A.M. Taper week. There were a couple of posts on the blog earlier suggesting different types of tapering. In addition to my personal experiences I drew some ideas from the following. First, a quote from Tinman:
Your muscle fiber types also determines how long you must taper. People
who are naturally endurance oriented and not speedy will need short
tapering phases. I have observed that slow twitch runners tend to lose
aerobic endurance quickly upon cessation of mileage and suffer greatly
in races when they taper too soon and too much. At the other end of
the continuum, runners who are speedy tend to retain aerobic endurance
more easily, so they can afford to taper longer. Most runners are
somewhere in between these two extremes. However, no matter what you
do, remember, if you are not tired, sore, and beat up, you don,t need
to taper much.
If he is right, I do have two things going for me to explain why I do better with a short taper. One, being naturally very much endurance oriented. My favorite distance at the age of 12 was a 10 K, I really like that you did not have to be 3000-anaerobic to race really well. I looked forward to 10 Ks and dreaded track races because they were so short. And two, I am definitely not tired, sore or beat up from my training. Quite the opposite - I can barely tell I've trained. And, looking at the effect and trying to discern the cause, I have suffered many times in the past from tapering too soon too much, and on the other hand have run PRs and near PRs completely untapered.
I also looked at the Hanson guys at Athleticore, and decided to follow more or less what Chad Johnson and Brian Sell did before the Trials. I generally loathe the idea of copying somebody's training just because they are faster - first, it may not be their training that makes them faster to begin with, their training could very well be sub-optimal, but they are still faster due to natural abilities, and also, even if it does make them faster, they may very well be different enough that the same thing will not work for you. But I did notice that they were training already almost exactly the same way I did, so I figured looking at their taper with a bit of a grain of salt would not be a bad idea.
The end result was to do pretty much what Ted suggested. This morning ran 10.1 easy with Ted in 1:13:48. Did 8x100 strides, first 5 in 18, the rest in 17.
P.M Run with the kids, total of 2.55. 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny in 14:28. Then 1.05 with Julia in 11:08. Benjamin was coming down with some sickness. I've got a little bit of respiratory irritation as well, but it has not yet been showing in reduced energy levels or running performance. I hope it stays that way. It is a miracle I have not gotten sick with 125 mile weeks and 5 potentially sick little kids around. Sucking on garlic like crazy, this is my only chance. Better off than before St. George so far, knock on wood although I am not superstitious, but I still have a flight ahead of me with plenty of chance to catch something this time of year. But it is just as bad for the competition, so the secret to getting money in a December marathon is showing up healthy at the starting line.