Saturday, October 22, 2011

Marathon Training: Week 15

If you're following along, here is the FIFTEENTH week of training according to the 4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon book.  The paces bealow are specifically for the 4-hour goal.  If anyone would like the paces for 4:15, 4:30, 4:45, or 5:00, I can start posting them alongside my plan if you let me know.

I am also posting on DailyMile, but everything (and more!) will be posted here as well.  This "Marathon Training" series is an experiment for me both in fitness and in blogging, as I am going to go into more detail than in previous training cycles, documented on my Training page.


Last Week in Review:

Here is the original schedule from last week and my comments/modifications.

This week's long run... was pretty much a death march.  After the first 14.5 miles, I needed to take a break.  It was sort of downhill at that point, and the heat came in and pretty much wiped me out after 19 miles.  No matter how "The Ukrainian" tried to pace me, I was groaning.  But we were determined to finish, and even walking was difficult by then.  Pretty sure it was about 80 degrees when we were done, which is not bad to some, but on this concrete path and lack of shade, the heat radiated all over.

Excuses.  Oh well.

Week of Oct 17 (Week 14)
Monday - jog 40 minutes <-- did not run due to knee pain from last week
Tuesday - cross-train 30 minutes <-- did a lot of walking???
Wednesday - 8 mi at 8:45-8:50/mi <-- skipped due to vacation
Thursday - jog 30 minutes
Friday - rest
Saturday - 23 mi at 10:40-11:10 pace <-- ran about 19 of these and walked the rest for a total of 23.82 mi
Sunday - rest

This Week:

For better or worse, can you say.... TAPER?  Hooray!  I'll chalk this up as a bad run, since I did do the 21 a few weeks ago with relatively little difficulty compared to this week.

The schedule has changed... particularly Wednesdays... when I get to take it easy and jog instead of bust my guts in a tempo run.

Since I'm now in taper phase, I am going to for once take my rest seriously.  I have never understood the "science" of tapering, but I do know I should run less yet not slack off completely.  This is when I'm glad I have this program to follow.

As for eats and such, I'm not really going to worry about carbo-loading of any sort until maybe next week or so.  I have been pretty good about not overeating over the course of this training plan, and beyond recovering from the 23+-miler, I will probably be eating pretty conservatively/healthy/carb-light this week.  My appetite has been variable lately, so I want to give it a chance to reset itself.

Week of Oct 24 (Week 15)
Monday - rest
Tuesday - cross-train 30 minutes
Wednesday - jog 30 minutes
Thursday - cross-train 30 minutes
Friday - jog 30 minutes
Saturday - 10 mi at 10:40-11:10 pace
Sunday - rest

What taper strategies do you follow?  Or if you've never tapered, what would you advise me to do with the slight bit more time that I have?  More stretching?  More research on running?  More sleeping?  More eating??

To be continued...


  1. I have to say, I know most people hate tapering, but I love it! My life is so full that there's always more things to fill my time, and after so many weeks of hard training, it's nice not to feel battered for a little while.

  2. it took me awhile to find a taper that works best for me. I've found that I can't drop off my mileage too dramatically more than two weeks out or i'm just sluggish on race day

  3. I always taper, but I have never really paid that much attention to the details. I don't do anything differently other than reducing mileage. For a marathon, after the peak long run, the next long run might be 18, and the final long run maybe 13. After running the 13, if I am feeling like the run was incomplete, then I know it worked and I am ready to go! :)

  4. You can do it!! A four hour marathon is quite an achievement! I've never run a marathon, but I bet the taper week would be my favorite, haha