Tapering and Injuries

HI all

I am doing my 4th Marathon in 2 weeks (Oct 20th) at York.

My PB is currently 3.40 and i am trying to beat this at York. I have put a LOT of training in over past year (1800 miiles this year) and i am now starting to feel so aches and pains.

my last long runs have been

21 Miles
22 Miles
and 21 miles on Saturday (5th)

I am avergaging over 50 miles a week, and my last long run i averaged 7.40 min / miles . so well under where i need to be.

HOWEVER.. I have not got some pains in my left leg, mainly tight hamstring...also some glute pain to go with it. I want to back off a bit but reading some sites tell me that you can lose fitness drastically over a short period of time. I was looking to do around 18 miles on saturday as my last long run (obviously its race weekened week after) but unsure if this is wise.

I run 6 days a week (dont run Fridays) as my long runs tend to be Saturdays so like to prepare my legs for that. So i am also worried because my body is used to this that cutting it back in these final 2 weeks will have a negative affect.

I can do a marathon plan ok but tapering really screws with my head!

Where do you guys and girls stand with regards tapering? do you taper or just keep going?




  • I hate tapering too Chris - I always end up with loads of niggles, feeling ill etc etc - they don't call it taper madness for nothing. Much as I dislike it though I taper for at least two weeks before a target marathon reducing mileage by about 40% then 60% but keeping the frequency of my runs. You will get no benefit from doing a long run this weekend, it's too close to the race to have any beneficial physiological effect, but you could ruin your race. Back off, rest, let the niggles settle (maybe get yourself a sports massage) and be raring to go on the 20th.
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Don't do 18m on Saturday.

    I'd go for no more than 12-13 at a nice easy pace. This week you just need to keep ticking over with easy runs and maybe a mini session such as 3 x 1m at 5-10k pace off 3 mins.

    Next week should be very little. Even if you were to lose a little fitness (which you almost certainly won't) the detriment to that wo0n't be as bad as not tapering and running on tired legs, or worse still getting injured.

    Spend some time stretching, get some Epsom bath salts, have a sports massage etc. You've done the work, don't ruin it by doing more.

  • Thanks all, appreciate the comments and advice !
  • On your last long run you ran faster than your goal marathon pace, for 21M. So essentially as hard as a marathon. You will, therefore, be very tired and sore. You can't get any fitter now. Back off, do recovery runs and a few strides and hope you freshen up in time. 

    It might be worth seeing if any written plans appeal to you in the future. Not to necessarily follow precisely, but to give a good idea of paces and structure. Best of luck. 
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2019
    I agreed with Sorequads, it sounds like your body is telling you that you've overdone it. I would be cutting back a lot this week and next. Still keep a couple of mini speed sessions perhaps (as DT19 suggests) but I would be cutting the long run to under 10 miles.

    You're very unlikely to lose any significant fitness by cutting back (even though you might feel like you have - which is normal in a taper), however if you run too much now, you are very likely to get to race day overdone and tired - high risk, negligible reward.
  • Again thanks, all makes sense!!.....tapering is the harderst part for me !!!
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