The Taper Is Here

Hangout for all runners who are currently tapering.

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24/03/2014 at 10:04

I'm running my first marathon in 3 weeks time (London) and have begun my taper I know many runners are already tapering for other marathons. I know after 3 hard months of training the reduction in mileage will help my body rest and recover and will allow me to get to the start line in the best shape of my life.

How do you deal with your taper? After over a year of running on average it is going to be odd to gradually reduce mileage. What do you do with the extra time on your hands? Share your taper survival tips or just use this thread as a way to wile away the excess hours.

24/03/2014 at 16:11

I picked up a strain on my last 20 miler just before the taper so mine was more of a precautionary halt than a taper.

I'm currently using the spin bike to keep aerobic fitness and revisiting my relatively poor stretching and floor work. I'll return to running but long runs and speed work are out for me. The most I hope to do is marathon pace segments within medium length runs or short-ish recovery jogs.

Main focus is recovery getting to the start line in good nick. Like you its my first marathon experience so I really dont want to bugger it up by getting too excited right now.

I do most of my running early in the morning so its not hard to wake up a little later I guess


24/03/2014 at 17:43

I find the taper a great time to worry excessively about everything.

24/03/2014 at 19:53

will be my first ( and last ) London marathon in 3 weeks .... ran the GADE VALLEY HARRIERS  20 mile training run yesterday and felt surprisingly well .. ... cant wait for the big day but like you all say ---- I don't understand this tapering stuff .suppose ill just ease up, lower milage and massage/look after tired legs

I totally respect the marathon distance now ! and good luck to all ..

24/03/2014 at 22:23

I think I'm going to invest in a cattle prod for if/when ill people start to invade my personal space.  Or I might just avoid people altogether. 

24/03/2014 at 23:01

Im on day 9 of a cold and started taper today. That hopefully means taper will give me a chance to get better and I shouldn't have a cold for race day!

25/03/2014 at 07:54

First marathon is Brighton - less than 2 weeks now .  My mileage has been significantly reduced since early feb due to injury, so I'm not sure how much I'll need to taper.  Last weekend's 'long' was 12 inc parkrun (pb woop woop), easy 8 today, then I'll probably do a shortish tempo on Thursday then take it easy with a bit of swimming to keep me busy for the next 10 days.

Maybe that will allow sufficient rest for my hip to ease up.  Already planning next years schedule with an emphasis on injury avoidance.

House has been awash with germs for the last couple of weeks, but so far I've managed to avoid catching anything.

25/03/2014 at 10:28

what time are you thinking in the circumstance Lou?

25/03/2014 at 11:07

not long now Lou well done on the parkrun pb I was thinking of a pb attempt as it is my parkrun's birthday this weekend. Last weekend was supposed to be a 20 miler for us as well Nayan but pulled out at 14 due to a tight hip causing IT Band pain (IT Band has been a curse all through training). Hope the taper is going well for anyone else out there with less running time than they have grown accustomed to.

25/03/2014 at 11:36

From what I read, weak gluteus medius might have contributed to my TFL niggle  - the theory is that if glutes dont stabilise your hips well enough, the TFL work extra hard to compensate.

I have noticed Gluteus medius complaining before duriung a long run or big week. Thinking back, I even had one episode where I had pain on the outside of the right knee too. Given that the TFL's job is to pull in your IT Band, and that band joins on the outside of the knee I start to see a pattern.

I'm using the taper stretch and work on these stablising muscles, though not overdoing anything of course. It seems that weak glutes are a common problem.

25/03/2014 at 12:32

Nayan I would defiantly find a physio or someone who knows for sure. The internet is useful but isn't always the best, a good physio is worth his weight in gold and will also show you some strengthening exercises. The strengthening exercises will help any imbalance obviously being close to race day nothing can be guaranteed but a professional could help. What marathon are you doing Nayan?

25/03/2014 at 12:44

Good plan re the spin bike, thats my home when im injured.

Id certainly be straight to a physio if I were you.

On that topic, as i have never tapered before (im following a schedule with a taper plan), what do people do re things like sports massages. Im thinking of booking one in for circa 6 days before London and then another one a few days after.


25/03/2014 at 12:47

I'm coping by sticking to my (pretty much set in stone) schedule of four runs a week, on the same days, but just reducing intensity and/or distance so hopefully, it shouldn't feel too much different to how it has, but I just won't be as tired or as achey.

I'm also looking to PB at Park Run, but this probably isn't recommended practice.

25/03/2014 at 12:56

the p and d schdule im following has a race of upto 10k in it on the first saturday of taper. Most seem to be going for a parkrun pb attack though. So your in good company.

25/03/2014 at 12:56

I also want a parkrun PB off the back of marathon training Cotswold but not sure if its wise but recovery after a 5k is no time so I think it should be ok. Regarding spin bikes I have never tried one but I am doing an extra swimming session to keep up my cardio

25/03/2014 at 15:15

3 weeks to go to The Great Welsh Marathon , last 20 miler was on Sunday, got a half marathon pb the previous Sunday, followed a 12 week plan this time which I think has helped me stay focused, now its just a matter of easing down the miles , staying out of public places, avoiding my children,avoiding your children , cooking my own food, using my own utensils, trying to stay germ and injury free, anyone else get a little nuts at taper time ??

25/03/2014 at 15:26
Taper time is always fun. In just over a week i`ve had phantom calf strains, tight hamstrings, a cold etc. Im sure its all my mind plaing tricks on me.
With lower milage I have also had time to clear out loads of old stuff to give to the charity shop and tidied the office.
25/03/2014 at 15:49
Yes. I recon all that strain of juggling a diary and trying to fit all the long runs in around 'other stuff' is a big mental part of training for a set date. Once you've done that last long run and know everything else is now just staying topped up your mind will play all sorts of games.

I was wondering about a 5k Park Run on Saturday as well.

Is that really wise? My alternative plan would be 6x1000m intervals on the Friday night. What have I got to lose?
25/03/2014 at 15:52
DT19 wrote (see)

what time are you thinking in the circumstance Lou?

That is one of the big questions of the age.  I've been training based on a 3:10 target, but under the circumstances I decided to revise that down to 3:15.  I feel that might still be a bit ambitious, but it gives me the opportunity to run with a pacer, which might help.

However, I was talking to my wife last night and she pointed out that she did Paris a few years ago with less training than I've done and managed approx 2xHM +15mins, which would result in under 3:15.

I think I'll go with 3:15 though. I like round numbers.

Edited: 25/03/2014 at 15:56
25/03/2014 at 15:56

from the sounds of it this Saturday could be PBtastic who would think after weeks of training for a marathon we are now deciding a fast parkrun is the way to go? we had to pull back to a 9 week plan in the end as injury affected our original training. I do foolishly have a second marathon booked 5 weeks after London as we are running London together I will run the Kent Roadrunner for a time. Im not sure how wise 2 marathons in just over 2 months is for a first time marathon runner.

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