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Grayson Baker
Grayson Baker

Taper Time: Paris Marathon

Messrs P &D say that steadily building up your long run to 21 or 22 miles will maximise your chances of reaching the marathon in top shape while remaining healthy, but long runs greater than 22 miles take much more out of the body. In their training plan that I have been following, the longest long run is 20 miles, including the last one pre-taper. Today, I bumped it up to 22. This may be bold, but there is logic behind it.

Taper Time: Paris Marathon

The longest long run caps a marathon training block and marks the end of rigorous training in favor of a marathon taper which allows for the body to recover and prepare for race day.

As a kid I was a competitive swimmer. For myself, I try to run 4-5 miles a few times during the work week in the evening, and one longer run on Saturday or Sunday morning. Each week leading up to the marathon the longer run gets longer by a mile or so. Then the last weeks before the marathon, it is important to taper down the miles to rest your body. It is really up to the individual to figure out what works best for them.

I am doing the marathon on Sunday and have been tapering for the full length, my experience has been that I have been absolutely wiped out by the training post-taper until very recently and 4 weeks feels like a good length, 2 weeks would have been hell, 3 weeks would have been hard.

I plan to run my marathon in November but would like to start training next week for it. Should I keep my week 10 times for the three workouts until the race is 4 weeks out and then taper out? Or how would you go about it? Thanks!

I also ran a hilly offroad triple marathon (3 in 3 days) three weeks ago. I took 10 days off and then tried to reintroduce some of the tapered sessions. My legs were not in good shape however as i really pushed the triple (finishing 7th overall). I have taken a week off now ahead of marathon to try to ensure my legs are fully recovered.

From now until July, continue as you have been training. The goal being to build a good base and durability with long runs at easy to moderate pace with some marathon pace running. Then begin this plan. It is a new start, easy at first giving you a break and then building up to a peak and tapering to recover and feel fresh. Best of success.

The longer a marathon holds off announcing a cancellation means the greater chance that the runners are going to have to go into taper mode for an event that may not happen. If they know before that taper time, they can keep the schedule going on longer as they search for a different race.

I hear so many runners saying that taper is hard. To me, taper is the sweetest marathon term ever, as it allows my body to fully reap all the training benefits while getting the much needed and well-deserved rest necessary to run a strong marathon. Taper is not the time to gain any fitness by pushing hard and not respecting your body. On the contrary, a taper done wrong can break your chances to run your best marathon. One thing that Bryn and I are really good at is enjoying our taper. We took days off the week of the marathon, did a short and sweet speed workout on Monday, since our marathon was on Friday, which included running two miles at faster than marathon pace and 4200 meters. Additionally, I changed to my old way of training, meaning no running/shakeout the day before the marathon; instead, we did our two mile shakeout with 430 sec strides two days before the marathon, so that our bodies were rested. We did some walking down the strip the evening before the marathon just to get some blood flow going and to admire the beautiful Las Vegas lights.

by target, i just meant that the marathon where i ran 2:52 was my last marathon for that training cycle. i wasnt targetting a 2:52, per se, nor was i "racing." if i had planned on racing, i wouldnt have flown to paris for 4 days just to run the marathon and then flown back to LA only to fly to boston two days later for that marathon (2:52). i was in school then, with spare time on my hands and the goal was to travel and squeeze in the local marathons--trying to run fast at those marathons was secondary.

After training for 5 months and a marathon taper I was able to run 6:40 pace at my 150 aerobic threshold HR the week before my marathon. Hope that helps. Keep it up with your HR monitor and let me know how it goes!


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