The Taper

Physical and mental rest. How much and how long? Key ingredient: REST

Cut Back:

1. total mileage

2. frequency

3. distance, not intensity(until last week)

The full marathon taper: three weeks

  • Week 1- three weeks from race day: the final long run (typically 20 miles) is the peak of training for distance, total weekly mileage and intensity(pace); this week cut mileage by 75%; two ways to cut mileage: turn an easy day into a rest day or reduce total mileage by cutting run distances in half; maintain intensity
  • Week 2- two weeks from race day: reduce to 50% of peak mileage; but maintain intensity; eliminate cross training especially gym workouts and track work- these will not add to your fitness; your training is already in place
  • Week 3- one week from race day: reduce milage by another 50%; reduce intensity(pace); pay careful attention to diet- cut junk food, good carbs- fruits, vegetables, grains

The half marathon taper: two weeks

  • Week 1- two weeks from race day: the final long run (typically 11 miles) is the peak of training for distance, total weekly mileage and intensity; this week cut mileage by 1/3 using the two ways listed above; maintain intensity
  • Week 2- one week from race day: reduce milage by another 1/3; eliminate cross training; reduce intensity; pay attention to diet

For both full and half:

Final three days before race day: total rest two days, easy run one day-your choice of which days are rest and which is run; hydrate; get enough sleep

Examples:

Full marathon taper: peak at 40 miles for last week before taper

  • Week 1: run 25-30 miles
  • Week 2: run 15-20 miles
  • Week 3: run 8-10 miles

Half marathon taper: peak at 20 miles last week before taper

  • Week 1: run 13-14 miles
  • Week 2: run 6-7 miles

Enjoy the taper and the rest and extra time it provides! We will discuss race week

nerves and race day prep in the last seminar on 4/28

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