Running in the last week before a marathon.

My last run was 10miles last Friday. Tomorrow I'm going to do 4miles easy. Marathon is on Sunday.

Various things have conspired against getting out, mainly off work with kids on half term and generally having to do things other than running.

My training over the last five weeks has been 4miles at bit slower than 5k pace, 10 miles at 30secs under marathon pace, 18miles LSR. Aiming for 9min miles. Looking for anything under 4:30.

Not an ideal last week, but not really sure what benefits any running this week would do anyway. Any thoughts, experiences?


  • You won't get any training benefit from the runs in the week before a race. Much better to do very little and be well rested than over do it and have tired legs for the race. People vary on what they like to do but it is mainly about keeping ticking over. I think it's best to focus on getting plenty of rest and eating right. Good luck with the race
  • Sounds fine to me, I'd be quite happy to line up on Sunday.
  • I had a week off in the summer, only did sea swimming. Came home and was 'pulling like a train' I felt really strong.

    The point I'm making is that having a week off with little or no running may well do you good.

    If I was going to be running a 5k I would want to run more but for a marathon some easy miles and a few hundred yards at race pace to give yourself a memory of the pace you need to run at.

    Q. You ran your long runs faster than marathon pace. I'm puzzled as to why. Also, how did you feel afterward, what was your recovery like?

    I'm fairly sure that you can under achieve 4:30, if you aim for a negative split I think you will be fine.

  • Sorry. That's wrong 10 milers were at 9:30, I meant slower not under. I ran Perkins GER at comfortable 9min/mile. The LSRs were very slow.

    I'm hoping for 4:00 but only doing 30-40 miles a week I'm expecting to fade massively after 20miles.
  • Hi Tim,

    You don't mention the word "tapering" in your post.  Does this mean you're not familiar with it?  Because you sound to be doing what every expert advises...  rest up the week leading to the marathon.  I suggest you google it to understand it... but in essence, a marathon training regime is hard on the body - and leads to lots of bits of microdamage in the muscles and tendons...  and also keeps tapping into the nutrients / energy stores of your muscles.   In the last week or two, you're supposed to take it very easy. This gives your body time to repair itself.. and, with a bit of late carbohydrate and water loading, you build up those energy stores....   but it is not long enough to allow your fitness to suffer. If you don't taper, but carry on training, your race performance would suffer significantly.

    Maybe accidentally, but you should take a lot of confidence from what you've done this week!

    By the way, don't be certain that you'll crash out at 20 miles.  It certainly didn't happen to me, and I could only dream of having put 30-40 miles a week into my legs!

  • 30 - 40 miles a week should be fine for 4 hrs. Start slow, 9:30m/m or slightly slower and you shouldn't fade.

     You'll only really fade if you try and run faster than your training dictates. You need to aim for a negative split. Marathons really are about tactics on the day. You need to be very disciplined. It's a bit boring I know. I ran London at a constant 8m/m and almost fell asleep. I woke up at about the 25 mile mark.

  • I have done 2 marathons this year (and in total).  Both done on average of 30-45 miles a week.  First one my taper was hit and miss and did too many miles the 2nd week before the marathon.  Struggled hugely on the race (4:06). Then for my second marathon 4 weeks ago, I did perfect taper (and actually only ran once in the 6 days pre marathon (an easy 10k on the Wed) and felt brilliant on the day of the race and got a 3:54 (would have been happy with anything under 4 hrs).  I decided that me resting was better for me than doing runs where my head was all over the place with nerves.  You will find last few miles hard, even seasoned marathoners do.  It is just digging in to your reserves and counting down those last 6 miles and aiming to finish as strong as possible.  You will be fine, better to be rested than overtrained.  Aim to get to 20 in a good place.  Then the final 10k won't be a bastard! However, if you are WASTED by 20 (i.e. gone out too fast), you will have a battle on your hands. Be sensible re pace and the rest will follow.  Good luck! 

  • Yes, in the past I've done a proper three week taper from a schedule. Always felt the last week a bit odd. This year I've taken a lot of comfort from only tapering for a week for my half marathons when previously I've tapered for two and have been running faster all the time.

    An experienced friend of mine has suggested that a two week taper is fine and I was planning on another 10mile last Sunday.

    I must say I'm feeling nice and rested. A week off work has helped.

  • I did a 10 miler Sunday before Chester Tim.  Worked out well.  You will be fine.  Nerves are normal!  What marathon is it?

  • Rutland Water. Going to be cold and wet and fun. Cattle grids and undulations to add interest. Have done it twice before but feel much more prepared this year.
  • A gentle 4mile at luchtime. 9min/mile. Felt soooo sloooow. Going to be good.

  • Good luck, and please pop back in and let us know how you got on.

  • Thanks CJ. It was cold, wet and in places through shin deep muddy water. I kept up the 9min/miles to about 15miles when the cold took hold of me then dropped right down to 10+min/miles. 4:39 in the end but ran all the way and knocked 9mins off last years time. Better weather and less 'undulations' it would have been there.

    Thanks All.

Sign In or Register to comment.