Thursday, July 14, 2011


         Now I know what your thinking (Taper Relief).......didn't that used to be an excellent way to decrease tax on property investments a few years ago? Yes, is the answer and No, as regards the contents of this blog. Firstly please bring back taper relief and secondly please may I get some relief as a result of Tapering. I'll bet you are now totally confused........well......apart from the runners of course.
            Tapering is what it says on the tin. Before a long race, you taper your excercise as the day of the race approaches, usually over a 3 week period. The reason being is that you give your muscles etc time to heal and repair before the big day. Its quite difficult to do because you feel your slacking and instinctively don't want to do it.....believing that its going to effect your overall fitness and make you slow or fat or lethargic. Also you have to increase your carbohydrate intake ( Complex carbs of course.) I am now 10 days away.........away from what you may ask?
       I know I am going to get a bit of flak on this but I have decided to run the 38 k Trail de Val D'Alloss; yes, the one where in training I took 4/5 hours to go 20 kilometres. The way I figure it is this. As you may remember the 22K cut off for this is 3.5 hours, if you don't make that they don't allow you to go any further. According to my maths I went walkabout in the first hour and so I think if I get my prep right and I hit 12 k's at near the top of the mountain in 2+ hours that gives me 1 and a bit hours to do the next 10k's.... as 4k is climbing to the summit of 2519 metres (8264 feet) and 6k is downhill. Now the accountants will think this still doesn't add up and you'd be right but I am trying to factor in that this is a race and I should go faster.....and I bought a pole!! ( yeh that should do it, me thinks). I am still pretty terrified of some parts of the course but if theres other runners around I may not feel, and act like, such a wet. Problem is there may not be other runners around because I may be at the back!!
       Just a quick mention about speed; I could normally run 22 k's in under 2 hours in a road race but in trail running its just that much harder (the mountains) and so takes a lot longer. Finally  there is of course the small matter that if I make the cut off there is still another 16k's to go .....and another mountain!.......but I guess I will have to cross that proverbial bridge when I come to it. Why I didn't choose a flatter course I don't know.
       And so back to tapering; I did do some easy runs in England over the weekend, one in the woods of Hampshire the morning after a mega party (courtesy of Sam and Jools - thanks again) and another up Box Hill in Surrey (Jane Austin country). This was  a little strange as all I could think about was Mr D'arcy comming up the hill in a horse and carriage.....or was it Emma. ( no doubt I will be corrected by my literary friends).
         Back in France  and  on the eve of Bastille Day I did a big 15 k climb which will be my last before the race though I will be doing some easier runs, sprints, tabata's, etc. (See video, it was amazing). As I came down it grew dark very quickly and some firework displays had already started, it was quite surreal ( like that scene in  Apocolypse Now with the concert in the jungle). There were thousands of people lining the sea shore watching the fireworks.......and me coming down off the mountain and trundling through the undergrowth all alone. Weird.............Still, 'I love the smell of napalm in the morning'........yep, I've completely lost the plot.

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