Have had a pretty solid last 2 weeks of training; and, now have just under two weeks to go until the Austin 3M Half Marathon (13.1 on 1.13). Weekly mileage for those weeks was 50 and 54 (Hit 229 miles for October - which is my biggest month in over 2 years).
For this build-up, followed some of the principles of the Hanson Brothers marathon training program. A big part of their philosophy is the concept of cumulative fatigue. Their mileage is a bit lower than some programs; and, the quality sessions are applied in a bit different structure. But, in the end, the goal is to get your body prepared to deal with the fatigue that is experienced during a long race. The training build up is intended to induce progressive, positive stress your physiological systems. Then, as you hit the taper point, your body is able to rest and you, in theory, are ready to make maximum use of your these physiological adaptations on race day.
If the theory is valid, then I'm hopeful that I've planned things correctly. I can tell you that I did feel the effects of the cumulative fatigue in these last two weeks. I as a bit more tired than I had been through the rest of the training cycle. And, I felt a wee bit "flat" during my last couple of hard workouts. But, that being said, I did get in my longest run in well over 2 years with a very solid 16 miler last week.
For hard workouts, I was able to do a 3 X 1 mile at 5K race pace; a 6-mile tempo run; 2 X 2-miles at 10K pace; and, a 10 miler with the last 4 miles at Marathon pace. All, in all, not a bad set of workouts. And, pretty much all were right within my workout goals and overall schedule.
On top of that, I have been able to get my weight down to the level where I have historically felt the best from a racing perspective (between 135 and 137 pounds). It was tough to manage over the holidays; but, it looks like I put on maybe a pound at the most - not really worried about that.
In the end, I've pretty done all that I can to be prepared for Austin. Now it's taper time. The mileage has already stared to drop. Have a couple of up-quality workouts to keep the neuro-muscular patterns engaged and active; but, nothing of major significance. It's really more about resting and some mental preparation.
So, here's too hoping for the best. If you're interested in following the conclusion of my journey, I do hope to post some regular entries in the last couple of days leading up to the run and some post race thoughts.
Till then............................see you on the roads, tracks and trails.
The Muddy Buzzard