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Never sure how to taper

I have run 13 marathons. I have not figured out the taper. I remember a couple of years ago I read lots of articles on it and I came up with lots of different opinions. Do you start the taper 1 week out? 2 weeks? 3 weeks? 4 weeks? How much mileage do you cut back when you do? If this uncertainty were not enough, this time I have thrown a monkey wrench into the plan with a PR attempt 10K. In order to really have a go at that PR, I cut the mileage way back for last week – the 3rd week out.

I figured I could make up for the mileage cut back with a good long run on Sunday. I scheduled a 22 miler. Saturday afternoon I came to my sanity somewhat and decided to cut it back to 18. Even then, though I wondered if 18 was too much for two weeks out. As we ran on Sunday, the fatigue from the race set in. I had set myself up for 18 by running a 3 on the first out and back. But when everyone else quit at 13 I joined them. This morning, I figured I could compensate a bit for yesterday by adding another 10.

I think next time I am going to follow a published marathon training program.

How’d the runs go?  Yesterday, Lance and I started together around 5:45 am. We saw a truck in the lot and a water bottle at the start line and speculated that they belonged to Eric. Sure enough just a quarter mile out there Eric was running back. He had gone out 3/4 and had come back. So he was at 1 1/4 while we were at 1/4. Eric was a mile ahead of us. The three of us went out to the 1 1/2 and turned back in case anyone was planning to join us for the scheduled 6:15 start time.

No one was there. We headed out again. Tiffanie was out at the turn around and joines for a back and out!  When we got back at 7, Dawn was there to join us. Now the 5 of us headed out. Tiffanie headed off at the turn around and the rest of us ran back once more.

Lance, by the way is looking pretty quick. Eric and I were trying to hold back and run in the 8:30 range, but Lance kept pulling ahead. When he would get 10m or so out there Eric would ask him a question. He would pause a bit and we would catch up. Of course when Tiffanie joined in I gave up fighting the pace, a little and let it speed up to just slower than 8.

This morning I met Chuck at 5:15 to begin a 10. Chuck and I ran out at a relaxed 8:30 – 8:40 pace. Chuck made the time fly with a full 5 mile story about his trip to North Dakota. It was interesting stuff! When we got back to the start, Dawn, Andi and Lance were waiting to join in. Chuck turned and kept going while I got a drink and Andi got ready to go. As the four us started to chase Chuck I let them know that Chuck had a 5 mile story to tell. We caught him and after some, “How have you been?”s Chuck started version 2-0 of the story. It did not last quite as long on the second trip. It was more like a 3 mile story. 🙂

In any case, it was nice to have Dawn out there the last couple of mornings and also to see Andi this morning!

13 days to O2O!

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May 2012


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