Anyone can run 20 miles. It's the next six that count.
- Barry Magee

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Time to taper. 2 weeks to go.

Well my last weeks of training have come to an end (Thank god) and it’s a 2 week taper that’s planned now. 18 weeks training was too much for me to be honest in the way of keeping my interest up. That said I feel good right now and I am looking forward to the marathon in 2 weeks.

My last week’s mileage has hit the 52 mile mark and it hasn’t felt like a hard week at all. Maybe this is a sign that I have trained enough at this stage that I find the 50 mile week handy. I won’t complain with that. My mileage over the next few weeks drops to a 35/38 mile week and on the last week I have an 18 mile week. Last year I started my taper 3 weeks out and I felt crap on the marathon day so hopefully this year 2 weeks will have me just right.

Today was the Cork half marathon day. St. Finbarr’s AC run this race every year and I usually run it to see where I am fitness wise before the Dublin Marathon. It is usually a well organised race and today was no different. Excellently run event & I look forward to returning again next year. This year was a bit different for me as its 2 weeks before the Berlin marathon and this is not the time to be racing a half. So today’s plan was mainly to run the half rather than a race it. My plan was to run somewhere between 1:35 to 1:40. Every year I have run this race I have always struggled and suffered bad after the hill around the 7 mile mark. Let’s just say it’s never been a race that builds my confidence. Today was to be a bit different hopefully. Handy run planned and one to enjoy. My friend is running his first Dublin marathon this year and the plan for him was to run a 1:40 time. We decided to stick together and it would help us both to keep close to the 7:30 pace.

First 4 miles of the race was close to target. We passed the 4 mile mark at 29:52 (Plan 30min). Next section of the race was the hilly section of the race. For my friend I knew that the next 4 would make or break him. Previous years this has proved a nightmare for me but today the 2 of us passed the 8 mile mark at 59:44 (Plan 60Min). Pace was exactly as we planned and more to the point the two of us were chatting and feeling good. From mile 8 to the end the pace started to increase. Its wasn’t part of the plan but we both just went with it as we felt good. At the 12 mile mark we passed at 1:27:32 (almost 2 and a half minutes ahead of plan) and then on to a strong finish at 1:35:43. The last few miles were sub 7 min and to be honest there was plenty in the tank to push it harder but with the marathon in 2 weeks time its important to remember what the target is. My Garmin recorded a distance of 13.25 miles at 1:35:43 time. Nice to finish this race and not feel that the services of a doctor were required. As for my friend I think he put in a great run and for his first half marathon. He finished at 1:35:50. Great time well done.

Now the racing is done and tapering begins I suppose there will be plenty of phantom pains and injuries that will torment me each day. As I type I wonder is my Achilles tendon 100%. Of course it is but it’s all par for the course. Concentration now starts on my diet more than running. Biscuits out fruit is in. Red meat out and white meat in. If I was a drinker then it would be beer out and water in but I live with soft drinks out and water in. Roll on the next 2 weeks and if they are as good as the last 2 then I’ll be a happy man. (Why the last 2 weeks.) Well the small matter of Tipperary picking up there 26th All Ireland last weekend and winning the under 21’s last night just topped off a dream week. Bit like the Carlsberg add. They don’t do dream weeks but it they did it would probably be last week.

Anyway enough for now and last update will be on Thursday week. I have decided that 3:10 will be my target time for Berlin this year and all going well that should put me in a good place to maybe make an attack on the 3 hour next year. Plenty of work to do for that but that’s for another days blog.

Take care



  1. Sounds like you made the most of the downhill second half!! It's
    always nice to finish a race fresh- great confidence boost !!! The hard work is done enjoy the taper...

    Tipp had a great year!! :)

  2. You looked very comfortable out there today Paudie. All you have to do now is rest up and resist temptation.

  3. Good luck with Berlin, it sounds like you are well prepared for a 3:10 or quicker.

  4. Thanks for the comments Gents. Time now to run. Fingers crossed.