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How Long to Taper? (Read 219 times)

Julia1971


    If you are currently tapering or about to start your taper, I suggest you stop reading here and forget this thread exists until after your marathon.  Peace.

     

    I know I can read various opinions about the ideal length of a taper.  But, I'm thinking of cutting my 3-week taper down to two-ish and am curious what the most popular practice is for RAers.  What do you think is the right amount of tapering for you?

    Run the mile you are in.

    Jeff F


    Free Beer

      I usually do three but have done two in the past; it depends upon the intensity of my training program and what my goal is.  My next marathon, later this spring, will be two weeks due to my schedule.  I usually like to make my last long run a 20 miler and my schedule will not work 3 weeks out so it will have to be 2 this time.

        I voted for 2 weeks, though I think it's more important how you define a taper than whether it's 2 or 3 weeks. I think a lot of people taper way too severely--you'll see a lot of logs on here where people basically quit running for 2 or 3 weeks before their marathon. That's NOT how to do it.

         

        In general the more you are running, the more you will benefit from tapering and the less you are running the less you will benefit. I tend to think that an hour a day average is the minimum needed to maintain fitness, so I try to aim to be at about an hour a day average for the last week before the marathon.

         

        For me...the 3rd week out (the week that ends 2 weeks before the marathon) is a normal marathon training week, except for maybe a slightly shorter long run that Sunday. The 2nd week out (the week that ends 1 week before) is about 75% of the mileage of a normal week, and then race week I do about 40 miles in the 6 days before the marathon (so about 65-66 miles for that week, including the marathon.)

         

        Look at October of 2008 in my log for what I consider my best marathon taper ever. It was the one year I actually did it almost exactly as planned with no life interruptions.

         

        Also, people can absolutely benefit from tapering for goal races shorter than a marathon but generally the taper is only about 3-4 days. If you'be been keeping a pretty strict hard/easy pattern, just skipping a hard workout and making it an easy so you wind up with 3 or 4 easy days in a row can give you a HUGE recovery boost without dropping mileage much if at all.

         

        And, really nice block of training you have going, Julia. You are crushing it.

        Runners run.

        zonykel


          So according to the poll you taper only if you run marathons?


          No more marathons

            So according to the poll you taper only if you run marathons?

             

            Good point - before I started my recent bout of marathon madness when I had a particular 5K or 10K that I wanted to peak for I would do an intentional taper during the week of.

            Julia1971


              So according to the poll you taper only if you run marathons?

               

              No, but I probably should have clarified I was specifically talking about tapering for marathons.  (And, the other flaw with the poll is that I did not define taper).

              Run the mile you are in.

                I think most people over taper. I see these marathon training plans for runners doing a marathon for first time or just need a plan and they group everyone together. #1 they shouldn't be doing 20 mile training runs when they are out there nearly 4 hours for a training run. #2 Just when they are increasing their fitness they are shutting down miles 3-4 weeks before the event. These low mileage runners can't afford to taper that long unless of course they are beat up so much from doing all the 20 mile runs in training. Irritates me when I see these plan designed for "everyone". I understand people need some structure but have 2 types of plans - one for beginner type runners and one for runners who are already fit, have done a marathon or two and have built up miles over months or years.

                Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                  10 days is abut right.

                  Julia1971


                    I voted for 2 weeks, though I think it's more important how you define a taper than whether it's 2 or 3 weeks. I think a lot of people taper way too severely--you'll see a lot of logs on here where people basically quit running for 2 or 3 weeks before their marathon. That's NOT how to do it.

                     

                    In general the more you are running, the more you will benefit from tapering and the less you are running the less you will benefit. I tend to think that an hour a day average is the minimum needed to maintain fitness, so I try to aim to be at about an hour a day average for the last week before the marathon.

                     

                    For me...the 3rd week out (the week that ends 2 weeks before the marathon) is a normal marathon training week, except for maybe a slightly shorter long run that Sunday. The 2nd week out (the week that ends 1 week before) is about 75% of the mileage of a normal week, and then race week I do about 40 miles in the 6 days before the marathon (so about 65-66 miles for that week, including the marathon.)

                     

                    Look at October of 2008 in my log for what I consider my best marathon taper ever. It was the one year I actually did it almost exactly as planned with no life interruptions.

                     

                    Also, people can absolutely benefit from tapering for goal races shorter than a marathon but generally the taper is only about 3-4 days. If you'be been keeping a pretty strict hard/easy pattern, just skipping a hard workout and making it an easy so you wind up with 3 or 4 easy days in a row can give you a HUGE recovery boost without dropping mileage much if at all.

                     

                    And, really nice block of training you have going, Julia. You are crushing it.

                     

                     

                     

                    Thanks! I have a 10K in a couple weeks and am hoping to see the hard work pay off. And, I appreciate your insight on the taper. I thought that Ravens comment during the playoffs was going to make me dead to you.

                    Run the mile you are in.

                        I thought that Ravens comment during the playoffs was going to make me dead to you.

                       

                      Hah, no I won't hold that against you. I'm over the Patriots loss. Really. I am.

                      Runners run.