|My run today took me along this stretch|
of the Central Coast Highway
The first is going into a race with confidence that you are in good shape. This means an absence of injuries, a feeling of freshness, and the knowledge that your preparation has been good.
The second mental challenge can be tapering sufficiently, something I find difficult. I don't think I can recall, in fifty years of racing, ever feeling during post-race analysis that I had tapered too much. On the other hand, there have been plenty of times I have wondered whether I was over-trained or not sufficiently rested, when disappointed with a result.
Like many regular runners, I feel guilty when I cut back my training and worry that I will lose condition and put on weight. My rational self tells me that I could probably not train at all for two weeks before a race and still do well, but I don't think I could cope mentally with such a strategy. However, I do know that I need to ease up more than I do.
With eleven days to go to the Central Coast Half Marathon, I'm tired and over-trained. I ran 16km this morning and although my legs felt strong, they also felt very tired, particularly on the climbs. My pace was OK, but I need to work to retain that feeling of strength and lose that fatigue. I tell runners I mentor that two weeks out from a marathon they should run 75% of the usual distance with 75% of the usual intensity, and for the last week, 50% of distance and intensity. I met the distance goal today, but not the intensity goal. I need to me more disciplined.