Yes, I have big race coming up. Yes, I am tapering. So what to do on a Tuesday before the big race??? How about a little bit of speedwork!!
I know the philosophy is to keep the intensity of the runs going into the race while scaling back on the overall number of miles being ran. In short, go run hard, but not long.
But this close to the race? I buy into the run hard, not long philosophy, but only so close to a race. Generally a week before a race (marathon or ultra), I stay off my feet as much as possible. Ask my beloved wife, who knows the grass rarely gets mowed a week prior to a race, there is no browsing at stores or window shopping at a mall; I play baseball with the kids from my chaise lounger, and there is a noticeable increase in my Wii time.
So today's run goes against what I've generally done in the past about tapering the week before a race.
The workout was 8 x 2 minute at threshold pace (6:45) with 1 minute recovery. Today, these went easy, in fact, these were really easy. I ended up going quite a bit faster - 6:20's for the first few and really had to watch my pace to slow down for those two minutes. For my cool down, I ran 1.5 miles at a 7:45 pace, which was feeling like the effort of a 8:45 pace. Overall, this was 6 mile run with 3 miles at a fast pace.
This is very good. A great mental boost with a few days until the big race. Like I said, this goes against what I normally do for an ultra race, but than again, I don't normally run a 50 mile race.