What’s your marathon taper look like?

trailrunningI’m five days away from running my first marathon. I’ve worked pretty hard over the last few months, building my training load slowly, looking after myself with a reasonably clean diet and regular(ish) stretching and foam roller sessions as well as the occasional massage.

But I’m now into my taper – the period before a major event where you lighten the training load in order to allow your body to fully recover from the increasing training load.

Over the last 16 weeks or so, I’ve been increasing my training load on a three-week cycle. For two weeks, I was increasing my mileage. On the third week, I’d drop back slightly. My long run schedule for marathon preparation follows this two steps up, a small step back rhythm.

I didn’t quite follow the schedule as planned because life got in the way. Two weeks before the marathon, I ran my last long run. Rather than focussing on distance that day, I ran for a fixed period of time – three hours on flat terrain.

Last Saturday, a week before the Surf Coast Marathon, I ran a comfortable 14km (with hills). When I got home, I was still raring to go and felt strong.

The last week before the race is tough as I’m feeling good. Most of my niggles – particularly my troublesome right glute/hamstring  – are clear and I really want to run. But, I need to focus on rest. So, for this week, I’ll be doing some short sessions on the treadmill and some light cross-training and weights so that I keep moving.

What do you do on your taper week?

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