Monday officially began my two week taper. I wouldn’t say it is a normal two week taper as I am used to, but it slowly begins to cut back.
The original plan of Hanson’s really doesn’t call for a 2 week taper. In fact, this Thursday according to the original plan I should be doing my last 10 mile tempo run. I knew looking at it that I would need to make some adjustments.
My body does best with a 2 week taper. I want to make sure that my legs were completely fresh and ready to go come marathon race day. That being said, I came up with a plan that incorporated some of what Hanson’s called for while making adjustments where I needed to.
Here is the plan I created for these last two weeks:
If you compare that to the last two weeks of the original plan you will see a few differences, but nothing too alarming.
I did really do any double digit runs for the last two weeks. Almost every run 2 weeks out was 8-9, but I did move over to the double digit mark.
One thing I knew I wanted to do a little differently was throw small speed work and tempo work in even through the last week. The main reason for this was to keep my confidence up and to keep my legs moving. I didn’t want 2 weeks of pure easy running and then going into race day I hadn’t run marathon pace in over 2 weeks.
Since I am adding in a bit quicker work I am also going to be doing less miles than they originally called for. Even though my workouts are short it helps to adjust the mileage a bit. Plus I also wanted to keep in mind that I extended my training so giving myself a bit of a break is probably a good thing.
During the first week, I stuck to the workout that Hanson’s had planned. The tempo was the only run that was changed. Instead of doing the 10 mile tempo (which I did last week) I changed it to only do a 6 mile tempo run.
I stuck with the original 6 x 1 mile workout that the plan called for. It actually went really well and the 7:47 pace I ran each repeat at felt pretty easy.
Over the course of my training I had added an extra 10 mile tempo in, so to me this wasn’t a big deal and I knew that a 10 mile tempo 2 weeks out wasn’t necessary for me.
The last and final week before the marathon I only made a few small changes. The original plan called for easy running every day up through Friday (Saturday on the schedule).
I made a couple changes:
- Short shake out run then no running 2 days before
- Small quick workout on Monday
- Run with strides on Wednesday
Each marathon training plan you use will do things a little different when it comes to marathon week. Many of them will have you run the day before the marathon; however I don’t like doing that. It is a complete personal preference.
I will run Monday thru Wednesday, a small 1-2 mile shake out run Thursday and Friday completely off. Again, there is no real scientific reasoning behind this just personal preference.
There you have it. It isn’t anything that crazy, but a good game plan to get me through the next 2 weeks. I think the reality of it being so close has finally set it. The real work of my training is done. You will hear many say that it takes 2 weeks to feel the effects from a workout. If that is the case then there isn’t much more to be done. My work is done and now it is a matter of proper recovery and nutrition.
Taper week can drive you insane, but I have found that by still having a plan it really helps to keep me focused. I do know that after 20 weeks of training my body is going to soak up every single second of it.
How long of a taper do you normally do?
Do you enjoy the taper or does it drive you crazy?