I completed week 16 of Hal Higdon's Novice 1 marathon training program. This was the first week of tapering which is a reduction in the training load to allow me to rest my body after the last 15 weeks of progressively tougher training.
I'm maintaining a good pace for my runs, especially the shorter ones. The intensity remains the same; only the distance is reduced. I worry, like a lot of runners it seems, that I'll lose some conditioning as I cut back for three weeks but all the experts agree that this is not the case. Anyway, my key goal right now is to get to the starting line injury-free.
One of the pitfalls the experts warn about is weight gain during the taper. Many runners maintain their calorie intake that they are used to while their workouts are reducing. I'm not experiencing that so far. In fact, I've lost two pounds in the last week. This is certainly not intentional and I didn't think I have been eating less. As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm not running to lose weight. I don't want to put on too many pounds prior to the marathon but I certainly don't want to lose any more. Post marathon, I'll probably focus a bit more on bulking up a bit.
The taper continues next week with the mileage going down even more. Only two more weeks to race day.