Home > goals, lessons learned, long runs, marathon, tapering, training > The power of 10 … hours of sleep that is

The power of 10 … hours of sleep that is

October 22, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I think in yesterday’s post I was blaming myself for things beyond my control. I was mad for yesterday’s run not feeling like the majority of my runs have in the past few months. Plus I was tired … and I think that was my biggest issue of all. Yesterday evening, I took a nap for about an hour. Then last night I slept for about 10 hours. Mark this down as a lesson learned without having to hurt myself — had I kept going yesterday, who knows what would have happened.

So today around 5 p.m., my wife and I headed to a nearby park with our dog (that’s him in the photo!). Instead of the short walk before my run, I took a longer walk to get warmed up — probably a little more than a mile. Then, the run. I started slow just to make sure my knees weren’t turning old on me. Two miles in, things were fine. I kept the first four miles or so off road on the relatively flat trails. Half way through I was feeling great. No pains, no issues with the late-day still-too-hot-for-October weather … my only complaint would be that my iPod was enjoying playing Bush songs I’ve already heard this week. I ended up running 10 miles in 10 seconds less than 1:30. Compare that to yesterday’s first 10 that I did in 1:37, plus another 9:30 pace mile. For the weekend, I did 21 miles. Although my 20 miler didn’t come in one attempt, I did accomplish a first in my running career — two double digit runs in consecutive days. Also this weekend, I passed 100 miles for the month, which is about 20 more than where I was at this point last month. While I was feeling down yesterday, I’m feeling much better tonight. It’s funny what a good night’s sleep can do for the body.

So, now what? It’s time for the taper. A lot of people have a lot to say about tapering — when doing a Google search for tapering and running, 2 million items come up. Nobody is right; nobody is wrong, either. For people like me, running in that 30-40 miles per week range, it seems there’s not much of a need to drastically cut back until the week of, but some cutting back needs to happen. Then there’s the ton of people who run 40-60 miles a week … then you have the 100-plus miles a week runner.

There are too many different types of runners out there to develop a perfect plan and not enough research for so-called experts to really know what is right. I have now had five consecutive 30-plus mile weeks since my mid-September move. Based on what I’ve read, what I’ve been told and what I’ve done with the two shorter races I’ve trained for, next week’s plan is 29 miles with a long run of 14. I may alter some things during the week and shorten the long run just a bit, but I still plan to be in the double digits. The following week, my target mileage is 24 miles, with my long run being 8 miles. And the week of the marathon? I’ll wait and see how I feel, but basically I’m planning 10 miles or less.

I’m excited that taper time is here and I can use some reasonable excuses now to rest up. There have been some mornings that I just don’t feel like dragging myself out of bed, but I do it anyway. Now I won’t feel so bad if I sleep just a tad longer and run a mile less. There’s a lot of reflecting I’d love to do, but now is still not the time. It is not time too look at how far I’ve come since the spring. There’s a marathon to focus on — I haven’t accomplished anything until I cross the finish line.

  1. Amy
    October 23, 2007 at 3:01 am

    Enjoy the taper and milk it for all the hours of sleep and recharge you can get. You will cross the finish, and until then, I would say that you have accomplished a heck of a lot. Take care,

  2. Christine
    October 24, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Hey David–I stumbled on your blog and wanted to say hello and good luck with your first marathon! I’ve been enjoying reading about your runs as I have been going through a lot of the same things, although on a smaller scale. I took up running about 15 months ago and did my first half at Shamrock back in March. I’m doing another one in November–OBX. Maybe one of these days I’ll decide to do a full one! Best wishes, and enjoy your taper period!

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