Whippet Wisdom: Tips from the Coaches

10/8/15: NYC Marathon: The Last Long Run

Well, here it is. The last long run.  Three months ago, you looked at the schedule and thought, “What did I get myself into?!”  Now you look at the schedule and think, “I can’t believe the race is almost here!”

Coming from a retail background, I am a firm believer in the statement ‘if one person asks you a question, ten people are thinking the same thing.’  With that in mind, a question several folks have asked is, “how far should I run this weekend?”  The Whippet plan features a 20-mile progression run meaning the last few miles should be at marathon pace.

If you feel uncomfortable turning this into a progression run this close to race day then maintain easy run pace (marathon pace +45-to-60 seconds per mile). Additionally, you should weigh any potential injuries/ aches/ pains you may be feeling and weigh any potential loss of fitness against getting to the starting line healthy since most of the heavy training has been completed.  However, your goal should be 20 miles.

Over the past two months, you’ve done 20+ miles runs, long marathon-paced workouts, and even casual running and cross-training. Beginning your taper three weeks before the race can result in loss of fitness gained during this period.  The science behind a 20-mile run just two weeks before the marathon is rooted in the preservation of the fitness gained.

While this article focuses on athletes who took time off from exercising completely (i.e. not working out at all), this point resonated heavily with me: “The initial drop off in fitness was fairly quick: after 12 days, levels of enzymes in the blood associated with endurance performance had decreased by 50%, and VO2 max had dropped by 7%.” Our goal is that a 20-mile run this weekend will prevent any loss in fitness gained and the final two weeks can be used to recover.

With that in mind, FRNY is hosting their Blue Line on Sunday 10/18 which runs the final 20 miles of the marathon course.  It’s a terrific way to preview the course one final time.  It begins in Prospect Park, Brooklyn at 8am.  More information can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/dashing-whippets/events/225752024/. Please remember to select “yes” on the Meetup site and fill in the google doc provided by Frontrunners.

As always, we’re here to help so let us know if you have any questions.  Have a great week!

More about Matt

Matt co-founder of the Dashing Whippets with Rich since May 2009. Matt has been running since joining his high school cross country team his sophomore year. Since being with the team, Matt has completed 3 marathons with a 2:57:24 PR at the 2013 Boston Marathon and many other races, including a 4:48 mile at the 2015 Fifth Avenue Mile and a 1:18:53 half marathon in the 2014 NYC Half Marathon. Matt lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with his wife and twin daughters. Read more at Board of Directors

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