I know that I said that I would never include traning advice in this blog but I am going to cut-and-paste a note that I wrote recently to a friend re: tapering for the upcoming Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run. I should be forgiven for not keeping my word on this because: 1. noone wants my opinion anyway and so this one will go unused, and; 2. Sometimes I don't keep my word; this is one of those times.
Here is the note. I may or may not have changed the identity of my friend to protect her privacy.
Dear Terri Lemke of Loudonville, Ohio,
Thank you for writing to me and specifically asking my opinion regarding tapering. Thank you, also, for insisting that I go on at great length about this important subject!
Tired legs are one thing, but...
Really truly what we are doing in a 100 mile run is processing a slow trickle of poison for hours and hours. This is a tremendous stressor on our endocrine system (kidneys, liver, adrenal glands, spleen). The endocrine system adjusts chemicals so that we can digest food, maintain blood pressure, have an even level of electrolytes. Running 100 miles is really all about the endocrine system. When is the last time your heard of a runner dropping out due to being "tired" or having "sore legs"....almost never!!! Instead you hear of people becoming nauseous, hypothermic, overheating, becoming confused or disoriented.....these things are signs that the ENDOCRINE SYSTEM isn't operating well...signs that it has gone haywire.
You have got to go into 100 miles with a few weeks of having not been exhausted, or dehydrated, or suffering electrolyte imbalances etc. In other words your endocrine sytem needs 3 weeks of near total peace and quiet.....so even if your legs feel good you have to taper.
If you are doing Mohican you need to REST NOW!!! And I mean 50 miles this week, 40 next week, and 10-15 in the week before the race. No more runs over 20 miles and only 2-3 more runs of 10 miles or more. I know you will be climbing out of your skin and you might gain a pound or two but this is what you should do.
I will write more later regarding my opinion on that investment you made recently in the factory that makes solar powered flashlights.
All my best, --Mark