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UltraTapering

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UltraTapering

Post  mountandog on Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:22 pm

Ok everyone, I'm into my final 2 wks for the JFK 50.  Having never done this before I have a basic question on tapering.  How much?  What do the last two weeks look like?  What do the last 3 days look like.  For the 4 weeks post Chicago I was able to run 18, 40, 47, 73 miles.  They were mostly easy, 7:45 - 8:20.  Frankly, I'm a bit sore as this is a bit faster ramp up than I'm used to after a marathon.  I was able to run a 15/24 this past Sat which is a personal weekend best so I did get some extended time on my feet.

So.......where do I go from here?

Also, for those of you familiar with JFK, any pacing strategies for me?  According to McMillan I should be able to do 8:00 pace and a 6:40 time.  No way Jose (my patron saint of negative thoughts).  Not with the first 15 miles up and down, single track, rock, roots, etc.  Also, I've never run more than 26.2, either in a race or in training.  Very minimal single track trail experience as well.  Looking for Sage (my patron saint of knowledge) advice.
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  Jerry on Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:28 pm

Never and never will run an ultra, but I think you taper with a marathon in the first weekend, then a half the 2nd.

Haha, kidding, I have no clue, but good luck!
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  ounce on Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:11 pm

If Kevin doesn't chime in, I'd send him a PM, along with Schuey.  Good luck with it!
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  Mark B on Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:24 pm

From what I've read and done, the standard approach usually applies.

First week: 75% of peak mileage
Second week: 50% of peak mileage
Third week: Just a few short runs to keep from going totally insane. Very Happy


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Re: UltraTapering

Post  T Miller on Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:33 am

@Mark B wrote:From what I've read and done, the standard approach usually applies.

First week: 75% of peak mileage
Second week: 50% of peak mileage
Third week: Just a few short runs to keep from going totally insane. Very Happy


Mark's taper advice is sound.

As far as pacing, I've never run it but I have read some blogs and race reports.  I think the goal for you should be to stay super comfortable, running as slowly as you possibly can (which will probably still be too fast) until the 38 special aid station at mile 38.  I think our abilities are pretty close though I've done some more ultra specific training this cycle.  I'm pretty comfortable on single track and although I'm not running for time on that section, I'm hoping I complete it in the 2:20 to 2:30 range (9:02 - 9:41 pace).  I expect to do some walking and some easy trail running.  I've read that it's pretty technical and that a lot of people fall.  You should wear trail shoes if you have some and plan to change into your marathon shoes after you get off of the AT.  

When we get on the towpath I think you'll be more comfortable and will have a better sense of pace.  Many people break this race up into 3 sections.  First is the 15.5 mile single track trail on the AT.  Second, is a marathon on the towpath and lastly is the 8.5 miles on the road.  Roughly speaking we could target a 2:30 on the AT, 3:30 - 3:45 marathon on the towpath and an hour + for the road section.  That makes it about 7 hours and some change and throw in some time for changing shoes and stopping at aid stations for a finish time around 7:30.

Well, there are some rough numbers to think about.  Perhaps someone with JFK experience will chime in.
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:29 am

No experience with JFK and the only ultra that I ever run or will run was a 50K.  The best advice that I got though was to walk up the hills in the first two loops (it was three 11 mile loops), and then run them in the last loop (if you can). As it was only a 50K, I trained like a marathon and I didn't even run a distance over 26.2.  I did feel kind of stupid walking those hills, but boy did they seem easy (relatively) to run that last loop.  

I have heard from many here that have run the race that you do need to approach it like three races and I think Tim said it best.  I also would believe that you probably can't go slow enough on the first technical section.

See you in a couple of weeks.
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  T Miller on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:34 pm

Also, the RD says the rule of thumb for this race is to take your marathon time X 2 + 2 hours.
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  Julie on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:48 pm

13:48:31
@T Miller wrote:Also, the RD says the rule of thumb for this race is to take your marathon time X 2 + 2 hours.
Wow I'd be out there forever. I'm still eager to read the reports!
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  KBFitz on Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:46 pm

Sorry Michael, I didn't see this until now.

Having never done this before I have a basic question on tapering.  How much?
Tim & Mark have it about right. Just taper as though you were heading into a marathon. Nothing special. You'll be golden.

