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3 wk taper..is it magic?

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3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  dot520 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:15 pm

Okay I screwed up my training schedule and find myself participating in a half marathon 3 weeks out from Chicago. I'll be doing the Airforce in Dayton, OH. I need to get a final 20 miler in.

Not knowing what the area is like around the base in Dayton, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to run the 6 miles extra (to make 20) prior to the race. I'm going with a few friends who start an hour early so I'll be driving with them and actually be on base at that time. This seems ideal.

If I can't get the extra miles in for a 20, then I'm thinking that 4 weeks is too long between last 20 miler and the race, and might run a 20 the Monday after Dayton giving me a slightly less than 3 weeks taper.

If a 4 week taper, I can arrange to have (3) ) 20-22 mile runs in.


Thoughts? Why am I making this so hard?

p.s. The airforce half if just a training run...I was going to run pace or slower.
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  Jerry on Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:34 pm

Easy, you put the two bibs on ebay and sell whichever gives you the higher profit.
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  Chris M on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:45 pm

I would either:

1. Run slowly WITH your friends when they leave 60 minutes before the official start of the race. Jog out 3 or so with them and then back in reverse on the course. There's your 6 pre race and run the half and some cool down to get to 20+ for the day.

or....

2. RACE the half. 3 weeks out is a perfect time to test yourself. And then 13 or 14 days before the race itself, do a slowish 20 and then a steeper 2 week taper. You race that half well AND get in a final 20, you'll be raring to go after a 2 week taper. Unless you've always loved 3 week tapers, try a 2 week.
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:04 pm

I think I would take it a little easy in the half and do the 20 the week after. Two week taper is fine.
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:07 pm

I, too, would race the half and then do 20 later in the week - Fri and Sat and taper from there. I find that 2 wks works very well for me.
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  dot520 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:48 am

Thanks, you guys! I've looked over various training schedules and the taper time is all over the place for various reasons. By doing a slow 20 two weeks out I think it would be very doable. I don't train as intensely as most of you do, so it should be fine.

I'll wait and see how I feel closer to the half to determine if I'll race it or pace it.

D
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  Martin VW on Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:27 am

I'm not sure you're asking the right question. No, I don't believe in the three week taper, two has always been fine. In discussing the issue with Greg McMillan, he belives that the three week taper introduces the possibility of detraining.

But, I don't believe that a final 20 miler 2 or 3 weeks out is make-or-break, either. I feel that in terms of maximizing your race prep, doing a HARD faster long run 2 weeks out is more important than doing a SLOW longer run 3 weeks out. I'd suggest that you run multiple 20 milers every other week before your Half, do whatever you feel is appropriate for the Half, and then run an 18 miler, averaging MP for the second half of that.
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  dot520 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:27 pm

Martin VW wrote:I feel that in terms of maximizing your race prep, doing a HARD faster long run 2 weeks out is more important than doing a SLOW longer run 3 weeks out. I'd suggest that you run multiple 20 milers every other week before your Half, do whatever you feel is appropriate for the Half, and then run an 18 miler, averaging MP for the second half of that.

I'll have at least (2) 20 milers and a 22 mile run (trail) prior to the half so I'll be in good shape for long slow distance. Good idea about the 18 miler, Martin!
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Re: 3 wk taper..is it magic?

Post  Schuey on Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:13 pm

For whatever it was worth I use to do a 2 week taper and since 2010 I have moved to a 1 week taper. I have found for myself that one week of cutting back works better for me. Although my intensity stays the same as it did the whole cycle my MLR and LR are what change the most. My feeling is that by time you get that close 3 to 2 weeks out a really long run is not going to make the difference in marathon performance if anything it can hinder it. So 2 weeks out the longs I will run is 13 miles. Again I do believe in letting up on the pace or intensity, I believe in keeping up the pace and just cutting back on the mileage ever so lightly.
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