Ultra Runners


More taper questions (Read 439 times)


    So, assume I was approaching taper for my 50 mile... and I am trashed. Just trashed. Recovery is going to mean the most, I think, just trying to not lose anymore fitness than I have already lost in my lackluster training the last couple months.  I am planning a marathon next week then straight to a 3 week taper.  I haven't done enough really long runs, and I haven't done speed work, and countless other things I should have done... but can't change that now.  All I can change is to do one thing right, and it's taper.  So voices of experience would help. 


    My log is public.  I've been trying to do just enough to avoid full blown overtraining and get to the start line - I do think I've been overreaching, times slower and I can do less than I could a few months ago and feel worse.  I listened to some friends who have done far more ultras than I, far faster, and cut weekly mileage in favor of the long runs, despite this being opposite of what I would have done for marathon training.  This has left me not just physically sapped but mentally, because I prefer a daily 10 to the long runs and not being able to run frequently, so I need the taper to have me mentally ready to go, not just physically.


    What would you do?



    (My 50 is a road 50. I anticipate finishing close to the cut off time -  You have to be to mile 43.4 by 8 hours and 30 minutes.  The book I read said for road ultras take your current marathon, double it, and add two hours. (11:45 per mile)  I ran my double this weekend at a slower pace than that, though I did a self supported 42 mile run significantly quicker in August... You see why I need the good taper. I  think I'm worse off than I was months ago  )




      I think your fine. You've done plenty of long runs. I would expect during your taper you will begin to recover. You're not going to gain too much fitness from where you are now. I doubt you really need the marathon next weekend but certainly don't kill yourself. If it were me, I would treat the marathon as a training run... Meaning I would walk if I wanted to, eat like I have 50 miles to complete . Then no more long runs... Maybe back to back 2 hour or 1.5 hour runs the following weekend. Just maintain. Even mixing in some tempo work in the taper period instead of droning on with easy 10 milers. Run an 45-60 mins of easy,tempo, easy, tempo.... Just to mix it up. I think you should feel beat down about 3 weeks out. When you pull back, your body will recover. Just don't force the high mileage for fear of losing fitness... I think you should be fine. On race day i would recommend Starting slower than you think should and just get in a zone. Eat, drink, salt your way to the finish. Your legs are ready.

        It would appear the majority of your miles are from long runs, so I would agree with HD, the problem isn't not enough long runs, maybe too many, like a back to back marathons, then 26 and 31 back to back two weeks later.  You know you can run long, now focus on recovery with a quality workout like HD suggested if your body can take it.  If not, don't worry, you'll be fine. 

          I agree with what the others have said. You've got your long runs covered. Better training than I've done before 50 milers. Smile Listen to your body.

          It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great. ~ Jimmy Dugan


            Oh, if you look back about  6 weeks ago, that's where I started feeling bad (bad idea to try to run a marathon fast; didn't recover like I used to with extra weight and stress).  It was when I was concerned about things that I asked some friends that they said to focus on the long runs most - before that I don't think you'll see the same trend.  It's really annoyed me to do it, too. Smile  In the past I've preferred keeping long runs down to a minimum of the mileage.


            Have to run marathon next weekend.  Can't skip it.  Been trying to take them all easy (several of them were pacing.) Though fatigue has changed what "easy" is. 


            Have a cold again now.   I am catching everything.


            Just want to know HOW to recover best in the final three weeks without losing any more fitness.  Not a lot of taper schedules out there. 


            Heh, I guess that's the rub. I can't start slower than I think I should because I think I'm just trying to beat cut off.  11:45/mile... including any time to fuel or restroom breaks. (I need restroom breaks.)    Smile  But I can say I always get faster near the end.  Did an 8 hour run in July with no long runs over 14 previous, just my base mileage of 70-75 mpw, 38.5 miles in 90-some degree heat and the last two hours were by far my fastest of the day - and felt well enough to run my customary 10 miles the next day.  I think I overthought this one and hurt myself. BUT, all I can do now is recover.  What kind of weekly mileage and such should I do?

                What kind of weekly mileage and such should I do?


              How about 70 / 55 / 40?


              I'm really not sure why you're freaking out about this, you ran a 42 miler @ 10:15 pace in late August with Temps of almost 90 degrees and you've put a bunch of long runs in after that.  Personally, the long training runs take a lot more out of me and leave me more beat up than doing consistent 10+ miles every day.


              Enjoy your taper, you'll be fine.


                My first 50 miler was on the roads, and I took it pretty easy the last few weeks. Here's my calendar from then:



                I ran 3 x 20-24 mile runs in a 5 day span, then only hit double digits once in the next 3.5 weeks until the race (twice if you count hiking miles along with running miles on one of the days.)  


                If you feel you need it, heal up. Hay is in the barn; don't set it on fire.

