Advice: Racing in the Taper

4 messages
10/10/2002 at 21:50
In a fortnight, I am running my first Marathon in Venice. I am also debating doing a half marathon this weekend to take advantage of the training.

Is this wise ?? Head says "no" ... heart says "go on .. give it a go" Any thoughts ??

My last long run was Tuesday (21 miles, 2 hr 40), and the last race was a 1/2 marathon ten days ago.

Thanks !!
10/10/2002 at 22:15
Not done a half 2 weeks before a marathon myself, but given you should be tapering I guess it depends on how hard you want to run (race) it.

My instinct (assuming you're in pretty good shape) is go out and enjoy the run and 'race' 4-5 minutes slower than your usual halfM time -after all this is about as quick (probably quicker)than you'll run the first half of the marathon.
This will be a good test for how well you can pace yourself.

If you don't race then you'll do a 10-15 mile run at slow to steady pace anyhow, so whats the difference?

The worst thing you can do (I think) is to run hard and maybe jeopordise your marathon.

Good Luck
11/10/2002 at 07:45
Mr C

I've done this on numerous occasions (run 18 marathons), doing the half 2 weeks before sits well in my training schedules and I feel serves as a 'taster' for the big one. Be careful with injuries though and don't go 'flat out' just enjoy the race.

12/10/2002 at 07:45
Thanks for the encouragement !

Just to let you know that the head won ... work has intervened. What a pain.

You all also say "do it at reasonable pace" - quite right - and I know that if I did it I would go for a PB. The last two times I did 1/2M races I ended up with an injury from running too hard down hill, and the second time pushed too much at the finish and needed medical help.

So head wins !

Balancing work and marathon training has been a constant battle, it's hard to do 40 - 50 miles a week when you're on 7am - 7pm days + occasional weekends + travel. The good news is that the pressure goes in waves, so I have been able to get hard weeks and relax weeks one after the other. In this case work's probably tipped the scales on doing the right thing.

At least the sponsorship is now flowing in to make the marathon all worthwhile !


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