Tapering and VLM

I'm wondering if any of you have any thoughts on this: I was due to do my final 20-miler (I say 'final', but would have been the second of two, having worked up through the long runs) the weekend just gone, but a variety of circumstances (home, work, a slight pull in my calf muscle) made that impossible to fit in. I would have tapered down from there with my longest run in the tapering period a 13-miler. I have just over three weeks before the event, as you will all know, and my instinct is not to try to shoehorn in another 20-miler over the Easter weekend because it feels a bit late. Are my instincts correct? I have a PB of 3hrs46 and was hoping to get below 3hrs40 (anything below that would be a minor miracle in my case!). Thanks in advance.


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    My plan has a 20 miler this weekend, so I'm intending to do just over 20 miles this Sunday in prep for VLM.

    No real issue doing it three weeks before, its the last big effort before the three week taper. You probably woudn't want to do it two weeks before.

    A four week taper seems to long to me?

  • I intend to do my final 20 miler this weekend - still leaves three weeks to taper, the weekend after will just be a couple of hours for the LSR and then maybe only an hour the final week.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • not too late. I've got a 21/22 miler this weekend and it'll be my last 20+ before VLM. 3 weeks is plenty of time to recover

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭

    My last and longest run will be this weekend, then 18, then 13, then race.

  • ok, thanks for that... 20 it is! damn!

  • Hi Peter, 

    I would listen to what you think is right.  I've been in the similar situation before my last marathon, where I didn't manage my last 20, that was 4 weeks out.  I was actually doing the run, then I had pain in my knee that caused me to stop at mile 11- decided it was best to RICE it in order to make race day.  I actually did no more running at all until a few days before the race, and still managed to take 5minutes off my previous time.

    I guess you need to ask yourself, how serious is that calf pull, and if not serious, then ask yourself do YOU recover ok from a 20 miler meaning you can have it 3 weeks out.  My plan for my marathon in May has the last 20 3 weeks out, but I'm not entirely comfortable with htis, and will adjust if I feel at that time that its too much.

    Good luck!

  • I've done 2 x 20 milers and was planning 21/22 this weekend, however, after the soggy snow on Sunday I now have blisters under the arches of both feet image so that's put paid my last LSR.

    If I could get another one in I would.

    Good luck
  • Thanks for that, Angela. I'm seeing a physio tonight with the calf, which has come through gentle eight-mile and a six-mile runs this week. If the advice is rest it for a while, that's what I'll do until the final week, when I'll test it out very gently. Cheers all.

  • Got the same problem, I've done two 20 milers so far and took last weekend off due to the snow and some pain in my achilles.

    I want to do a long run but may be doing more damage than good, did 13 miles yesterday and felt awful. I'll just wait and see how I feel.

    I do plan on taking 10 days of complete rest apart from swimming and light cycling ahead of race day so my two week taper should really be starting now.

    You seem to have miles in your legs so I'd say just listen to your body and try to avoid injury, easier said than done since if you're like me you'll just want to get out there and run!

  • Well, precisely. Mind you, the six-miler I did yesterday was intereseting - I work in Hammersmith and often run along the river at lunchtimes. This time, however, I made the mistake of going along the towpath during a very high tide and was for some of the time actually running 'in' the river. It got so bad between Barnes and Hammersmith on the south side that some women had been caught between patches of water in sensible shoes and were rescued by a passing boat. I splashed through some relatively shallow bits, but noted that the water by Hammersmith Bridge would have come up to my chest and, with the consent of some snotty public schoolboys, cut through St Paul's school's boathouse and through the grounds of that institution to make my escape. Slightly hair-raising.

  • Hi guys, first post on here so hope I am doing this right!

    I have eased off for two weeks due to an injury but was hoping to do a 20 miler on Sunday before tapering. I went to the physio today and having diagnosed a pulled glute muscle, they said no running until next friday at the earliest. The longest run I have done is 17.1 miles which was over three weeks ago now.

    What would you guys suggest for next weekend, a long run or should I carry on with my plan as if I was tapering? I'm a bit worried because it would mean I would go into my first marathon with a longest run of 17 miles but I have heard how important tapering is...

    Thanks for your help


  • Superhans, no advice for you but i am in same position (different injury) so i would be interested to see what others say.  I just want to get round, not concerned with a time at all as long as i finish.  I have been advised to taper nw in case of further injury but 17 and a half miles just doesnt seem enough

  • bin anymore long runs if you have a hint of injury! Risk of damage far outweighs any possible benefit. I did my first mara after injury and longest run in the previous 2 months was 10.5m the week before! If you have a decent amount of training in your legs you want to preserve it and get to the start feeling recovered.
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