Marathon question

Hello, could someone please tell me what to do in a situation like mine? I have been training for my very first Marathon, last weekend i ran my 18 miles and today i am scheduled to do 14 so that next weekend is my 20 mile and longest before the race. The problem is that a day after my 18 mile run i came down with a bad flu and suffering from it since. I havent ran in 6 days and next weekend it should be the dreaded 20 miles. I feel that i will be out till at least next wednesday and i will not be able to do 20 that weekend. I could give it another week, however then my taper will only be 2 weeks. Can a taper even be that short. I am afraid of losing fitness and not be able to make it, however i am in TX and probably that is the last Marathon here before the summer hits... If 2 weeks taper is ok, how it should be done? Thanks


  • 2 weeks taper is fine... Don't run with the flu, you will get worse.

    Tapering is reducing milage and resting to recharge and prepare for the race. We all do it differently. It's your first race so don't stress. You will enjoy it. You will also run the fastest marathon time you have ever done so chill out, do some shorter runs, stay healthy and well fed and race strong.
  • A 3 week taper is often cited as the optimum time for someone who has trained hard for a long period. The training load is reduced so you arrive on the start line in optimum condition. It will help with the repair of muscle damage, restore energy levels, shake off the accumulated fatigue etc.

    That 3 week average is used for someone who has been doing 100 miles pw, run a dozen 20 milers, does intense speed sessions etc. Likewise it is often used for beginners who are pushing themselves into new running territory.

    What I would say for you is that your running muscles have had 6 days rest, but your immune system has been compromised. Think about how quickly you feel you will recover from a 20 miler based on the 18 you did. In reality whether you do 16 or 20 will have little affect on fitness now - it's more a confidence thing from hereon. I know I would go for it in your position, but the next runner may not agree
  • Why do you call it "the dreaded twenty" ?

    You should be enjoying your build up towards your first marathon

    there is nothing to dread about it.

  • Thank you for all of the support! The thing is that i seem to recover extremely fast. I get home from my long runs (10:35/mile avarage) and i am sore but in 5 hours it is as it never happened. I am vegan, most of the times a raw vegan. 3 month ago i went for an 8 mile trail run, which i never did before and had an awful plantar fasciitis. Doctor told me not to dream about this marathon, it was that bad. I uppered my raw intake, had raw fresh smoothies and did the usual rolling ice ball thing and in 3 weeks it was healed like nothing ever happened. So probably i would heal fast from my 20 mile as i healed that fast from the 18. I think i will stay still untill i feel good and see how it goes. If 2 weeks is fine, then i dont have anything to worry about. I just didnt find anything about a 2 weeks taper on line...

    It is dreaded for me, because i had a running partner all the way whu has just told me that she pulls out of it. Right before our 20 miler it is scary for me. I have to re group my thoughts on running alone and solving everything alone for myself instead of having been able to count on someone.
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