taper advice ... when and how much after little training

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Mar 2015
4:37pm, 28 Mar 2015
53 posts
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Background - I've ran 3 maras before and did 1500 miles in 2014.
Marathon PB is 3:56:44 and the other two were 'comfortable' 4:22:??'s

I've had 2 operations this year. 18th Feb & 11th Mch. Nothing to do with running and I've done as much training as I could (soft tissue surgery allowing) post op.

Since the 11th Mch op I've ran
20th Fri 3, parkrun 3, Sunday 10 (but walk/run/walk) Total 16
This week, Weds 4, Fri 6, parkrun 3 and I plan to do Sunday 15 (but walk/run/walk) Total 28

Next week Tues 3, Weds 6, Fri 4, Sunday 20 !! (but walk/run/walk) Total 33

I'm undecided how soon to taper.
Should I try and get more miles in my legs the week starting 6th April (still 33 miles) but spread more evenly over the week?
I will definitely taper week starting 16th by reducing on the week before but it's that week I'm unsure of.

I have followed the same training plan for my previous marathons so am very much off piste and out of my comfort zone (though probably no where near as uncomfortable I'll be during London!!)

All opinions gratefully received.
Mar 2015
6:12pm, 28 Mar 2015
781 posts
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If it were me I'd stick to my original planned taper, as starting on tired legs wouldn't help me plus not sure that extra miles that close to a target race would add much fitness. Best of luck for the race, whatever you decide to do.
Mar 2015
12:00am, 29 Mar 2015
1,374 posts
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As you say you are off piste, and there is no certain answer. The rule of thumb that the benefits of training only appear after two weeks is only an approximation. In the two weeks following a training session two competing things happen: loss of strength (of both leg and heart muscle) due to microscopic damage, and repair that results in over-compensation and increased fitness. In most circumstances, the loss of strength has completely resolved by two weeks. For a person with reasonable prior fitness the loss of strength from a session that is well within their capacity is likely to have resolved within a week.

In other words, you are likely to obtain net benefit within a week from training that provides only a modest challenge. You will need to monitor how well you recover from the RWR 15 miler this week. Provided you recover well, the RWR 20 miler the following week (on 5th April) is sensible.

Then, provided you are not too shattered on 6th, I would be inclined to aim for a total of around 30 miles in that week, but as you suggest, it would be best to spread it more evenly over the week. Cut back the length of the long run substantially, as the long run is likely to do the most damage, whereas you will probably get net benefit from the total mileage accumulated in shorter runs.

33 in week beginning 30th March and 30 in week beginning 6th April would give you 63 miles in two weeks, which is probably the upper limit of what is sensible for you at present, provided all goes well. However, it the 15 miler on 29th or the 20 miler on 5th are very demanding, you should aim for a more modest total, and adjust your aims for VLM appropriately

If in doubt, it is better to under-train than over-train, so Good luck.
Mar 2015
11:24am, 29 Mar 2015
54 posts
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Thanks both,

I certainly agree that over training due to being in panic mode is something I need to be very careful about.

The info about 2 weeks recovery from hard training sessions makes sense and obviously fits the plan I usually follow with hard sessions ending when they do.
At the moment I've only ran the midweek miles at a uniform pace the target being actually able to run those distances so I might throw a few 800s in to get speed in on one midweek run the next few weeks.

I guess I'll make do with just the one 20 miler then slightly taper distance but spread it out over the next week. Keeping a close eye on recovery etc.

My target, other than being on the start line is
A target - a course pb... even by a second will do
B target - getting to the finish!!!!

Oh eck
Apr 2015
8:05am, 27 Apr 2015
56 posts
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An update.
I did the 20 mile training and it hurt like hell from 17 mile. I did Sheffield half the week after and ran it too fast for the silly course (just scraped in under 2 hours).
Did good tapering after that.

Started out at London and realised I couldn't do walk run walk at the distances I wanted as the course was really heavily congested and there were so many more fully barriers sections, I would have been mown down. I did make myself walk where I could.
Mara PB is 3.56.44. First mara, London was 4.20.26 and I am very very happy with 4.10.25 yesterday. :)

Radiotherapy starts Weds :(

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About This Thread

Maintained by Judithvr6
Background - I've ran 3 maras before and did 1500 miles in 2014.
Marathon PB is 3:56:44 and the ot...

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