Tapering and setting a realistic goal

I read few blog posts about tapering. To be honest, I don’t even know what that word means or how to use it correctly, but I think that is what I should try to do now. Both, taper and to use the word correctly. Marathon will be at this Sunday and I have six days to… taper?

Ok, so I’m trying to take it easy what ever the proper term is. I have understood that I should not stop running totally few weeks before the big event. I have one week left. Better rather train as I normally would, but with half effort. That’s exactly what I did today morning. Instead of running 10k, I did 5k. That was an easy decision.

I wasn’t really feeling well at all anyway, so that sounded like a good idea in the first place. Even if I would have never heard the word taper. I thought first running really easy 5k and even better, running easy 5k without GPS and HRM. That strategy I had to reject. Without my watch I feel like I’m not actually running at all. If the training gets stored only in my memory, I’m afraid it never happened. I decided that I will have my watch and HRM, but I’m not going to check the watch during the run, so it is almost like  running without the watch.

Instead of running easy 5k I ended up running tempo run at 5’33″pace. A bit faster than my marathon goal pace. Since I wasn’t feeling well at all, I was seriously thinking about my goal marathon pace once again. I was also thinking, does it really matter what have I set my goal to be. In the end, I will run as well as my current fitness level is, so does it really matter what goal I have set? I’ll start of course with certain pace, but unless I’m really stupid, I would assume, that if it feels all too fast, I would do a corrective action and slow down. Right, that’s what people normally do?

Morning 5k
Morning 5k

But then, when I did my two first marathons, my goal was set too high, and I couldn’t get even near the goal. Or is it just something I thought happened, and the end result really did not depend on my goal, but on my past physical training. Enough thinking I thought.
I stopped running after 5k about 300m to home. I checked my average HRM, and it was 158bpm which is 80% of my max HRM. I knew it, since I wasn’t feeling good at all. At least the course had 51m ascent and only 21m descent, so it wasn’t actually that bad. Still, pretty good indication of my current well-being. My nose is running and I have a bit sore throat. The usual feeling before marathon, of course. Feeling 100% healthy would be too easy.

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