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

                  So is the race 5 weeks out or 3 weeks out? You seem to have a pretty good weekly schedule with the mileage, it is a matter of cutting back on the long runs at the right time.  Going from your average of 60-70 MPW (minus the weeks you are running 50+ miles in long runs alone), I would say try to keep it around 60 but with shorter long runs, (16-22 miles).  If you are 5 weeks out the marathon next week will be a good training run, if you are 3 weeks out doing a marathon a week before the 50 is not the best way to taper and I would either back out or go so slow that you are walking as much as running.  Keep in mind, this is just a guess not knowing how trashed your legs really are.  If they are really trashed focus on recovery runs.


                  5 weeks out:


                  65 - 20 mile long run

                  70 - 26.2 mile long run

                  65 - 22 mile long run

                  55 - 14 mile long run

                  15 - 15 race week plus the race


                  3 weeks out:


                  60 - 16 mile long run

                  55 - 26.2 mile very very slow long run

                  15 - 15 race week plus the race


                  PS, I think you are stressing out over nothing.  You trained well.  If you are overtrained just cut back.  Trying to significantly improve fitness in 3 weeks is more likely to get you hurt than have a serious benefit.



                    PS, I think you are stressing out over nothing.  You trained well.  If you are overtrained just cut back.  Trying to significantly improve fitness in 3 weeks is more likely to get you hurt than have a serious benefit.


                    I don't feel like I've trained well. Been disappointed in my weekly mileage. Not trying to increase fitness, rather recover.  I know I could have finished in July, and only now am having doubts because I feel like the last couple months I've been falling apart one thing after another, not improving, just trying to keep above the water and not  what I think of as good training.


                    Weeks out from race.  Mileage (Long run)

                    31.                                   80.6     (11.2 mi)
                    30.                                   74.2    (12.1 mi)
                    29.                                   80.3    (13.9 mi)
                    28.                                   70.1    (10.4 mi)
                    27.                                   71.0    (11.2 mi)
                    26.                                   73.2    (10.2 mi)
                    25.                                   48.3    (9.1 mi)
                    24.                                   90.0    (38.5 mi)
                    23.                                   80.1    (15 mi)
                    22.                                   77.9     (11.8 mi)

                    21.                                   86.7    (26.2 mi) 
                    20.                                   79.5   (12.2 mi)
                    19.                                   72.7    (12.5 mi)
                    18.                                   68.4     (14.7 mi)
                    17.                                    69.8     (20.1 mi)    
                    16.                                    89.5     (20.6 mi)       -registered for race.
                    15.                                  100.1     (42 mi)
                    14.                                   55.1       (26.2 mi)      *Daughter sick, no childcare M-F
                    13.                                   74.2      (14.6 mi)
                    12.                                    77.8      (30 mi)
                    11.                                   53         (11.3 mi)         *Achilles pain, concern of injury
                    10.                                   64.1      (26.2 mi)        *achilles pain
                    9.                                     30.9       (9.8 mi)          *Very tired from actual hard marathon last week
                    8.                                     74.1      (30.1 mi)
                    7.                                     70.9      (15 mi)
                    6.                                     61.2       (26.2 x 2)        *Sick
                    5.                                     52.4        (26.2)              *Injury
                    4.                                      86.4      (30.1, 26.2)    *Daughter Sick, no childcare M-F

                    3.                                       ???                               *Sick

                    2.                                       ???

                    1.                                       ???

                    Race week!                     ???



                    Maybe I'm overreacting, though.  True enough.  I just wanted to go in, when I registered a few months ago,  trained very well, not just to finish- and anticipated more mileage, and more speedwork, and to be running faster, not slower, than I was last summer.

                    And if I went easy on myself and celebrated accomplishments, what fun would that be - haha.

                    It's not as bad as it seemed to me when I write it out like hat though. Not great but not the endless dreariness it is in my head, I might be thinking of my past training as better and this slump as longer/worse.  Maybe I should have reviewed in black or white sooner.


                    And I do get sick a lot every Oct/Nov I see now looking back at my paper logs, so maybe it's not overtraining at all.  Maybe something I just need to consider in the future.   The injuries were new, but spending much of those months sick is not.  And of course i had to recover from racing a marathon, even if my stomach had its famed frequent issues and I had to walk two miles and not get a decent time.

                    Consistently Slow

                      Cut your mileage back. I had the same issue for by BQ marathon.Try  40/30/30 weeks. Do mile repeats  once a week . Rest and recover. I did PTC in <5 .You are faster  and have way  more endurance than I do.Rest up. You are more than  ready for the 50 miler.



                      You did  2- b2b.  5 marathons  and a 15 miler at the mountain in the last 5 weeks.The last this you should be concerned about is  not make the cut  off in T. I believe  you are in BQ condition. Just get some rest.


                      I need to take a good look at your picture. I missed you at STM 15 miler.

                      Run until the trail runs out.

                       SCHEDULE 2016--

                       The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

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