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Downtime leads to taper crazies

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 11, 2012 07:18 PM

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100robin_nichols2.jpg Robin Nichols is one of five Boston Marathon entrants testing the Polar RCX5 personal training computer and blogging about it for Boston.com
Here we are, less than one week to go until the big day. Since I qualified for Boston 15 months in advance of the race, I never thought the day would come that I would get to actually run it.

My training cycle had its ups and downs. Thankfully, Mother Nature decided to be easy on us and give us a nice winter. Last year I spent the winter on the treadmill. This year, I barely had to do any runs inside. I did many long runs on Bostonís course and should be as mentally prepared as possible for the Newton hills.

The downs are whatís causing me my taper crazies ... Back in March, I developed shin splints while on an 18 mile training run. The run was amazing while I was out there, but as soon as I stopped moving, my calf/shin seized up. I was only 7 weeks from Boston and knew that if I was going to make it to Hopkinton, I needed a break. I took 11 days off of running. Normally, I would have experimented with my legs to see if I needed a break, but I had no time. My leg feels perfect now, but 11 days off of training. This was not how I wanted to train for Boston.

robin_nichols_blog.jpgThe weather forecast is also driving me crazy this week. I know you canít predict the weather this far in advance, but 75 degrees?! That is perfect spectating weather, but not the greatest for running hard. I am trying to not let it bother me. If the warm temperatures do decide to visit us on Monday, I will just adjust my goal to finishing with a smile.

In order to run a smart race, I plan on using the heart rate information that I have gathered from training with my Polar RCX5. I am going to let my body tell me if I am working too hard. Since experimenting with the Polar, I now know what a comfortable heart rate is and I plan on hitting that if the conditions are not right for a hard effort run. I am so thankful to Boston.com and Polar for allowing me to test out this training tool and canít wait to use it even more in the future.

No matter what, I have no control over what has happened or what the day may bring. What I do have control over is enjoying every moment of my first Boston Marathon. I canít wait to wear the medal and jacket with pride. Please check out my blog next week for a recap of how my day went!

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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