Also, for those of you familiar with JFK, any pacing strategies for me?
Tim nailed it. Mike Spinnler says that a decent target for finishing this course is 2 x your marathon time + 2 hours. That's a bit loose, but it does the trick. I've run this course 4 times and even though I pledged to run the AT real easy, I've never really done it slow enough. And taking it easy on the AT is absolutely key to a well-run race.


Don't be afraid of the AT, just take it exceedingly easy. In my first go at this course in 2008 I Did Not Finish. That's because I turned my ankle on the AT so many times that I continued to do so on the flat C&O Canal towpath. So I did the prudent thing and walked off the course at Antietam. This taught me a few things about trail running, so I showed up in 2009, 2010 and 2012 wearing an ankle brace and proper trail shoes. Of these three races, my fastest finish came when I took the AT the slowest.

We have a solid crew this year and can assist with a shoe change/clothing swap at Weverton (end of the AT) or Antietam (mile 27.1).


As to pacing, don't rock the AT. Your goal should be to come out intact and as fresh as possible. Walking breaks on the road up to South Mountain and on some of the fire roads early on the AT are investments in keeping you fresh. Take them. Approaching the end of the AT -- beyond Gathland Gap and just before you descend the Weverton Cliffs -- the trail rolls, is rocky and hidden below leaves -- it can be treacherous. This will take all of your concentration. TAKE IT almost painfully EASY. Your goal should not be about pace, but coming off the cliffs intact and fresh. Follow the lead of others.


On the C&O towpath and the rural roads thereafter, shoot for At LEAST 1:00 minute/mile slower than marathon pace. You've got a long way to go. Your pace here should feel easy. Take walking breaks if you need them. Your road will be shortened if you're with Tim, Schuey or another runner. Ultras are all about camaraderie. Running with others can make a real difference, particularly in the rough patches that you'll inevitably experience.

Finally, if Trevor doesn't have the fire in his belly to do the distance now, I respectfully submit that goading him into it would not be wise. A winning approach may be to have him pace you after Antietam -- your first venture beyond 26.2. It can make a world of difference. If marathons are 90% mental, ultras are more so. Just sayin'.

Cheers and see you next week! - k
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  wrichman on Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:32 pm

I agree with ^ KB Fitz on the pacing of the sections. 
Powerwalk the uphills, pick your feet up on the AT, and get into a comfortable cruising pace for the towpath. Think a 6-7/ out of 10 effort. If you have enough left the last 10 miles, then push it a bit - but once you get on the road, there are some small hills, which feel like really big ones at that point. 

tapering - like a marathon, but even less running.
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  Schuey on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:04 pm

Yep very important to pick-up your feet on the AT. The whole trail is pretty much rocks and really makes it even more challenging is all the leafs that have fallen off the trees are now covering the rocks. So, for the most part it really is hope that your feet land in the right place. I feel face first couple time on the AT but they were graceful falls and popped right back up! HaHa!! Also the same goes with coming down the switchbacks off the mountain the leafs and rocks are really slick and it can be easy to fall again on this section.

If you expended to much energy on the AT you will know it right away and if you try to put pick-up the pace you will feel it right away in your legs. I know I had this happen to me when I thought I ran the AT slow and easy and really paid the price from 25 miles and on! 

I would also agree that even though the road is a great welcome after so much time on the towpath and you will easy be able to pick-up the pace with out much effort it still is tough to run those last 8.25 miles and the little rolling hills seem much more then that. 


Also I have found that even though the towpath is pretty much flat you are still running on dirt and leafs and it is not even and can still be challenging to run so don't be fooled. It truly is a great run with a lot of different type of running over 50.25 miles. Yes you read that right JFK 50 miler really is 50.25 miles. 

This year I plan doing some walking up to the AT trail in the first 2.5 miles and then run the trail to the fire road and again doing some walking up the fire road. You almost have to due to have freaking steep it is. From there the my plan is to continue to road the AT very very slow and not be fooled by the fast downhill sections and not waste a energy on the AT and save it for the towpath and try to make-up all my time back later. 

Taper (or what I like to call Peak week) no different for me then what I would be doing for a marathon. There really isn't much different in running an Ultra from running a marathon. Except that it is longer, you hurt more, the tough patches are longer, more mentally demanding.
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Re: UltraTapering

Post  amyjoann on Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:03 pm

My advice if you have access to them run some trails that are technical and keep looking down the whole time on the trails don't look up! Also don't be afraid to walk, and early walking before you are tired.Some people do a run for 30 min. then walk 5 min pattern the whole time just a thought
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