Marathon week kicks off this morning. So it must be time for me stir the pot a bit. Not a single athlete that I coach is tapering over the next 6 days.
You’ll hear a hundred different runners asking a thousand different questions on how best to engage their final prep to next Sunday’s starting line. I have a three word answer for them all.
PEAK NO TAPER! This is the charge to my athletes.
Why in the world someone would want to begin a downward trend in training/performance after all the hard work they have put in is beyond me.
If you’ve done what you have been told, have prepared properly, you understand this. You don’t have the nerves and worry that one final workout or rest day will make the difference in your race. You simply continue to follow the plan knowing that your Peak Performance has been orchestrated to a T.
Sometimes those plans do go awry however and that is when it is more important than ever to listen to your Coach. (Self coached? I’ve got a lot to say about that but not today.)
I urged one athlete not to run the Boston Marathon, she did and is now on the shelf for an extended period of time. I felt strongly about my boy Walter Key not running Oklahoma City yesterday. He has had a tibial stress reaction, I knew it couldn’t end well. But Walt is a tough young salt and gave it a go anyway. He managed a hobbled 3:16, more than 30 minutes slower than goal race time.
See, this is the toughest part of being a Good Coach. Making the hard decisions for fit (or near fit) athletes that are champing at the bit to run. Most people are impressed by Luka Thor’s 31:20 10K at the Drake Relays last Thursday. Not me. Most people would applaud Matt Pohren’s courage for running the Steeplechase on Saturday at Drake. Not me. I would have held them both out for not being in race shape. I’ve worked with athletes long enough to know where they should be in late April, and due to injury (Pohren) and lack of training and racing (Thor) neither should have been in Des Moines. That takes some balls to say, but I got plenty.
Spent Friday getting the carrots and beets in the ground and fencing up to keep the critters out. And then Saturday morning helping out with a Habitat for Humanity house. Using my hands for good and charitable work.
Used my legs yesterday. 10 miles @ goal half marathon pace (modest as it is), gives me all the confidence I need that this coming Sunday I can Sneak a Peak.
The pictures are up from the Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run. How about this start line! Thanks to Justin Mollak for shooting them and uploading to flickr. I’m having “issues” with my hard drive being dangerously full and was unable to process so thanks for your patience. http://www.flickr.com/photos/teamnebraska/sets/72157633365055224/with/8685715665/