Amsterdam Marathon Taper Tantrums

Aagh only 13 days to go before the Amsterdam marathon 😨🎽🏃 and it's taper time.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling stressed. I had followed the Stryd training plan but somehow I didn't feel ready to run this beast. Long runs were very tiring, speed work exhausting and marathon pace felt more like my 10km pace. I had doubts all the time and that usual question of "how can I run THAT fast for THAT long"?

Then bingo, I decided to do a club run just to be sociable. I had avoided them the last month or so as it kind of just didn't fit in with my training. Plus they were always faster than I wanted them to be. This particular run was still fast, in fact even faster than usual, but somehow I felt good. In fact I felt like I was flying. Yes I was tired at the end of the hour but it was such a mental boost to hear people say that I had run really well and that I had improved a lot.

So the last couple of weeks, I have felt great and I was hitting the targets in training. Whether that was from the mental boost or whether I was running well, who knows.

That was until a couple of days ago when things went downhill again. 😔

My heart rate has been higher than usual when I wake up and somehow I just feel tired and sluggish. Mental doubts have started creeping in again. "Have I overdone the training?", "Is that calf pain an injury?", "I just can't hold this pace for more than an hour"

I'm not sure why I am back down to lack of confidence and I am frustrated as self doubt is always my downfall in a race.

Yesterday was my last long run. Total of 26km with 13km at marathon pace. I ended up doing 27km (running and maths don't go well together) but only did 11km at marathon pace as my calves started to cramp and I started getting dizzy. For hecks sake, I haven't got my nutrition sorted well enough and it's nearly D-Day! Mind you I did only eat a banana before heading out but I did have Tailwind in my hydration pack and I munched through 2 energy bars and a caffeine sweet in the second half of the run so theoretically I should have been OK.

Today, one of my calves still feels tender but thankfully it is a rest day so I'm cleaning the house , hahaha.

One of my biggest stresses at the moment is what pace to run the marathon at. Actually in my case, it is what POWER to run the marathon at. I will be running with a Stryd footpod (review from my website), so power will be the main factor. Using all the calculator tools and seeking advice from the gurus on their Facebook page, I have been told to run at a power of 147watts ( that might not mean anything to you!). If I ran that power throughout the marathon, it would bring me in at a time of 4:05 - 4:08. DISAPPOINTMENT! I want to break 4 hours!!

Now I am struggling to decided whether I should sneak in a few extra watts, but then my head is telling me that could well be a disaster. Apparently for every minute you go too fast in the first half, you loose 2 minutes in the second half.

If I put my rational hat on, I guess at the end of the day I just want to get to the starting line and to finish the marathon without any disasters. I've just written down and changed (for the umpteenth time) my plan/objectives. So here goes and in order of preference:

  1. Get to the starting line uninjured and not sick.
  2. Cross the finish line (preferably uninjured).
  3. Stick to my Stryd Power plan.
  4. Beat my disastrous marathon time in Nice 2018. My second marathon. 4:13:40
  5. Beat my PB in the Empuries marathon in 2015. It was my fist marathon :). 4:12
  6. Break 4 hours.

So I'm now going back to finish cleaning the house and I'm going to give myself a good talking to.

Speak again soon.

PS Someone please remind me to stick to my plan.