Monday, 19 August 2013

The Taper

A reduction in volume and an increase in intensity increases the stress on the CNS and lowers the possibility of performances. The taper consists of a slight reduction of intensity on the speed work and a reduced speed volume by session and by week. The slower work has no real cost to the CNS and needn't be reduced much.

Leading into the marathon it is a good idea to do one last hard workout on the Saturday of either long intervals or a short simulation run and then take three days easy to recover and prepare for one final tune up workout on the Wednesday at goal pace or slightly faster with long recoveries and then take another three days easy to prepare for your upcoming marathon. 
The following would be a good taper protocol for a Sunday marathon;
  • Saturday - 6 x 8min with 2min recovery
  • Sunday - 60min easy
  • Monday - 60min easy
  • Wednesday 6 x 3min with 6min recovery 
  • Thursday - 30min easy
  • Friday - 30min easy
  • Saturday - 30min easy
  • Sunday - race

These are long rest periods on Wednesday but they allow you to dial in pace without stressing the CNS and fatiguing the body for your big event.
The other thing that is important when tapering is taking more time to rest, naps, to bed earlier, reduce caffeine and other things that stress your adrenals, reduce time on computer and TV and truly rest so that your body can actually rest - as the training objectives have already been met, and you are now merely being maintained with as little effort as possible to allow the organism to rebound to super compensate for the "Big Day".

Friday, 16 August 2013

Developing Your Marathon Nutrition Plan

A few ideas to help with your nutrition planning for the upcoming fall marathons. One thing I do is drink frequently throughout my marathon, drinking 150ml every 15 to 20 minutes. If you are using the aid stations it is a good idea to grab a cup of water as you enter the aid station and a cup of sports drink  as you exit.  Since you’ll undoubtedly spill some just grabbing the cup, you’ll now have a good chance of getting the 150ml you want. Be patient in the aid stations and don’t just gulp the fluid and toss the cup.  Crimp the top of the cup and run with it as you drink.  Then, grab the second cup and do the same.
Yes you guessed it that's Alissa, CDR 2013 overall winner!

Just for security and because you never know for sure if you will be able to get all the drinks down,  I will carry a gel flask with four gels mixed with water and sip on this though the race.  I generally never consume gels straight out of the package as it is hard on the digestive system, I always mix them with water.

I believe this maintains my blood sugar level, delivers energy to my muscles during the marathon and restocks my energy stores afterwards. I feel it also helps in my post marathon recovery, so I can be back on the roads training again with minimal loss of fitness.

  • A sports drink or gel you have practiced with and have adapted to
  • Ideally the same sports drink is available on race day
  • A sports drink that, after practicing, still tastes good

Practice Trent Stellingwerff's RULE OF 15
~15g CHO every 15 min
~150 ml of fluids (~8-15% carb solution) (~80 to 120g CHO per liter of fluids)

Practice Trent Stellingwerff's Simple Marathon Race Plan
Take 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sports drink per aid table with ½ gel

After finishing the marathon, I always drink a recovery drink. That way I begin the recovery process right away.

Hope that helps and good luck with your half or full marathon this fall!