Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New taper strategy - easy runs

In recent weeks I've heard a lot about how volume training can be more important than speed work. People I know advocate running longer distances 2-3 minutes slower than race pace. I've started adding more length to my weekend runs because I have more available time on those days. With this change, my weekly average has exceeded 20 miles since August. I only have enough time to run about 2.5 miles during my weekday 4:00 AM workouts so almost 2/3 of my distance is achieved over the weekend. I try to get in 8+ mile runs whenever possible. An article in the current issue of Trailrunner Magazine says that "Runners often perform workouts at speeds that are too fast to obtain the desired result." They advocate slow running saying "Remember that it is the volume of aerobic running, not the speed, that represents major stimulus for adaptation."

I know I enjoy a run more when I am able to hold a conversation or observe the sights, sounds and smells of fall running without constantly peeking at my Garmin to ensure that my pace is on track. I'm planning a lunchtime run with JQ today. The timing is perfect because we'll run at a comfortable pace that will work for my taper. In the past I've focused on more intense running for the workouts leading to a weekend race. I'm going the other way this week and hoping that these easy runs will provide a race day benefit that's greater than what I get from speed workouts.

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