Sunday, 18 May 2008

The Long Taper

Week 4 of my 6 week taper for Cork is now complete and if I continue the way I am going I might just be able to walk unassisted to the start line on June 2nd. Two 6 mile runs on Tuesday and Wednesday went quite well with the tenderness in my left calf slowly disappearing. A further 2 mile on the treadmill on Thursday and I was ready for a tempo run on Friday morning. I was planning on 2 x 3 to 3.5 miles @ 06:30 pace (programme called for 2 x 4.25 miles - but I would be happy to get some fast running under my belt) unfortunately I only managed 3 fast miles (06:34, 06:31 & 06:24) before my left calf began to feel tight and I eased up on the pace and dropped the 2nd fast leg. 1,500m in the pool on Saturday and I was ready for my MP run this morning (2 miles warmup & cooldown with 13 miles @ MP). I decided that, for this run, MP would be 07:20 per mile (still well under 3:20 time) and depending on how I felt I would extend the run beyond the scheduled 17 miles. I set out with Pat, next door, who was planning on 07:40 per mile for his MP. During the early miles I felt good but both my calves felt tight and I had to stop and stretch my right calf at mile 3.5 (never had this problem before) - unfortunately I only lasted another 1.5 miles before I had to pull up with a cramp in my right calf and couldn't continue. I handed Pat my Garmin so he could record his pace/distance and for the 2nd time in the last month had to phone for a lift home. While my ITBS is still around it has now been relegated to third place as far as running injuries are concerned. Here I am peaking for a marathon and unable to do speed or endurance workouts - I think my body is telling me something - so i've no choice but to take it easy for the next two weeks and see what comes my way. To be quite honest my focus is beyond Cork at this stage and taking a month off running to recover while maintaining fitness through cycling and swimming - I think my first Tri beckons - the Little Bo Peep Olympic distance triathlon on 27th July is supposed to be easy to gain entry to. After that it's back to the next Marathon - Berlin or Dublin? Training week 22/24 - 28 Miles.


  1. That's a bummer, Grellan. Things were going so well until April. Maybe you overtrained? Get well soon, and recover.

    I'll be running Dublin, but Berlin would definitely be an interesting event, as well as a fast marathon course.

  2. It's a shame these niggling injuries are hampering your preparation. You were in great shape not long ago.

    I hope the tri is just a diversion - would hate to lose you to the dark side. I'd go with Berlin - fast course and an 'overseas' holiday!

  3. Grellan,

    I think you'll be ok on the's amazing what mental strength and neurofen can do for the body!!

    Do Cologne in October - flat, fast and beer at the finishing line - 13,000 entries and your times would get you at the front fro the start. Great carnival atmosphere with samba bands and street parties.

  4. Once you Tri, you might never go back! Honestly the cross training will help you. I just ran the Red Deer Marathon this weekend, 5 weeks after an Ironman and I ran 2:58:50. And I have all the little issues you have, especially the calves. A little rest and you'll be right as rain and good to go for Cork.

  5. Hey,

    Shame it seems to be going a bit rough of late. You've built up a huge base over the past few months so a week off won't lose that much fitness. Mentally it will a bit but your legs may just need a holiday. I wouldn't even bother with cross training but then each to their own.

    So yeah, I'd take a week down and see where you are then. It could do you the world of good - don't right off the marathon just yet.

    Best of luck.

  6. I�m sorry to hear that your ITB is still giving you grief. I remember training for a marathon, I think it was the second one I ever did, I had a problem with my right knee not tracking correctly� couldn�t run for the two weeks leading up to the race. I ran 8-k the night before figuring if I couldn�t do that I would never be able to do 42� I went on to run 3:20 (a PB at the time).

    Hang in there and if it doesn�t work out, you at least put in some great training (I don�t think you over trained).

  7. Not the calf! I think you will be safe with starting your swimming/biking now and staying off the running from now until Cork. Easier said than done, I know...

    Now, about this Tri issue. What is it about the Emerald Isle? First Thomas goes off on Ultra's and now you with the Tri. I think maybe you guys aren't getting enough Guinness. Or is it too much?