We are in the final stretch of training with less than 2 weeks to the marathon. This week we began tapering our training. We are meant to be running as little as possible with keeping out level of fitness.
This week was a very lazy week for me, and due to my laziness, being a bit burned out I think as well, some bad weather, and some bad scheduling, I did not run at all. Since last Friday's disaster of a run. Until today.
Today was a 24km run. We ran from HaShoshan up and down to Road 10, right across to the 375, out to Tzomet Ha'Ela, back across via the killer Zachariya hill on the Highway 38 to Bet Shemesh Darom, up and back to HaShoshan. 24km.
We ran this one later than we generally have run throughout the training. We started a bit after 8am for the purpose of getting our bodies used to running at the same time of day as the marathon will be.
The run was a good one, and I felt good. It was meant to be an easy paced run, with an 8-10km tempo at marathon pace in the middle. I took it easy and averaged 6:06/km for the whole 24km. My tempo pace was an average of about 5:30/km, which is pretty close to what I expect to run in the marathon. Even by the tempo I did not run as fast as I could have - I was more worried about the wet roads from the recent rains, and also concerned about pulling a muscle or twisting an ankle or something so close to the marathon after not having run for a full week. So I took it nice and easy.
Also, I used this run to breakke in a new pair of sneakers for the marathon. The old pair are officially "used up". I logged about 600km in them, and that is the limit for real running. You want to have shoes that still have the padding and cushioning, and all the technology in the heels and soles still fresh when running the marathon. 500-700 km is about the limit for that. So I got new shoes for the marathon, and broke them in today to make sure there would be no problems with them.
It is funny we call them "used up". They are really still in good shape. I can use them for running in general, I think, but for the marathon they are considered dead.
This coming week is our final full training week (still in taper mode). We conclude it with the traditional Long Run to Dir Rafat on Friday morning, concluding with a breakfast in the coach's house.