Steamtown Marathon Diary: One Last 20 Miler

I’m not a huge fan of big tapers, and even when training for a marathon, I find it a bit odd to start tapering a whole three weeks before the race, which seems to be the common wisdom. I’ve been running for enough years now and I know my body well enough that tapering this far out would not be beneficial to me. My body can handle the higher mileage because I’ve been doing it for so long and if I taper too much, my legs are going to feel sluggish come race day.

That said, I fully plan on doing 70 to 75 miles this week, cut it back to about 65 the week before the marathon and then truly taper the week before. I just want to get my legs rested up a little and make sure they’re fresh. Judging by my experience with tapers in the past, I think I’m doing the right thing. Slight tapers have worked for me, but I know that marathons are a whole different affair than 8Ks.

So that’s my plan going forward. As for the past week, it was pretty solid, but nothing spectacular. It took me a while to recover from my half marathon. As such, I didn’t do a hard workout, but got in a short tempo just to get the legs moving. Yesterday, I did my final 20 miler. I ended up doing it completely by myself, which took some mental fortitude, but I got it done and went significantly negative splits the whole way. I ended up with a 2:20:50, which was right in line with my other 20 milers. Unfortunately, I’ve come down with a slight cold, but I’m hoping to get over this quickly and I don’t think it should impact my training much, if at all. But, hey, I’d sure as hell rather get sick now than in three weeks when the marathon comes around.

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