MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 16: Time to taper!

Smoothie ingredients

Week 15 went a bit better than expected and with only a few weeks left until the marathon, me and Cata made a concious decision to try to cut out the remaining crap foods and habits in our everyday life. For my sake, that meant getting into the habit of having something healthy and energetic for breakfast (I usually only have something protein based like boiled eggs).

Pond Smoothie

I did some research online to see what health stuff I could eat that Im not allergic to and it resulted in what I call the Pond Smoothie! This first one felt like I had blitzed up a toad in the blender, but over the course of the week, I managed to get the right consistency. We’ve also made a promise to stay away from alcohol until after the race, cut out some of the fats & oils that we were over consuming, and introducing a bit more complex carbs into our diets to speed up recovery.

Training week 15 - 1

Wednesday was the first time I was back running in 10 days and I was very nervous. Cata decided to pace me as I suck at keeping a consistent slow pace and we did 5 very slow miles. I could feel my knees after about 4 miles but no real pain like I had felt last time I attempted to run a longer distance. Very lucky to have such a great training partner like Cata, not sure what I would do without her!

Training week 15 - 2

It’s crazy how your perception of distances change when youre training for a full marathon! I used to consider 5 miles as half-decent distance but now thats like a short and easy run! We had to swap the days around and since the 20 miles ended up on the Saturday and not Sunday, I decided to skip the 10 miler on the Friday and just go for it Saturday morning.

Training week 15 - 4

We took it slower than usual throughout the entire run, making sure we stopped so I could stretch every 2 miles and refuel every 4 miles. I was determined to complete the 20 miles as it’s the furthest distance I’ve attempted to run, and I wanted to know what I would feel like so I wouldn’t get a shock on race day. I brought along some ibuprofen in both gel & tablet format, and I promised myself that if I made it to 13 miles without great pain, I would run the full distance no matter what.

Compared to how my knees reacted 2 weeks ago when I had to stop running after 8.5 miles, this run was much better. I could feel my knee but it wasn’t painful and I felt so happy when we passed 9 miles and I still felt strong. It started getting uncomfortable around 13-14 miles in, so I did as I planned and put on the gel, and then a few miles later, took some of the tablets.

It was a strange feeling as my knees went a bit numb but the muscles around it felt tired – I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis and I wouldn’t recommend people to do this if they were injured. However, since this was a one time thing, I made the choice of pushing myself to my limit and see what happened. AND WE MADE IT WITH A “SPRINT” FINISH!

Training week 15 - ice batch

Not going to lie, my legs ACHED after we finished that run and I had to wobble home where an ice cold bath was waiting for me. It took us 3:49 hours to do it, so slower than Cata’s goal time for us, but considering the circumstances I think we did great. I even thought about potentially doing an Ultra Marathon, so I can’t say that the 20 miles put me off ;)

Now it’s tapering time, and considering it has taken me 3 days to recover a little bit (I still walk a bit funny and my knees are still a bit sore), it’s safe to say that I wont be sticking to my original plan as my knees just can’t handle the pressure sadly.

So the aim from now on is to do 1-2 shorter runs and attempt to do 1 longer one – BUT – to stop no matter what if I start feeling pain in my knees.

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 16

MON: REST – Done!
TUE: REST – Done!
WED: Swim – Done!
THU: REST – Done!
FRI: 5 miles – Done!
SAT: Swim – NOT DONE!
SUN: 12 miles max – Managed 7 miles

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