Tapering - How do I do it ?

I'm training for the Windsor Half Marathon (as most of the Western World knows, I've gone on about it so much !).
I haven't really trained very hard - life constraints mainly. I've tried to run 2x6 and 1x10 miles a week and I managed to turn the 10 miles into 13 a couple of times. Now that Windsor's less than a fortnight away what should I do to taper. Should I do 2x 4 and a 6 miler each week or 2x6 and 1x4 ? I don't really do speed sessions - that's next year's task.
Or, at this level of effort is the idea of tapering laughable and would another long run this weekend do me good ?



  • You beat me to it, Daisy - I'm doing the GNR the following week and could do with some advice about tapering.

    I did a 32-mile week and my only 13-mile long run last week, and plan to do 17 training miles plus a 10K race this week and a 7-mile maintenance run next Tuesday. That takes me to 12 days pre-GNR, and my schedules are then blank until the last two days (rest and travel).

    I was vaguely planning to fit in 10 miles 10 days before the GNR, my normal gym session 8 days before, then halve the length of each run during the last 7 days. Would that be realistic?

    I'm not looking to win, would be delighted with 2:15, but in reality will probably jog round with the 2:30 pacers.
  • Gosh V_rap - 32 miles in one week - go and have a lie down !

    Your tapering plan sounds depressingly active - I was hoping people would say I could lie on the sofa for two weeks !

    Should go for a run tonight but I'm wacked. Worked all day and didn't achieve as much as I wanted and then the kids have been really draining since I picked them up from school. I think I prefer the thought of some wine and a large packet of crisps - there's always tomorrow...

    Good luck with the GNR. I always enjoy your posts.
  • Daisy, you could lie on the sofa for two weeks with a piped supply of wine and chocolate, and you'd probably do a perfectly respectable time at Windsor. I think the priority now is to avoid starting the race underfuelled, ill, tired or injured. Anything else is a bonus.

    Go on - have that run tonight. I got home last night with my head nipping from work and my eyes half-shut, went out anyway, and ended up quite enjoying the run and feeling a lot better afterwards.

    Do you think everyone is on the homeward commute at the moment, or is everyone secretly clueless about how to taper for a half-marathon?

    All the best for Windsor. Wish I was going - sounds like that's where all the best parties will be.
  • Do an easy longish run this weekend (7-10 miles) but just take it easy .
    In the last week , relax , maybe do a lighter speed/fartlek session on Tuesday and maybe 3 or 4 miles on Thursday with some 'strides' - basically stretch your legs for 100m or so , and enjoy being a finely tuned athlete, focusing on how easy you'll fare at Windsor/GNR respectively.

    I always find a couple of rest or very light days before a race help,leaving you raring to go on race day.There is no benefit from sessions in the last week anyhow.

    Good luck to you both.
  • Thanks, Dustin. Sounds good - I shall take your advice. I've only just started to do striders during some of my runs, and it's a fantastic feeling, like the difference between cantering and galloping on a horse, even though I know I'm probably going at something weedy like 8mph. Tempo runs are starting to appear on the horizon.

    Would you bother to carbo-load? I'm expecting to eat a bit extra on Friday and Saturday, but wonder how much difference it makes for 13 miles.

  • I'd back Dustin on this one. Make the last long run on the Sunday before the race no longer than 7 miles (1 day per mile recovery before the race), then do a couple of three milers during the week and eat lots of pasta.
    Good luck both of you.
  • Thanks guys

    Looks like Dangly's advice is promoting the least exercise (apart from V-Rap's disgraceful suggestion of sofa and chocolates - I couldn't possibly !!!) so that's the one I'll follow !

    Just got my number and chip - HOW EXCITING.
    Going for a short run now
  • I'm doing the GNR and I was planning doing 13 tomorrow, my usual training during the week (approx 20 -25 miles) a 10 next Saturday, 7.5 on the Monday, then 4 Tues and Thurs and a hill session on the Wed. I am intending having the Friday and Saturday as rest days. Is this too much? I have done one 13 miler before 2 weeks ago on this sort of training and did it in 2 hrs and 1 min. I based this last 2 weeks training on different training plans that are about. Any advise would be greatly appreciated - especially with regards to my 2 remaining long runs!

    Don't you realise there's a finite amount of energy on this planet and you're using it all up !!

    Well done on your time during 13 miles - very impressive. Good luck with the GNR.

    Was it you who posted about how to run after having a baby a few months ago ? If so WELL DONE - you've obviously found the answer !!!
  • Yes it was me! - I had a few bad 10ks, but have not raced since then and seem to have improved. Thanks for the GNR, I'm not really looking forward to it - the thought of 48,000 runners seem to be putting me off a bit.
  • 48,000 - bloody hell!!!

    I'm sure it will be an amazing experience and a good one for you.

    Well done to keep the running up - very tricky with small people to look after and especially with a few bad experiences. The Windsor half is only my second race. My ambition was to manage a 10k by the end of the year so I think I've achieved that one !
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