Taper Week One Review

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Sunday, April 16

I've always started out my weeks during this cycle of half training with a medium run. This is the first of two medium runs (I have a Thursday one as well) with a slight difference between the two. My Thursday medium run is a consistent zone 2 run (between 136-151 bmp) while my Sunday run has a fast section in one 4 (between 166-177 bpm).

This run was 55 minutes in total, down from 75 minutes the week before:

Warm-up: 10 minutes, zones 1-2 Work 1: 20 minutes, zone 2 Work 2: 20 minutes, zone 4 Cool-down: 5 minutes, zones 1-2

I went back to run along the Mississippi River for this run and it felt so much better than my long run on Friday. I had no problem getting into a groove with the zone 2 running (and at a faster pace than my long run). Running in zone 4 felt awesome even though it was a challenging, I averaged 9:17 pace over that section which is a minute faster than my goal race pace.

2017 04 16 Sunday Run Mile Splits

2017 04 16 Sunday Run Zones

Monday, April 17

Mondays are my one day of weights and I also do about 20 minutes of cardio before it. Nothing changed at all for taper, except that I was off work this day and did my weights in the morning instead of after work.

2017-04-17-Monday-Strength-Training

I did add in jump squats into between sets since they are the team exercise for a challenge I'm doing. Boy, do those get your heart rate up! I did 100 in total, which might not have been the best idea. Monday afternoon, while I was out walking with Vinnie, I felt a little bit of pain in the left knee. Not wanting to risk anything, I taped up my knee with KT tape to give some extra stability to it.

Tuesday, April 18

Tuesday runs are probably my favorite runs of the week. I know I am just one day away from a "rest day" (Wednesdays I just do core with no cardio beyond walking Vinnie) and it's a tempo run. With the amount of zone 2 running I've been doing on this program, getting in a speed workout is always welcome.

This run was 40 minutes in total, down from 50 minutes the week before:

Warm-up: 15 minutes, zones 1-2 Work 1: 10 minutes, zone 3 Work 2: 10 minutes, zone 4 Cool-down: 5 minutes, zones 1-2

It's a similar run to my Sunday one, but with a slow ramp-up to zone 4 versus going straight there from zone 2. I was a little worried about how this run would turn out because my legs were really feeling tight. During the run, my legs were still tight but not in a way that affected my running. I ended up averaging a 10:39 min/mile average pace, down 21 seconds from the same run three weeks ago.

2017 04 18 Tuesday Run Mile Splits

2017 04 18 Tuesday Run Zone Splits

I spend 20 minutes after the run focusing almost exclusively on rolling out my legs since there were so tight. It was painful but helped a little. Mike used my stick roller on my legs right before bed also, which was the most painful experience yet. I was about in tears while he did it but I could tell it made a difference right away. The tightness was all gone the next morning, a wonderful relief because I was not looking forward to sitting at a computer all day otherwise.

Wednesday, April 19

Wednesdays are technically my rest day although I do get about 15-20 minutes of core work in along with Vinnie's walks for the days. This week, I didn't get as much walking in as I normally do though. Vinnie had a vet appointment that my fiance took him to so he got a longer post-work walk before I even got home. And then he didn't want to go on that long of a walk after dinner since it was pouring outside (which I wasn't too disappointed about).

2017 04 19 Core

I still managed to hit my activity goal for the day (just barely, my watch dinged as I was getting ready for bed) which I don't always do on Wednesdays so that was a plus. And next week should be better weather so Vinnie and I can get on lots of walks without getting soaking wet.

Thursday, April 20

Back to running again on Thursday, this week with an hour-long run. My calves weren't feeling tight at all when I started out which made me feel hopeful for how this run would go. Unfortunately, although it wasn't raining, it was chilly outside (comparatively speaking) since sun was just starting to peek out at 4 p.m.

Thursday runs are the first of the zone 2 runs I have (the other is my long run on Saturdays). It's a nice break from speed-work on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday since I don't have to think about keeping a higher paced effort in.

My run was an hour this week, down from 70 minutes the week before:

Warm-up: 10 minutes, zones 1-2 Work : 45 minutes, zone 2 Cool-down: 5 minutes, zones 1-2

2017 04 20 Mile Splits

2017 04 20 Zone Splits

As I've been doing recently, after my run I did 20 minutes of foam rolling. Which involved some pain because my calves were so tight. I'm sure my fiance was feeling the struggles from Kelly Robert's "Struggles of Living with a Runner: Foam Rolling" video. He graciously rolled out my calves again before bed. Hopefully increasing the amount of time I'm foam rolling will help out with my tight calves.

Friday, April 21

Friday was a complete 180 from Wednesday and Thursday in terms of weather. It was sunny all day and got above 60 which I knew was going to feel amazing during my run. Friday runs are interval runs and my favorite speedwork session. Short but fast! Plus, my warm up is zones 1-3 instead of 1-2 like all my other runs.

My run was 35 minutes this week, down from 40 minutes the week before:

Warmup: 16 minutes, zones 1-3 Work 1: 5 minutes, zones 4-5 Work 2: 2 minutes, zone 3 Work 3: 5 minutes, zones 4-5 Work 4: 2 minutes, zone 3 Cool-down: 5 minutes, zones 1-2

The intervals felt really great, although I did go out a little bit too fast on my first faster one and the second one felt a lot harder. But it was amazing running in the sunshine and warmth, I am so excited for summer runs when I won't have to wear long sleeves at all! After the run, I did my normal foam and stick rolling on my body, still focusing on my legs for the majority of it. I also used the stick roller on my feet which felt amazing.

2017 04 21 Friday Run Mile Split

2017 04 21 Friday Run Phase Split

Saturday, April 22

Finished off my first week of taper with a much better feeling long run than the week before. Somehow everything clicked together and I didn't have as slow as a pace as the week before. It was a little bit chilly when I started out before 7 a.m. to run along the Mississippi River and I felt a little underdressed in a t-shirt and capris. Especially when every runner I came across was in long-sleeved shirts and pants. It was below 40 but I knew it would warm up quick since the sun was already out.

My long run was 1 hour and 25 minutes, down from 1 hour and 50 minutes the week before (the most drastic cutback this week): Warm-up: 10 minutes, zones 1-2 Work : 1 hour and 10 minutes, zone 2 Cool-down: 5 minutes, zones 1-2

All in all, nothing stood out too much about this run. I started the next book in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone, since I finished up Three Sisters, Three Queens on Friday. I did warm up along the run especially once I crossed over to the Minneapolis side of the river where the sun was shining on the path. Sadly, I won't be able to run along this route next week since my long run has to be in the morning and the Get in Gear 10K and Half Marathon will have the roads blocked off.

2017 04 212 Saturday Run Mile Split

2017 04 22 Saturday Run Phase Split

My calves felt better foam rolling them at the gym afterwards, probably because I've been making an effort to spend at least 20 minutes foam rolling them this week. I'll be continuing this until the race and for my marathon training so that hopefully it will just continue to get better.

All in all, it was a pretty good way to start to off tapering! Next week will be similar length runs, except that my Thursday and Saturday runs will each be five minutes shorter. Check back in next week to see how it goes!

To read more about the training program I am using, read my post Running with Heart (Rates).