Posted by: mmartininycmarathon | October 20, 2009

Tapering + Preparation

TAPERING: in the context of sports, refers to the practice of reducing, or tapering off, exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon, athletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more.

Hey there my marathon supporters! There is ONLY 12 days left to go until race day! (oh boy) and  have entered the last phase of training which is, tapering. I really have never thought this time would come soon enough but after some successful long training runs, races and countless hours of running, swimming, spinning stretching, speedwork, we are finally rewarded with the taper period.

Saturday, October 10th (two Saturdays ago) was the first run during the tapering period which consisted of a 15 mile run which the final 10 miles being the final 10 of the actual marathon course.

Very cool.



We started off over the Queensborough bridge, out and back, in which began the final 10 miles. We descended and circled over to First Ave, which is famously known as the most exciting, most exhilariting part of the race (on the marathon course would be miles 16-19).  After about 4 miles, we headed into the Bronx and back into Manhattan to start the final stretch via the Willis Ave and Madison Ave Bridges.

Now, something that some people including myself would not be aware of is there is a slow and long incline on Fifth Ave right as you begin your trip down and into the park and back out. I was lucky to have been running with a new guy named Pablo. I had caught up with him right as we were entering the Bronx and stayed with him for the next 5-6 miles. As we made our way into the park, Pablo got a final kick in to speed off and I was left hustling to Tavern on the Green. At this point I was feeling OK, but did want the run to be over. I had been pushing it slightly with Pablo going at a pretty fast clip so by the time we got to the lower loop I was pretty tired. We finished up at Tavern on the Green (marathon finish line!) and jogged up to Cherry Hill (exclusive post finish area for TFK runners) to meet with the coaches and stretch.

Yea, I was pretty tired. The previous 4 weeks of building up the long runs took its toll on me. I also was still recovering from the cold I had suffered on the 21 mile run, in addition to breaking in my new shoes, I wasn’t quite as excited or happy.

In any event, the shoes seem to be getting softer and broken in more but not without suffering. The initial 15 mile run was OK, but running in the shoes got progressively worse, as if they needed to be softly massaged and softened, not quickly stepped on and vicisously broken in as I had done. After the run, I suffered heel soreness, rubbed vaseline on the inside heel which I was advised to do by Coach Asteria and no more heel soreness.

This weekend is the final weekend before marathon weekend, and what better way than for us to run the Poland Spring Marathon Kick-off race as a team! Check back for more details about that and a “Top 10 highlights” of my training season.
Picture 5Bibs! I got my bib number and wave start!

I will be the last wave to be released at 10.20AM and my bib number will be 47533. As you can see above, the three different colored bibs separate over 42,000 runners and your bib number indicates what projected time you had listed on the initial application. Since I had put 4:30, I was placed in the last wave, but towards the front of the corral. The transportation won’t be much of an issue because TFK has it’s own police escorted bus to the starting area in Staten Island. One of the many perks of being a TFK team member!

So, on November first be on the lookout for me in the sea of runners! You won’t miss us, as we will be wearing the BRIGHT green race singlets!

Happy Running!


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