How Not to Taper

1. Book a race.
2. Book two races.
3. Schedule one each week before your marathon.
Whoops!1471084_625734637465122_182236844_nHowever, in my defense they are two of my favorite local races that just happened to be on back to back weekends right before I run the full in New Orleans.

So my running weekends look a bit like this:
– Last 20 mile long run
– Charleston Half Marathon (13.1)
– Charlie Post 15K (9.3)
– New Orleans Full (26.2)

The distances actually fit in really well with how I usually taper so the distance of each race is not a problem at all.  The issue comes in the fact that they are races and not slow, easy taper runs.
However, I think I have that under control –
I am setting no pace goals
My plan is to run at a comfortable pace and to remember that these races are just for fun,
the full marathon is priority one.
I may even leave my Garmin at home so I can take it slow and not stress about pace.

Are these two races a horrid idea? Remember I would be running this far anyway to train.
Have you ever included a race in your taper?  How so?


Follow on Bloglovin


  1. says

    Eh. If this is how you would taper and you feel good about the distance and not overdoing it, then I say whatever helps pass the time until marathon day is a-ok. Good luck!

  2. says

    I know that some people can use races as training runs. I am not sure I would trust myself once the starting gun went off! I might have to use my Garmin to make sure I stick to an easy pace.

    • says

      I think this may be one time where being a slower runner helps me out a bit. I went at a pretty easy pace and just enjoyed doing it.

  3. says

    I think if you plan to take it nice and easy and not race you should be fine. I have only run one marathon but plan to run another this fall and all ready have a 12 mile race planned for what should be that distance that week. Good luck and have fun!

  4. says

    I try not to take running too seriously, so I say do them and love them! As long at you don’t go so hard during your races that you overstress your body, I think you will be fine. I have never included a race in my taper, but I have seriously been considering doing back to back half marathons to see how I could handle it.

    • says

      I think back to back halves would be great as long as you don’t go all out on both of them.
      Run one for time and one for fun.

  5. says

    I’ve done this lots before. The key is just making sure you take them super easy, they’re not races, just training runs, right? Good luck and enjoy! (I LOVE ‘how NOT to…’ posts!)

  6. says

    You know I love you… But taper is making you a crazy worrywart! These distances are fine and you know enough to not push too hard and hurt your marathon. Just remember to smile, take it slow and have fun. I can’t wait till NOLA!

    • says

      I do Taper always gets to me. I feel like I have ended up sick or injured in my last few tapers. I think my body is ready for a break. Post Nola it will get a big one.

  7. Jenna says

    More power to you!! I think that because you’re doing it for fun and not having any big expectations then you’re fine! Just do you and listen to the bod! Ps, you look so cute in all your pink!!! Xo

  8. says

    OMG…I had to laugh because for some sick reason I decided to schedule a race one week after I run Blue Ridge Mountain Half (totally a temporary lapse of sanity when I registered for that one …that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Naturally, I know that I will in no way PR Blue Ridge and my goal is to finish. Frederick Running Fest a week later…well…. who knows…but a week or so after that I’m hoping to get into the Marine Corps Historic Half. Yes…I’m nuts.

  9. says

    Those a great “taper” distances! Towards the end of the taper, I start to get into a funk … I think plugging in some a 15K the week before is perfect. Go as fast as you need to feel confident about the next week’s race. It’s all a mind-game anyway…if your brain decided you should go for it, than your feet can get you there.

  10. says

    No biggie! I ran a half – granted I did not run my race but stopped and ran with a woman who was having issues as she was recovering from pneumonia – on Sunday and Blue Ridge full the following Sat last year. It was one of my fav half marathons and I had, until this year, run it every year I have been racing. Race the half if you want and just run the 15K.

  11. says

    I am just cracking up right now. But, I can’t say that I will be much different this year! I try to keep the taper sacred but in truth I am just overall tired of racing too selectively. You have to live! You love this so why. It soak it up, as long as you are healthy and not on the couch and your expectations of your body are realistic. Go, girl.

  12. says

    I think that if you just run the races for fun you will enjoy them way more than a solo run!!!
    Good luck and have fun!

  13. Brie says

    I’ve run a half marathon two weeks out from both of my road marathons and I thought it was a good decision. I raced both of them actually, but the weekend before, I wouldn’t have raced at all. Racing the half would be fun! I bet you can still go for a impressive time on the half, as a mini-confidence boost and then you still have two weeks to recover before the marathon if you take the 15k as a marathon race pace. I say this since your marathon goal time isn’t crazy fast (I’m not sure what it is, but from your training runs and race history, I’m guessing it’s around 4:45, near an 11min/mile avg), I think it could be fun to use the 10 miles on that last race as a way to see if you can stay on pace for the marathon – like a game.

    I would advocate bringing the watch to the second race at least. Your nerves alone might make you speed up, so if your watch it the type to set up this stuff, you can set an annoying alert on there to slow yourself down if you go over XX pace. Having the watch can be a good tool, and I know you’ll be smart about the second race.

    So to summarize, I think you should go for the first race and use the second race as a marathon pace specific race. If you race the half, just make sure you give yourself enough downtime. If you race the half, do a 3 week taper to prep for that.

    I’m sure you have a smart taper plan, but I wanted to share how I do it, because it’s worked really well and I’ve felt like I had fresh legs each time. I decrease weekly mileage by 75/50/20. So if you were running 40 miles a week you’d run 30/20/8 each week leading up so marathon week would be 26.2 + 8 = 34. I think less is more in the last week for the marathon too, especially if you’ve been battling injuries. My first marathon I ran 6 miles the week of. Last year I ran 10, and felt like I did just a little too much.

    Good luck on your half this weekend! Go for it!! Just make sure almost all of your runs next week are at least 1 minute slower than your marathon pace and nice and easy.

    • says

      Thanks. There was no racing at the half this weekend. I was actually almost 8 minutes over my half time from a month ago. I rolled my ankle during my 20 and it kicked up and bugged me big time. So I am resting and icing today, and happy I finished.

  14. says

    I’ll be at both of those. I am doing the 5K at Charlie Post though.

    If you can hold back, it’s not a bad plan. At least with a race, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the mileage in unless you DNF or something… unlike a training run, you won’t run past your house and be tempted to just stop. Not that I think you have that kind of a discipline issue when it comes to running, but some people might.

    If I were you, I’d wear your watch. Maybe do some of the miles at your goal marathon pace, like using part of the race as a fast finish long run :). I don’t wear my watch when I race anymore but I race 5Ks and by the time I see a 1 mile split, there is really only so much I can do if it’s too fast or slow, so I just listen to my body when I race. But in a half marathon or 15K, I’d definitely run with a watch.

    • says

      Thanks Amy. I took it pretty slow and tried to hit goal pace, but a nagging ankle (I rolled it last week) was bugging me so I slowed even more.