Monday, September 13, 2010

Taper? From What?

As I was flipping through my calendar this morning trying to figure out what's going on (typical Monday morning) I realized the Twin Cities marathon is only 20 days away. Less than 3 weeks. In my last two rounds of marathon training, my last three weekend long runs have been 15, 13, and 10. You know what I did this past weekend? Hint: it wasn't running 15 miles. In fact, I was at a friend's cabin, forgot my sports bras, and ended up walking two miles. Oops.

That really is in keeping with this entire marathon training cycle. I started out strong, but quickly scrapped the program. My summer training has been more of "gee I think I'll do a triathlon this weekend" than "must get in the long run." And it has made me really, really happy. I wouldn't trade it for a thing. And while I know I'm certainly not trained to go for a PR at Twin Cities, I have the fitness to finish.

So that leaves me with this weekend and where I need your help. Two weeks out from the marathon. I am wondering if I should try to do a 20 miler or do something shorter. I haven't done a 20 miler yet this cycle (I know, you're probably all un-following me now for the cardinal marathon training sin). So for confidence purposes I would really like to get one in. Oh, one other thing - I'm doing a 50 mile bike ride on Saturday. So do I do my 20 on Sunday and THEN start my taper? Or should I try to hit 13-15 Sunday and call it good?

17 comments:

Julie said...

Hi Heather,
I don't know what to tell you on this one. I was wondering myself if I should attempt another 20 miler this weekend and then taper for two weeks. Hopefully other people will have some good advice for you:) I agree, with all of your tri training...you should be in a great spot to finish strong! You will most likely do better than you think. Good luck to you Heather!

Teamarcia said...

You can't put the run on Sat and the bike on Sun can you?
If that were the case I'd say do the 20 on Sat. I'd at least like to see you get 18.
I know many who swear by a 2-week taper.

the dawn said...

cycling aside...i would probably do the 20, but that's because its such a huge mental road block for me. for some reason, once i've run 20 miles i feel "ready" and the idea of going into a marathon without that confidence would scare me. however, if you've done it before...and trust your body, i don't think that running the 20 will change your fitness all that much. if your head is already in the game and you know you can handle it then enjoy the ride and call it good.

Marlene said...

I'd want to get that 20-miler in, though I'm sure on your fitness you can get away with less.

Jill said...

I would say do the 20 this weekend, I rarely ever taper 3 weeks anyway - 2 is sufficient....BUT I'm not liking the 50-miler the day before. I'd switch the two around, is possible. I think the 20 is important if you can get it in!!!

sisterbison said...

Most book and articles I've read say a 2 week marathon taper is perfectly fine. So, in your case, since you haven't been doing huge mileage long runs for the past few weeks, I'd say go ahead and do a 20this weekend. You'll get some mental and physical benefit from it. Will it chance the outcome of your marathon? Probably not a ton, but at least you'll have gotton a(nother) nice, long run under your belt.

Anne said...

If Teamarcia says you can, then you can :) Whatever you decide...I'm sure you'll do fine.

B.o.B. said...

I'm no running coach, but I'd say hit the 20 on the run. You need at least one so you don't feel miserable at 20 during the race. (Or so I've heard.)

Good luck!

Katie A. said...

I think you should totally attempt the 20 miler at some point this weekend. If you do the bike on Saturday, make sure you recover VERY WELL from it. Take an ice bath, but some compression socks on and sit on your butt after that. Get a good nights sleep and you should be golden.
If you're out there though, and things start to go south, scrap it or do as much as you can. You do have the fitness but you don't need to beat yourself up.
Good luck this week!

Tish said...

Beyond my pay grade. I can't advise you. But I wish you luck in deciding the right path to take. You're amazing!

Ali said...

I say run the 20. Not that I am an expert. Far from it. But I think it's important for you mentally to do a long run and 2 weeks is lots of time to recover. Just don't run it hard.

DRog said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmm

hard one! I felt the same way b4 Grandma's this year, I had not done a long run in 5weeks due to injury and had been cross training like mad and felt the fitness was there. It came off okay.

I would say go with whatever feels intuitive. I'd think you might at least do a 15 this weekend if you can fit it in? Im going 15 this weekend, 8 the next.

Good luck !

Derek

P said...

Your tri fitness is going to carry you a long way, but you definitely want to get in a good long run (18+) this weekend. How funny that the marathon snuck up on you like this! Have fun on your bike ride, too!

Jess said...

Don't ask me. But, good luck figuring it out!

aron said...

personally i would do the 20 miler... but the time you will get on the 50 mile bike ride will be adding endurance also. maybe just see how you feel on sunday? i know cycling 50 miles makes my legs very tired... can you switch them around? you know your body best, so you know what to do :)

Jamoosh said...

I say you should be fine 1ith an 18 miler.

wendy_kresha@charter.net said...

Heather, I found myself in the same situation! I had no desire to run 20 miles, especially by myself! (And I clogged FB trying to get someone to go with me, too, lol!) In the end, it turns out that there is no way I could run that far. My achilles tendon started hurting again immediately after I gave up the biking and the swimming for the season. I just can't risk blowing it and not being able to run at all. (My friends commented just this morning on my funny running to protect my ankle). I really wanted to be able to run this with you and am very disappointed that I can't! You are going to do great, you are an incredible athlete and I can't wait to do tris again with you next summer! Take care and good luck! I can't wait to hear how it goes!