Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tape Ring

While many of you are now reading/posting about recovering from your marathon, here today in class we will be discussing ramping UP for a marathon.  That means it's time for...


I have run 4 marathons and 3 halfs.  I have NEVER tapered.

A ring, made of tape.  tape ring.  You're welcome for the excellent play on words, somebody alert Jason Mraz

The Eugene marathon is in 10 days (ugggh, is anyone else getting tired of me talking about it?).  This time, I'm going to attempt to do it "right".

Whatever "right" means.  There are a lot of pre-marathon runner-rules, and I feel that they are a bit too black and white to fit all our individual running selves.

For instance: for my first 3 marathons, I didn't eat anything during the race.  It worked out fine, I wasn't hungry and had a fair share of energy.

For my 4th marathon, I had some sports beans, and I'm not certain what the point was.  I only remember thinking they were yummy--and noisily clacking around in my pocket--but not that they really helped or replenished me.

yum yum yummmm

For instance:  As I mentioned above, I've never tapered.  In the past, I just took it easy the day before the race by doing something light at the gym.

I'm nervous that if I really take it easy for 2 weeks, my legs will get all stiff and running will feel unfamiliar.

Sometimes my legs feel BEST and loose the day after a long 18 mile run!  And worst after taking two days off!

I really want to trust that tapering is the right thing to do, so what I'm asking from you is to flood me with advice or reasons why I should taper, and what my next 10 days should look like.

So far this week: 
Saturday: 13.1
Sunday: 4
Monday: 0
Tuesday: 17
Wednesday: 0

that puts me at 34 miles.  My highest mileage weeks are 70-80 miles.  I understand I should aim for 50-ish miles this week?

I also want to know what you do, or what you recommend I do, the day before the marathon in terms of activity.  I was thinking 4 miles or so to shake out my legs.

Either that, or I might jog the entire marathon course to get a feel for it ( ya know just 26.2 easy miles)



  1. I think you should do what works for you. You know your body best. I am learning the more I run the more my body gets used to it. I'm hardly sore anymore after long runs.
    I follow a training plan but it's cause i'm a newbie at this whole running racing thing so I feel better if I have something to follow, but I'm also don't beat myself up for not following it to the letter. I actually mix it up a little so I don't get bored.

    I like to take gels or chews during runs cause I do feel like the make a difference for me.
    I think it's all has to do with sustaining the energy and the gels, candy, chews or whatever is what helps. I read a blog where this lady had honey sticks during her runs.

    P.S. Yea I don't miss the Seattle rain haha. Though it has been raining here in Idaho the past few days. Yea Seattle only has like 2 weeks out of the entire summer where it actually gets really hot. You got lucky when you were there :) I do miss it but I love Idaho. It's my home state and I'm glad I'm back. I'm going back to Seattle in June to run the Seattle Rock & Roll though so i'm excited! I was actually going to run Eugene Marathon till I found out we were moving back to Idaho.

  2. Hey girl,

    When I was reading your post you reminded me so much of myself when I first started running marathons. I knew NOTHING! Didn't eat during the marathon, didn't taper...first marathon I ran 3:46, 2nd 3:26. I tried my first gel my 2nd marathon and I HATED IT!! So gross and it made me gag! But, now I can't really say that I see a huge difference in my performance if I eat or not. I think that now I just tolerate the gels (I only eat two). I agree with Cynthia everyone is different and you have to do what's good for you. I usually just rest 1x a week 2wks before and 2x a week 1wk before. But, rest for me is cross-training, usually elliptical or long walks with my kids. If I were you I would run about 10miles less than what you're used to. The whole idea is to have fresh legs at the start line!! You are going to do soo great at Eugene!

    Sorry, this is lengthy but, I hope this helps!! :)

  3. Just decrease your time and distance but increase your intensity!

  4. My half marathon training plan ramped up to 3 weekday runs of 5, 4, then 5 miles, with a weekend run that increased a mile or two every week until I hit 12 miles. The final two weeks were taper. The first week, weekday runs were 4, 3, and 4 miles, with a 7 mile long run. Race week is 4, 3, then 2 miles the day before the race.

    So you don't stop running. You stop building muscle and let your body slowly recharge, while at the same time keeping things loose.

  5. I just went for a nice 2 mile walk with the dog and baby the day before my marathon.

    Taking a Gu makes a huge difference for me, but I've read that some runners just don't benefit in the same way (especially if it makes them sick to their stomach). Do you run with Gatorade then for electrolytes?

  6. I hate eating while running, I know that is something that I theoretically try to change when I do a marathon this fall...

    Perhaps I'll work up to it.

  7. I follow pretty much what Cynthia does - I like to have a schedule too, otherwise I kind of feel overwhelmed with trying to figure out what to do out there. But you seem to train pretty unconventionally, so I would go with what works for you, since it seems to have worked in the past. Chuck is also right, that basically is the goal of tapering - reducing distance but not intensity. That way your body is ready to explode on race day, because your body will need every ounce of energy that it can on marathon day =)

  8. I say keep doing what you do! You have been totally fine with no eats in the past, so if it ain't broke...just sayin :) Love the tape ring!

    P/S I have no taper plan either. I plan on 18-20 this weekend with reduced mileage next week. I run the OC the same day you run Eugene...although you will be done like 2 hours before me :) Go on with your bad self!!

  9. You are going to do awesome no matter what you do!
    Like my coach says, you can't gain fitness in a week. So what you do this week isn't really going to matter all that much. I would say that the day before the race you do about 45 minutes of running and lots of stretching. Make sure to get some carbs in you that night, too. And lots of sleep-two nights before!
    You're a pro by now. You know your body. Just do what feels right :)

  10. Ok, so here's the opinion you were waiting for: Mine! Hahaha. No seriously, I know you take my advice very seriously when it comes to running. Seeing as how I don't think I've ever run even one mile in my whole life, except for in high school, and even then I'm pretty sure I walked most of it... Anyways, what was I saying? Oh yeah, running advice. I think you're going to kick ass, and that you've been doing pretty great not overthinking it too much up to this point. That being said, don't listen to anything I have to say, based on the reason above.

    Did I just take up a bunch of space saying nothing? Yup! Do I think you're going to have a marvelous time in Oregon and run a fabulous race? Yup!

  11. I literally started lol at Allison's comment above - freaking hilarious haha

  12. Your P.S. made me laugh. How do we know RoseRunner really wrote this post???

    I've never run a marathon, so I don't know a lot about tapering. For my half-marathons I just followed (or tried to follow) the program my running club gave me. Decreasing my weekly mileage during the last two weeks made me anxious, but I trusted the system. I wonder if tapering is really necessary, though ...

    I know no matter what you do, you're going to do an awesome job in Eugene! I wonder if you'll see SkinnyRunner's brother?

  13. I think you should do what works for you. It seems as if everyone has a different way of training and preparing for a marathon.

    I started using sports gels/ GUs (read the ingredients, vegetarian safe, no geletain only wax) I noticed they do make a difference, I'm not sure if its all mental or they really help... but I'm still learning the ropes of marathoning so I can't say. I do try and do a long run or 2 with no food/gels/whatever during it so my body is conditioned to pushing itself and on marathon day it's easier when I have gels.

    ~ H

  14. You should Jason Karp is the number one authority in running marathons. He can answer all your ?s and then some


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