Taper Your Robie Creek Training Program – a Strategic Plan



Race Week and Race Day Strategies

We outline here a two week taper for the Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon. This plan was developed for you by 5-time Robie Champ Mike Carlson, and edited by Coach Steve. This plan presented the dates between April 1st and Race Day. As always, your actual plan is based on experimentation and the decisions you make over the 14-week training program with BOISE RunWalk.

2 Weeks prior to Race Day

* Get plenty of rest prior to your longest/hardest training run of the season.

* Minimum of 2 easy days between scheduled workouts during this second-to-last week prior to Robie. Have a minimum of two rest days between each weekday run.

1 Week to Race Day

* No down hills or minimal down hills on your last “long” prior to race day. Based upon personal experience especially one week out, no down hills, no hard running. Have a minimum of two rest days between each weekday run.

NUTRITION - What to eat and drink?

During the last few days before the race, stay away from fried or greasy foods, and reduce your consumption of red meat and large amounts of protein-heavy foods. Remember, these are nutritional recommendations for individuals who have been experimenting all season with what works best for you.


If you want to incorporate caffeine into your race-day performance strategy, implement a significant reduction of caffeine beginning 21 days prior to your race day, where the last 10 days prior to race, you are taking in minimal caffeine. On race day, athletes using this caffeine as a performance enhancement will take a dosage of caffeine at strategic points during the race. Consult your coach and/or doctor for ideas on dosage and timing.


avoid entirely in the days leading up to race day. 


During the last few days before the race, you need 1/2 of your body weight (lbs) in ounces per day if you don’t run, more if you do. Example: Sally weights 140lbs, and she will consume 70oz of water during the last 3-4 days prior to the race.


During the last few days before the race, add sports drinks with electrolytes to your intake of water. Some athletes add salts when the weather temperatures are expected to be high and the race distances long. Experimentation and experience determines what works best with you.


Carbohydrate-rich foods (complex carbohydrates) are best the last several days. Iron-rich food items other than red meat the last few days. 


Drink 4-8 ounces water and/or a Sports drink (carbohydrate/electrolytes) every 15-20 minutes depending on the conditions and prior experimentation. Consume calories on a plan: 30-60 grams of carbohydrates every hour after the first hour, or approximately 100-120 calories. Remember to read the instructions that come with every commercial products used by athletes. For example GU which comes in 100 calorie packets directed to be used every 45 minutes during a long distance endurance event.


The Noon Start of Robie means higher temperatures, and the question of when to eat your breakfast/brunch/lunch? Run several of your runs the two weeks prior during the warmest part of a day.  It takes about 10 days to acclimate to warm weather. Eat a normal race-day breakfast 3-4 hours before the start on race day. Supplement with high-glycemic carbs during the hour prior.


Consider stretch thoroughly the last few days (including the morning of the race).


Hydrate with about 20 ounces of water about 2 hours before the race, with the plan of having an empty bladder at the race start.


The last two weeks is not the time to experiment. Don’t try anything new the last few days (foods, supplements, stretches, etc.) Stick to your plan.


APPAREL What to wear? Wear synthetics… the same items you’ve worn all season. SHOES: If you have new shoes, try to have at least 40-50 miles on them prior to race day. And probably, no more than about 300 miles on your race day shoes. PRE-RACE: Arrive to the start in plenty of time to avoid last minute rushing and unnecessary stress.  Allow time for a 5-10 minute warm up that is completed about 5 minutes before the race start. Drink some water (maybe 8 ounces within 20 minutes of the start). Be sure to allow time for any last minute bowel/bladder needs to be accommodated. Stretch while standing in the crowd the last few minutes before the start. Place yourself according to your ability in the starting field.

RACE EVENT - During the race: Negative split -  the second half of your race can be faster than the first.
Start at a pace you can maintain for the entire race distance.  If it feels too easy, then you’re probably running about the right pace.  Note that nary a runner or walker has completed Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon at a faster pace than their best marathon. Drink at every aid station or 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes, depending on the temperature and humidity.

On the uphill, run with near vertical posture. minimal forward lean. Go over the top of Aldape Summit slowly, and gradually ease into the faster, steeper, downhill… 4.7 miles to go downhill!. Bring your heels up nearer to your rear and keep your stride relatively short on the downhill.  Run perpendicular to the ground.  Don’t lean back and brake! Learn to belly-breathe before race day so you can minimize your chances of getting a side stitch on the downhill.

Save your inner-most emotions and strength and athletic prowess for the relative flat 1.25 miles to the finish line.  You can pass other runners here (“road kill”) if you haven’t run too hard during the first 3.45 miles of steeper road after Aldape Summit.

Celebration and dance likes it’s 1999! But wait, there’s still some strategy remaining…
Drink a minimum 20 ounces of a carbohydrate and/or electrolyte replacement drink within the first 30 minutes after finishing, prior to your beer. Get some food  into your system so your body can immediately begin the recovery repair and glycogen replenishment process it craves.  Take care of your body ASAP following the race… within 30 minutes. Massage? Yes! Light and easy. Change out of those wet clothes, and dress warmly. Excess beer will delay your recovery. Stay out of hot tubs and warm baths for the first few days. Ice and/or cold water is totally better… within 60 minutes of race completion. Sit in the creek! And don’t plan on running for again for several days. No big race performances for a month following.


Contact Boise RunWalk today!

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