Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Week 8 – The Final week!
Congratulations for making it through your training program to this last week. With the run/walk at Kalaw now only 1 week away it’s time to ease back on your training and allow your muscles and body to recover to some extent, in preparation for the event on Sunday.
There’s a famous quote by a well known runner that goes - “If you can’t run/walk as fast as you want to, you haven’t rested enough?” There is a lot of truth to this saying. The main thing right before a race is recovery. Seems odd doesn’t it to be talking about recovery before you’ve even tackled that first hill in Kalaw. Tapering refers to lowering your training and replenishing your energy stores. In order to perform at your best, cutting back and reducing your training and allowing your body to fully recover, can really make a difference in your performance on the actual day.
It really does sounds counterintuitive, right? For me, like many others, this ‘forced period of rest’ often makes me feel uneasy and often fills me with some self-doubt. We would think that if we want to perform better we should be practicing hard and going strong until race day. But, really think about it, whether you’re training for a marathon or a first time runner/walker about to tackle the trails in Kalaw, you’ve spent the last 10-18 weeks pushing your body to new extremes, and this recovery period is essential.
Think of tapering as a longer recovery. We all know about taking rest days and days off from training when we are tired and fatigued from working a particular muscle group really intensely. Your KTR Training Program over the last 8 weeks has included these very deliberately– but have you ever tried tapering for a race? Maybe even unconsciously and just because it felt right on your training journey? Cutting back the amount of miles run/walked this week is going to be crucial to your overall performance on Sunday 8th December.
Tapering and reducing training volumes does not mean you should just put your feet up and stop working out. The tricky part about tapering is not to lose the fitness and pace endurance you have built up. The best way to avoid this is by reducing your mileage and focusing on short and intense workout sessions.
In the last week.
Another important part of the Taper week is to ensure you get plenty of sleep in the days leading up to the KTR, and if possible, try to schedule an easy week at work. Make sure you eat well, some extra carbs won’t go astray during the 3-4 days before the event, and make sure you remain well hydrated.
Your Training Program for this last important week reflects this idea of less training and more rest. If you follow this and the advice above, you should be well prepared to complete the 12km event successfully.
Race Week Preparation
We’ve talked a bit about the importance of tapering – resting and gathering energy, but it’s probably worthwhile briefly talking about ensuring you are organised for your event. Competing in a race requires some planning and organisation so that you can produce your best performance, rather than suddenly discover that you forgot to pack your running shoes or perhaps another key item of clothing. Use your extra free time in the final week to plan and prepare for your big day. This is even more important given the fact that you will be no doubt travelling to Kalaw the day before. There’s no making the mad dash back home to get your running singlet! To make sure that your race goes without a hitch, follow our tips below:
1. Assemble and check all your kit early on in the final week.
2. Don't experiment with new kit items on race day, stick with tried, trusted and broken in items so that you avoid any unplanned chafing problems.
3. Eat your usual meals on race day, just as if it was a normal training run. Now is not the time to experiment with new energy drinks!
4. Take a box of 'emergency items' such as spare laces and a couple of old T-shirts, or even a hat, in case the weather is poor or cold whilst you are warming up.
5. Check over the race organiser's instructions and route descriptions so that you are familiar with all arrangements.
6. Arrive at the race venue early – Heritage Hotel. It may only be 5 minutes away from where you are staying, and we know that there is not much traffic in Kalaw, BUT, by arriving early, you can settle in and check out the start and finish and warm up, all of which will give you the best chance of enjoying your race experience.
You have come to the end of your KTR Training Program, and your fitness has improved dramatically perhaps from little or no cardiovascular (CV) activity, to being able to complete a 12k event. You will have made significant health and fitness gains, and equally importantly, we hope you have progressed safely. By maintaining your training, you will be making a major contribution to your long-term health and fitness, and this 8 week program can also serve as a foundation and springboard to increase your fitness levels even further. Now you’ve completed your race, you may be tempted to step up and try to improve your finishing time. Enjoy your training