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Feb 27, 2011

Marathon training and the taper

12 miles today.  This is the longest run I have done since training for my half marathon back in October.  Actually it's the longest run I have done(all running) besides my half.  Of course, I am much stronger than last year.  I don't feel like I have to sit around all day afterwards which is nice.  Today's run was run out at Stoney Creek Metropark.  Two loops around the lake. I ran it with my running buddy Trieu.  He keep me at a pretty good pace, probably faster than I would have run it alone but all is good.  Also, a nice surprise, I finally met Ken over at Eastside Stoney Creek TNT Runner.  If you have not checked out his blog, please do.  He was there helping some of his runners prepare for their races.  Ken is actually the first blogger I have met in person.  I wish I would have had my camera.  Oh well, perhaps next weekend I can get a picture.


Been thinking about ordering some bumper stickers or car magnets - What do you think?  Seem too boring?  Just a thought.


As I go through the marathon training process, I was wondering what others do during their training when it comes to races prior to the marathon.  I am in a race on March 20th and also April 30th, both of which are half marathons.  My plan was to do a mini taper - two days rest before the race and one day rest after(two if I think I need it).  This is because I'm going to basically run them as training runs but I know better than this.  Once I get there, my competitive spirits take over and I'll probably go out faster than I should be.  BUT - I don't plan to race it.  Some would probably say there should not be a taper then because you don't taper for a long run, right?  I'm just trying to train smart so I don't hurt myself.

Also, I'm not sure I want to do another marathon again - at least I'm having some doubts - unless it's NYC which is my dream race.  If you have not read the book, "A race like no other" you should read it.  You will want to do NYC after you read it, I guarantee it.  I have not stopped thinking about NYC since I read that book almost two years ago.

I really like the half marathon distance but I'm not sure I'm liking all this training for the full.  And I probably am not doing 1/2 to 3/4 of what many of you do to get ready for a marathon.  This is the scary part.  I guess one nice thing with training for the full is that the half seems much easier.  Even my 12 miler today was relatively easy.  I never would have said that last year.  I think part if this worry is reading some of the other blogs - there sure are a LOT of runners on blogs that are hurt.  While I love running, I'm don't want to hurt myself into not running any longer.  This is one reason I like the half training.  It doesn't kill your legs.  Of course, I wouldn't have said that last year when I trained for the half.  Haha!  Just stupid doubts.  Just goes to show you how mental the sport of running really is.  I have to get these negative thoughts out of my mind and just keep running!!

What do you think?  Taper or no taper if you are doing a race as a training run?

Have a great day and......Keep Running!!


  1. Miles don't kill your legs if you SLOW DOWN. In my experience injuries come from running fast not from doing long slow distance (which is what you really only need to do a relatively easy marathon)

    I would not taper if you are doing a race as a training run. But I would do easy runs after just like you would after any hard speed work.

    my $.02

  2. Interesting thought Paul. I do try to keep slowing my pace down. Today was faster than I have been doing my long runs. Thanks.

  3. I would not taper if you are seriously going to use the run as a training run. If you even think you are going to race then taper. Just my thoughts.

  4. Also doing a half a month before my full and am doing it as a training run...and will not taper at all for that race.

    Good luck!

  5. Interesting post. Tapering depends by your body and how you feel. In my experience I used the half marathons to prepare the full and I made the tapering during the last week.
    I agree with the mini tapering, 2 days before the half and one after, that was my plan for the half of today and it worked (tomorrow rest) very well.

  6. Jeff it was great seeing you today. I'll have to show you some other routes at Stony Creek off the path. What is this taper you speak of??? LOL.......

  7. If you know you will push it a bit, then a mini taper sounds like a good plan to me. But if you can run it as 'just' a training run, then no taper. You probably know yourself better than any of us do ;-)

  8. I go with the no taper votes : ) But I am an "over" trainer to some. I will echo others and say you know your body so do what is right and not what the books say.

  9. Agree with the others, if it's truly a training run, I would train through the race, with a 2 day taper and then I would use the wk after the half as a "step back" week - lower your mileage that week and easy running. I typically plan a step back week after 2-3 hard weeks.

    I too read about all of the injuries. I am VERY thankful I have been healthy. Training smart is the key. Hard day, followed by easy days, follow the 10% run for increasing weekly mileage, step-back wks to let your body absorb the training, rest after races, cross training, yoga, replace shoes often, listen to your body, etc.

    Good Luck with your training and racing.

  10. i'm a no taper person for training races. unless you're going to be gunning for a pr in it then i just see it as a good solid training run and i don't taper for those

  11. I don't taper for a half except for taking the day or two off just before the run. But, I'm never running very fast, either, so you have to keep that in mind!

  12. Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to keep no running two days before and one day off after and right back to it.

    Ken - It was good to see you also. I'd love to see more of Stoney this summer. I have done a run up to the nature center and back around the lake to get in some hills training.

  13. What I have done in the past is run the race as a training run. In fact, I usually add miles on before the race to ensure I meet my long run mileage goal on my training plan. For example, if my training plan shows 19 miles, I'll do a six mile wrm up run right before the race and then do the race. The other thing you can do is a marathon simulation run where you run the half at marathon pace. This will be faster than training pace so you will still get a good workout and finish in.

  14. I read that book last weekend and it was AMAZING. I seriously teared up several times while reading the book. It was so powerful and made me want to do NYC so badly.

    I think you should taper a little. Just do what feels right. You know your body best.