Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stepback week, dummy!

That is exactly what my body has been saying to me over the course of the last week or so. Thankfully, that voice didn’t tune out the voice that continuously chants “treat your body like an an amusement park!!”. I love that voice.

My training has been going really well, however I am starting to feel the effects of three weeks of hard miles. I’m tired, my calves are tight, I’m irregular, I have been eating like Angelina Jolie at Golden Corral, and even my IT band has been a bit sore. I’ve been running upper 30s mileage with 17 and 18 mile runs on the weekends. Not a ton of distance, but enough that I need a bit of a break.

This weekend I had lunch with IronChad and fam. We were talking about my next race, the Lost Dutchman Half Marathon, and he mentioned that it was in 3 weeks. He might as well have strapped on a golf cleat and kicked me in the junk. THREE WEEKS?! For some reason I had it in my head that it was way further off than that. So, in addition to a stepback week, I need to figure out how to taper for a half marathon. Never done it before!

No, I said TapeR
You're totally doing it wrong
I’ve only ran 1 half marathon and I treated it like a long run – no taper. I have big goals for this race (sub 90 mins) so I want to make sure I do everything “right”. I normally taper 2 weeks for a marathon, so I suppose that 1 week worth of taper would be good for this race. Maybe.

Right now I’m thinking:
1/31 week: Stepback (30ish miles)
2/7 week: Build (40 miles)
2/14 week: taper

HELP! How should I taper for a half marathon? Is a week long enough? Should I just do like Matty says and “Wait til the week before and pound Red Bulls”? I hope not the last one, Red Bull tastes like liking a bull’s balls.

28 comments:

giraffy said...

I've got a 1 week taper built into my first half marathon training. I have no clue if that's "normal" or "suggested" or "at the whim of the coach", so YMMV.

Red Bull is vile. I suggest passing on that.

Hi! I'm Erin said...

Well, I'm certainly no expert but I ran my half marathon PR after running my first 18 miler exactly a week before and not really changing anything the week of. So, yeah, not a huge proponent of tapering for the half.

Evolving Through Running said...

I'd think a week's taper would be plenty for a half. If your bull's balls licking technique gets the bull mad enough, the chase might make for a good pacer for the race.

Jill said...

You really don't need to taper much for a half, but since your legs are starting to get trashed, then the plan you have looks great.

Have you ever thought about doing 3:1 training - where you build your mileage and intensity for three weeks then take the 4th week and rest, repeat. It's how we train in XC and it has amazing results.

Her Name Is Rio said...

Most half plans have a 1 week taper from what I remember. If your body says to taper...I'd say that's what you need to do. :)

Quix said...

I tapered one week for my first half, and two for my third half (my second I was crazy sick so I can't really count that). If you are seriously wanting fresh legs, taper for 2. Keep the speed/tempo work going, but miles way down, especially because you know you have ZERO issues with the distance, you crazy 26.2er, you!

Just my 2 cents. Good luck getting a PR!

destinationathlete said...

With four half-marys under my belt, I always have done a one week taper. :) (Not that I'm anywhere NEAR as fast as you though - but I think that would be more than enough!)

Chris K said...

Cute pic. Well, you can tweet @coachprs and ask him. He loves giving advice.

X-Country2 said...

Are you getting enough sleep? You probably need that more than anything.

Barefoot Neil Z said...

Total rest for the last week, with just a couple short real easy runs... Try to get yourself completly recoup'd and rested. See how that goes...

ShutUpandRun said...

I'd say a week is enough as long as you lick the bull's balls during that time.

Christina said...

I'm having a one week taper before IMS. I'll still go to the track but reduce the number of reps and maybe make shorter distances instead of the 800's and 1000's we seem to always run. I will probably also skip my 5am SM run too. Reduced mileage but still intensity.

Adrienne said...

Hmmm, I have no clue for you but want to hear about what you decide as half marathons are going to be my races of choice this year.

What is up with the duct taped baby picture--so wrong

Jamoosh said...

I don't think I have ever tapered for a half marathon.

Emily said...

Figure out what works for you. I do best when I'm not that tapered. For me a week would be more than enough taper time for a half. But I think I also just suck at tapering. I'm excited to see what you can do with some rest under you!

Tri-James said...

Depends on your max mileage. If you are peaking at 40 then drop that taper week in half and keep the intensity high. The long and slow is done.

RunnuRMark said...

One week should be fine. I usually do a couple, but it's not like I read that anywhere...I just kinda copied my marathon taper. You probably don't want to do more than one week since you're in the middle of marathon training though.

The Sean said...

You don't need to taper much for a half. Just no long long runs- 10 should do it for a ceiling. Maybe step back at 3 weeks, 2 weeks normal training and then step back again the week of the race. You should be able to train right through if you want to though.

Dutchman is a dream run for me... maybe next year:)

Runners Fuel said...

I've never tapered ebfore, but good luck with the race!

Jess said...

I week's taper is perfectly adequate for an HM, and really, I don't even think an HM NEEDS a taper.

funderson said...

taper schmaper

Al's CL Reviews said...

I'm looking at my HM training plan. It has the last week as a taper.

Nitmos said...

7-10 days...that should do it. I don't "Taper" sp much as go just as hard but over fewer miles. Maybe that's a taper in some world's...

Pam said...

The only thing about my plan that changes the week of a half-marathon is that Tuesday's speed session is a little bit shorter.

Steph said...

I think your plan sounds really good. In my first 2 half marathons I tapered for a week and got my best results. But REALLY rest that week...only a couple short runs. And lots of stretching.

C2Iowa said...

I am starting my taper today. I "ran" a little over 5 miles this week and those miles sucked. I figured that I need to ease up. Dang surgery.

What the heck do I know? Not much. Your plan does seem appropriate.

Another use for duct tape - awesome.

Laura said...

I vote no taper or a week at MOST.

Andrew Opala said...

This is the only help i can give you about tape: here