Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Final Taper

I have been getting some questions in regards to the final two or three weeks before marathon and how to taper for it. I’m assuming that a number of you are getting ready for Detroit, Philadelphia or the New York City Marathon (like I am). I will share with you how I approach the final three weeks, and yes, I do think it’s a good idea to at least have three weeks in the taper.

Three weeks to go 
 With three weeks to go, there will be very few of you that will have a problem with the idea of cutting back. After all, you just spent anywhere between 12 and 18 weeks getting to this point. So the idea of cutting back isn’t that tough for you to do. But by the fourth day of the week, that little voice will start in your head, telling you that you could be blowing the marathon because of all the hard work you’ve done to this point, and you’ve just been lazy for three days. Don’t Listen to That Voice! You deserve this much needed rest. Your body takes a number of days to recover from all of the weeks of training. You will now take that total mileage that you ran into week four and reduce it by 25%So for example, if you ran 40 miles in training this past week that included your last long-run, you will now make a deal with yourself not to run more than 30 miles total for the week. Some key points to remember. One, make sure you’re long-run for this week is at least 25%, up to 33%, shorter than your last long-run. So again, using the 40 miles that you ran last week as an example, year-long run for this week would end up being between 13 and 16 miles. Two, you also need to reduce any tempo runs or speed workouts or pacing runs by that same percentage. I found that it’s a good idea to take at midweek run and plug-in of 3 to 5 mile marathon pace run. What this will do for you, is keep you confident that you can do this pace for the upcoming marathon. Don’t be surprised if you feel like this pace is slow. It should feel that way, but believe me it won’t come marathon Saturday or Sunday.

Two weeks to go 
 Per your last 14 days, you will find it difficult to step back and not want to pop up the mil back to the week before the tapir began. But again you must be patient for these last two weeks before the marathon. It is during this week that you will start questioning and have doubts about your training ability and the conditioning that you’re probably believes that you’re losing. You will then rationalize that maybe if you just did a couple speed workouts this week even if they were short distance it would help you. Believe me that is not a good idea. The only thing you can do here is hurt your chances in the marathon by overtraining or causing a last week injury that stops you from getting to the starting line. So your goal for this week is that for the last weekend before the marathon year-long run does not exceed more than 10 miles. Whatever mileage you choose to do between 7 to 10 miles, you need to make Shearer it is a relaxed run! If you catch yourself trying to do marathon pacing back off from that speed and think of it as leaving gas in your tank for next weekend. I cannot stress too much fat there is very little you can do to help your marathon, but there is a lot you can do to hurt it.

Last seven days 
 For the last seven days, I have a formula I’ve worked out that will help you set limits for how much mileage you should put in before the marathon. Using the 40 mile a week that you did right before the taper, subtract the marathon distance and the remaining mileage will be what you run this week. So simple math sets your limit at 14 miles that you can in before marathon Saturday or Sunday. I would stress not to do more than five or 6 miles in any one run, and to make sure that Ron is at least three days ahead of your marathon date. For five days would probably be better but the three days as minimum. I take account down approach. For example, I days he for the marathon I run 5 miles. Four days before the marathon run for my. Three days before the marathon, I run 3 miles. Two days before the marathon, I run 2 miles. I take the day before the marathon completely off. You probably will walk at least a mile going to the Expo in getting around, so it’s kind of a gimme you will at least get some exercise anyway on the day before. I hope you have found this to give you enough information to get you through your last three week tape or. If you have any additional questions let me know and I’d be happy to fill in any missing blanks.

Good luck to all of you getting ready for your fall marathon!

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