Friday, August 11, 2006

Micro-taper

What the hell is a micro-taper? Is it like that a little like a micro-snack where you only eat 3 cookies instead of 4 or 2 scoops instead of 3 (ice-cream of course)? Or is it just my way of easing back a tiny bit as I prepare for the weekend with 2 run/races? Thus the mileage so far this week has been 'only' 59 in 5 days of running (6 runs) instead of the planned 67. Will it make a difference? We'll see and I'm hoping.

Tuesday's run was again run at noon in the peak of our relative heat and humidity (I can hear them jeering in Arizona) but 26C is warm for us Canucks! I was lucky to get AC out with me again and he came with me for the 1st 5 miles of this relaxed run around the backroads of the town along trails, through the cemetery and some backwood paths. We started out very slowly up our very steep Station hill and did a bunch of stretches at the top before continuing. My achilles was still bugging me and AC's prognosis on this injury was not good. It's one of those slow healing tendon things and I'd better be careful not to aggrevate it with too much speedwork and hills. After looping back toward work I dropped A off and continued with the remainder of the scheduled 12 miles. At first the extra distance seemed overwhelming but before I knew it the run was over, either a senior moment or some kind of time warp... Cancelled doing the 2nd easy 4 miler because of the mini-taper deal.

Today I slept in till 6:45 and then headed out the door for an easy 6 miles. Weather conditions were to die for, calm clear with nice low sun, cool temps of 13C (55F)! The old foot was an issue once again for the 1st mile and then went away once I hit the dewy grass fairways on the golf course (again to die for ;-) Finished feeling recharged and raring for work, even but was a little late because of the slow start. Again no 2nd run due to ... you know, pseudo-taper.

Here's a little something that I've been working on since Zeke started a few posts about runner data surveys. My own data for the 14 marathons in order run is seen below and the zig-zag pattern over time is mostly due to my love-hate affair with Boston. I love to run it but Boston seems to hate me for coming! Every one of these down spikes is a Boston effort, except for my 1st marathon, and it's not for a lack of trying with the mileage.
Next is my marathon history (all 14 of them) and the WAVA age graded results plotted against average miles per week (last 12 before the marathon). This is what Zeke has been doing with our data. My statistician co-worker would say the relationship is weak and that I should stay home and drink beer instead of running. I've highlighted my worst race, Boston 2004 in the infernal heat (90F in April!) and one of my better results in KV-2005 off a reduced mileage plan that I didn't like simply because there were too few miles in it.
Curiously, there seems to be a break point for me above the 55-60 mpw with all these coming in at over 66% WAVA. Is the the data calling me to run more or is it just random variation requiring more beer and ice-cream? Nah!

Looking forward to the weekend now. It will be fun to meet Marc and to run with him and Andrew in the Calais International 5 miler. The weather is going to be perfect with cool temperatures and overcast skies forecast, especially for the marathon on Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

2 comments:

Phil said...

There are far too many variables from marathon to marathon to expect a nice linear relationship between your MPW and WAVA. Your general health, the weather, the course (up hill vs down hill vs flat), what you ate for breakfast, etc, will drive the numbers up and down. But it is clear that you've made a remarkable improvement over the past few years (Boston not withstanding) as well as a steady improvement as you've gotten older. At least you've made a steady improvement against the average person our age (it is hard to think about an "average" marathon runner when so few people relative to the entire population can pull off a good marathon). Good luck on Sunday; I'm sure your mini-taper will be eneough to allow you to enjoy the race. And thank you for your post on my blog. I appreciate the comments.

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