Training Plans and Tapering.

A little about me folks I am a soon to be 50 runner who started running 4 years ago. Not the fastest more of a plodder but work hard and run about 4/5 times a week.

Doing London for the second time and just feel the need to talk about the taper.

I know everyone finds the taper hard but is it really necessary?

I never run the best after rest days as always feel leggy. The info all seems a bit contradictory as I am supposed not to try anything new. However I am doing very little running which is new and eating more which is making me feel lardy and lazy.

I went out this morning and ran 3 miles and thankfully didn’t have to run the marathon this morning as really struggled.

During my last Marathon which was 2010 I ran a really good 20 early on in my training think I peaked then didn’t do as well on the day. Again I did a good 20 this time about a month ago and on the day wished it had been marathon day.

My feelings are if you are running regularly is 16 weeks too long. My normal long run normally ticks over at 10miles and I am wondering if I was to build that up say to 12,14,16,18,20,13,26 would you feel fresher on the day.


  • I guess it depends on what you're doing alongside those long runs. If you're running 6 days a week and 60+ miles then basically you're always tired and so the taper really is important. If you're only running a couple of times a week then it's not so significant. I've increased my mileage quite a bit this year and I definitely feel that the taper is more significant this time. It's also dependant on how hard you're going to push yourself. If you're really going to be pushing the envelope and running very close to your absolute potential then every scrap of energy you have in reserve on the day is important. If you're not going to be pushing yourself to that extent then maybe the taper isn't so significant. Everybody is different - there are people who can run marathons every weekend and others who take months to recover. No program is the definitive one, and they can all be tailored to your individual needs as you gain experience of how you react to the training and the race.

  • i suppose we are all different......i find i do nothing at all the week before a big race....i just feel tired that week......i think its my bodies way of making me rest ready for the big day.....

    i also think that 20 miles 2 weeks before the marathon is too much to recover properely from.....i find the more long runs i do in training at a slow pace.the longer i can keep the race pace on the day before slowing down.....

    I suppose it depends on the speed on the long runs compared to your race many variables just like the day.....

    Good luck

  • BOTF thanks for your response it has given me some food for thought. However we will see after Sunday if the taper has worked for me this time round.

    Seren thanks image

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