This was the penultimate week of the training cycle leading up to my marathon, and the first true week of tapering down the volume. I ended the week with a total of just 5 hours and 30 minutes of running, which amounted to 69 kilometres (43 miles) and 632 meters (2 073 ft) of climbing.
As I’ve often done this training cycle, per Pete Pfitzinger’s plan, I started the week with a full rest day on Monday. That was followed by the only workout of the week, and the final one before my marathon, on Tuesday. The scheduled session comprised 3 x 1600 meter intervals at 5k pace. Given that I ran a race on Saturday, followed by a moderately long run on Sunday, I was pleased enough to get through all three intervals faster than my estimated 5k pace at 3:30 min/km, or about 5:30 for each four-lap interval.
The rest of the week was nothing special to write about, with easy sessions at 6, 11, 10 and 8k from Wednesday to Saturday. I closed the week out with a medium long run, where I for the first time felt the effects of the taper as I was able to cruise very comfortably through 20k at goal marathon pace + 10%. It was a great confidence booster of a run, with the only drawback being that I once more had GI (gastrointestinal) troubles towards the end. I actually had to cut it short with about 1k on account of this.
Going into race week, I will be doing everything I can to get my stomach in order again. Everything that I’m not entirely sure about will be eliminated from my diet, and I will be exclusively drinking water up until race day. All in all, I’m feeling pretty good about my shape, but I do worry a bit that my GI troubles will cause me trouble on race day. Otherwise, the only focus this coming week will be to try and get myself feeling as fresh and well rested without going flat.