One thing that is nice about taper is that every now and then there's an easy day that is part of the training plan. I put in my four general aerobic miles on the Back Bay yesterday once it started cooling down. I even made it to the gym fr some stretching afterwards. Woo hoo!
Oh. Wait a minute. There were a ton of easy days early on? Oh. Hmmm. Has this training plan really been that hard that it's going to become legend?
I've now used two different training plans. The first one was handed out by my track club to people training for their first marathon. It was an easy, 17 week plan that basically had us running a set amount of time three days a week and a long run on Saturdays. We peaked at around 35 miles per week and had one 20 miler. No lactate threshold work, no VO2Max work. The purpose of the plan was to get us to the finish line. And it worked.
It got me to the finish line, but it didn't fulfill me. That's why I'm back. This time a lot more educated and a lot more knowledgeable. I chose a relatively advanced plan - the Pfitzinger 24 week/55 mile peak plan. This plan methodically addresses all those things that need to be addressed to effectively run a marathon. I've gotta tell you - I feel in as good a shape as I've *ever* felt. But, this cycle has been *much* tougher - physically and mentally. I'm constantly sore and tired. No injuries or anything - I just feel like my body has been well worked. And mentally? 24weeks? That's like half a year! And for someone like me, 55 miles equates to 9 plus hours a week on the trails around here. I've got to be honest - the last few weeks has been tough (cold not withstanding). When I think abut running for three hours, my mind immediately thinks about a bunch of other things to do.
But - the finish is in sight. 16 days. Then I get my just reward for all this training. I get to run a marathon.