting lovers, i want to stress how important it is to start easing up just a tad on your lifting + cross training just for the next few weeks. that doesn’t mean you have to stop, on the contrary, you want to keep doing what works for your body. but dial it back just a wee bit.  whereas we have been lifting 2-3 days per week, plus some cardio classes + flexibility too, we don’t want to exhaust your bod before race day. so this week, perhaps switch out that intense spin session with a yoga class, lift your upper body but lower the weight a bit and up your reps. most importantly: focus for the next two weeks on fitting in your foam rolling, icing + stretching.  your muscles will thank you.

nutrition: dial it in
join me: i’ve been dialing it in for the past few weeks and it’s essential as we approach race day.  i would highly recommend cutting out all alcohol, slashing added sugars, boosting your protein, and upping your water intake (tip: take your body weight in pounds, divide that # by 2, and drink that # in ounces!).  i will touch on fueling your body pre-, during, and post-run next week with my completely nutrition know-how for running, and also touch on frequently asked questions like: “why am i not losing weight if i’m running so much?”, “do i have to eat starchy carbs to fuel my runs?”, “is it necessary to ingest gooey substances during my run for energy?”, and more. stay tuned for week 12!

rest up both mentally + physically as we count down the days to don our bibs + pound pavement (and in my case) for a cause….for my momma.

mileage plans for your downloading pleasure: 

runner’s world 
writer + veteran runner hal higdon 12-week running plans
novice runner | intermediate runner  advanced runner  | walker

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.