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Reed Full Marathon
I've broken my Taper down to 7 elements. Hopefully, they can help you as you go into final preparation for your big event.
1. Distance - At 4 weeks out I'm at my maximum training distance on my 18 week program. This year my maximum is at 54 miles per week 4 weeks out. At 3 weeks its 42 miles, 2 weeks out is 36 miles and final week is 24 miles. Doing the math that's 100% week 4, 75% week 3, 66% week 2 and 50% week 1.
2. Pace - For week 4 and 3 out I run regular pace but the last 2 weeks out I start leaving the Garmin at home and slow the pace back a bit. During the last 2 weeks your body is going to want to run fast. Avoid taking off and getting a speeding ticket in the local school zone, or at least hold back to save the hamstrings. Avoid a bad hamstring pull or a hip problem before the event.
3. Eating - Drop back the calories for the 3 rd and 2 cd week out. The last thing you want to do is drop back the training and add a couple of sand bags to your trunk right before the event. If you do any carb loading save it until 2 to 3 days out from the event. I actual do a little starving during this period.
4. Foods - The last week you may want to avoid very rich foods, lettuce & greens and protein drinks. You really don't want to make a bathroom stop because of soft stools in a marathon. Too much rich foods the last week with your backed off training schedule can catch you off guard and without paper.
5. Sleep - The last week try hard to get full nights of sleep. This is not a good time to cut short your sleeping schedule.
6. Floor Exercises - If you have a schedule for floor exercises you may want to cut back at the same rate as your distance. However, keep going with the stretching. This is only relative to weight and resistance training.
7. Gear - This is your last chance to check out your gear. You should never run a big event with anything new. Test it all out. From sunglasses, hat, jersey, shorts, socks and shoes. Leave nothing untested.
All that's left now is for you to go out and run a new PR. You got it!