If you plan to participate in the Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon or four-person relay of about 10K per leg on Dec. 2, you are probably already deep in training for it.
The last four weeks are often the most challenging as the training load peaks before you enter the taper phase. Sometimes less is more. Once your last long run is out of the way, it’s just about getting to the start line injury free, fresh legged and raring to go. It’s easy to push too hard during taper. The goal is to finish each session feeling like you worked out, but you could have done more — and probably wanted to!
If your training didn’t go quite as planned then you might not be in shape for a personal best, but just getting to the finish line is a great achievement.
If there’s half a chance you can run a personal best, then your job now is to convert that half chance into a whole chance and make it happen. The stars are rarely perfectly aligned and this might be your best chance or only chance.
If you’re not ready to run the whole distance, a good tactic to consider is to follow a preset run/walk pattern such as run one mile then walk for one minute. Many runners are loath to walk because it can be hard to get going again. But when your walks are a fast pace at planned intervals and you stick to the schedule, you won’t lose that much time and the physical payoff can be huge. Even 100 steps walking every mile or half mile can be enough to reset the body and stop those little niggles from building into injuries.
If your training didn’t get going at all, then this is a good time to take stock and be conscious of how bad it feels to be missing out and start training for other events in the New Year. To go “from couch to 5K” is possible in 12 weeks and early February always brings one of the best events on Grand Cayman — the Cross Island Relay with teams of six running about four miles each.
Tony Watts is a 50-something-year-old fitness fan who teaches cardiovascular and weight/resistance training classes at gyms on Grand Cayman.