Thursday, 1 May 2008

Easing down for Bristol 10k

After a hard block of training I can't wait to race again on fresh legs. One of the most difficult balancing acts of an athlete is training hard enough while still racing regularly. The temptation is to back off the training before every race but if you are racing every few weeks you quickly find a that a few days easy before a race followed by a couple of recovery days after means that training quickly gets compromised. So the alternative is racing on tired legs and accepting that performances could be variable.

Fortunately I've had 3 solid races during my most recent training block, the half marathon win in Switzerland and a couple of strong relay efforts over about 9k. It certainly helps being a marathon runner. The extra training miles means that I recover more quickly from races and also racing on tired legs is the essence of the last 10k of a marathon so you learn to love that sensation of pushing hard when your body is telling you it is time to sleep !

It always surprises me just how tired I feel after a couple of easy days. I can keep knocking out 30km training days and feel OK but a couple of days of less than 20k and I feel knackered. It just goes to show the cumulative effect of hard training and reinforces the need for a proper taper to get fully refreshed for a big race. Hopefully a couple more easy days will see me starting to feel good again and ready to go in Bristol on monday.

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