Marathon Training and Discussions

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Tapering 101...make that 102 (Read 684 times)


Go Pre!

    So, I am just under 4 weeks away for marathon no. 3 - was wondering what everyone's current thinking is on tapering. Any veterans (Blaine?) that can share what has worked best for them would be appreciated. Recent reading and googling leads to much contradiction so I would love to hear from you to help meld this wealth of information together Wink Dave


    Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

      Maximum recovery from a tough training schedule with minimal loss of fitness is the goal. I usually taper for 2 to 3 weeks which will involve a reduction in mileage (mostly by shortening the long run and maybe one mid-week run) but will keep some up-tempo speed work just with lower volume. Ideally, for a Sunday marathon, I try to get my last speed work in on the Tuesday before hand, with a few 800m-1km repeats at race pace with 150% recovery - for example, I might do 3x800m @ 3:00 w/4:30 recovery. This race is a little strange since I got my cough back that I caught in Atlanta these past few weeks so my mileage has been a bit wacky, and I will probably do at most 2 600m repeats on Thursday with the group I'm coaching. I may just do the warm up and cool down, though, depending upon how I feel. I was so exhausted from Boston and from getting my cough back that I didn't get a good tempo run or repeats in last week during the week, so I did 10.5 @ 6:37 pace average for my workout last Saturday. (I needed to try some new shoes to see if I want to race in them this weekend.) Normally, leading up to a race, I fly or drive in on Friday so I take that off and then do a few miles Saturday and race on Sunday. I'll be driving down to Providence this weekend on Saturday so I'll need to get a few miles in once I get down there to stretch out. I also try to make sure I eat as much as usual during this week before the race despite not running as much (which feels like eating too much since my appetite is directly proportional to my miles run.) That allows me to load up on carbohydrates and have max muscle glycogen available, and also causes me to gain a few pounds since that extra glycogen storage will carry 3 times its weight in water which will help me with staying hydrated in the early parts of the race.

      Run to Win
      24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)




      Go Pre!

        TRhx Blaine. Some of the reading I have done lately Ilike. Runners World had an article on not such a big taper. 2 Weeks and only slight decrease in mileage - basically, I don;t want to feel like running is foreign to me on race day. I am also enjoying running more than ever. Feeling good and getting faster with what seems like less effort. Knock on wood!


        Future running partner.

          Here is the article you are referring to. http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244--12123-2-1-2,00.html
            TRhx Blaine. Some of the reading I have done lately Ilike. Runners World had an article on not such a big taper. 2 Weeks and only slight decrease in mileage - basically, I don;t want to feel like running is foreign to me on race day. I am also enjoying running more than ever. Feeling good and getting faster with what seems like less effort. Knock on wood!
            I'm a new convert to the idea that tapering is usually way, way over done - and I really agree with the Runner's World suggestion. The three-week taper is one of those marathon ideas that goes almost unquestioned, like the 2-3 per year or the 10% rule ... and I now believe all of them should be at least questioned and experimented with, particularly the standard taper. For all my early marathons, I basically did the big long run 3 weeks out, cut mileage in half or so each week, took the last couple days off, and did little or no quality work in that time. I now suspect I was costing myself a lot of fitness. I think the standard taper is designed for elites. Or at least semi-elites. People who have really been pushing hard core mileage and a lot of quality speed work. I think its way overkill for most average 40-50 mpw, 3:30+ marathoners. As I've said elsewhere, I really tested it this time. I had my longest week (90 miles) and my biggest run (42 miles) and then ran a hard marathon 7 days later ... then ran a PR 2 mile ... and the week before the CMM, I actually trained. I did a couple marathon pace runs, and even did hard intervals on the Monday before the Saturday race. I even ran short but quick on Thursday, taking just Friday off. And ran my fastest race yet, set a PR by 4 minutes ... and more importantly, felt good throughout the race. I never felt sluggish at the start, I never really hurt at the end. I actually think I could have run it 3-5 minutes faster, but decided to be careful to hit my goal. ------------ Just my experience. And my legs are now admittedly thrashed, and the above was a little much. But I do think, in general, most average runners way over-taper and lose fitness.
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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            Imminent Catastrophe

              +1. I ran a (slow) marathon and, a week later, PR'ed, and felt great.

              "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

               "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

              "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

               

              √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

              Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

              Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

                +1. I ran a (slow) marathon and, a week later, PR'ed, and felt great.
                Your dog frightens me.
                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                -----------------------------


                straw man

                  Your dog frightens me.
                  I'm afraid of your monkey.

                  He who has the best time wins. Jerry

                    I'm afraid of your monkey.
                    The difference is that's not really my monkey. And that's really his dog.
                    E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                    -----------------------------

                      The difference is that's not really my monkey. And that's really his dog.
                      Yeah, I'd be a lot more frightened of a picture of your "real monkey."
                      Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose; it's how drunk you get. -- Homer Simpson


                      Go Pre!

                        I am just plain frightened by RA'ers and their beasts. Nice reply JK, it's along ther lines of where I want to go the next 3 1/2 weeks. Well, maybe somewhere between your example and the Runners World article. I think a good amount of sleep and proper eating is crucial at this point....and (gasp) no booze!?!?!


                        Go Pre!

                          I want to buy this guy....
                            I think a good amount of sleep and proper eating is crucial at this point....and (gasp) no booze!?!?!
                            I had more than a few beers the week before the CMM. I had two the night before. I drank approximately one full beer during the race, starting at mile 23. And I drank way too much right before my prior PR marathon. No booze is a bad idea if you ask me.
                            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                            -----------------------------

                              I want to buy this guy....
                              Didn't he die in Raiders of the Lost Ark? He's probably smelly by now.
                              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                              -----------------------------


                              Go Pre!

                                Didn't he die in Raiders of the Lost Ark? He's probably smelly by now.
                                No, this is his sister...although still alive, she's probably smelly too.
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