Thanks, everyone, for all the great advice! I did 11 miles this morning and will probably run my usual distances this week (5, 6, and 5 miles, at steady, easy, and tempo paces), then do half distances next week (so, a 6.5-mile long run, then three 3-mile runs). And I'll schedule those mid-week runs so that I have two days off before the race.
Lots of good comments here so I can't add much. I especially agree with PASTAFARIAN's comment about looking at the entire week as a taper. I too often follow Hal Higdon plans for races and while he does not cut back on the last long run the week before the race, you note that the rest of Race Week is at a lighter load.
One other thing no one has mentioned - take the extra rest day before the race. You'll be amazed at how much more rested and ready you'll feel just with two consecutive off days before your HM.
Most of all, trust your training and enjoy. You sound ready to me. There's nothing quite so exciting as toeing the starting line for your first race at any distance, except of course crossing the finish line!!
Edited by: LBTHOMASJR at: 10/1/2013 (08:23)
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I'd basically cut all runs in half for the week before the race, so maybe 6-7 miles on your usual long-run day, then a couple 2-3 mile runs to keep your legs fresh, or you could cross-train if you are trying to deal with any soreness. Like Nancy says, it's the intensity that you want to maintain. You've got the endurance in the bag at this point. On my first half, I ran my race early because I did an 8-miler at goal pace the week before and it took too much out of me, so I was about 7 minutes slower than goal during the actual half. Now I am pretty conservative for about 10 days out before a race. If I want to do a run at race pace, it's more like 5 miles 10 days out.
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Fitness Minutes: (26,518) Posts: 828 9/30/13 10:38 P
You're right, I haven't really thought of my mid-week runs as being part of the taper--thanks for pointing that out!
Yes, I've been handling the distance pretty easily. I had a 10:11 pace yesterday, and I'd love to make it down to a 10:00 pace for the actual race. I haven't been doing as much speed work as I should, but once a week or once every other week, I've done a tempo run (but only 5 or 6 miles).
I see - you're focusing on the long run as the taper, not the rest of the week. I would focus on the entire week or even a week and a half. However, the long runs you've been doing are so significant and consistent that it sounds like you're having no problem with the distance. (I assume you finish each long run in comfort?) The next question is how much harder you intend to push yourself during the race and how you've been preparing for that.
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Fitness Minutes: (26,518) Posts: 828 9/30/13 9:55 P
Thanks! Some context: I've been running for not quite a year and a half, starting with C25K in the spring of last year. Since then, I've run lots of 5ks, a 7k, an 8k, and two 10ks. The half next month will be my first. My long runs have been increasing about a half-mile a week, so yesterday was 13 miles (I know a lot of programs don't have you run the full distance before the race, but it was important to me mentally to do it), then the week before was a cutback week, so I did a 10k. Before that, it was 12.5, 12, 11, 10.5, 10, 6 (another cutback week), 9.5, etc.
I guess the only program I'm borrowing from that doesn't have a taper is Hal Higdon's. His last two weeks before the race are 9 miles, and then 10. A couple of the programs have two tapering and a couple of others have just one week.
I think a 10 day taper for a half is adequate for most runners--the longer (month, year-wise) you have been running and the more races you have run the distance before will determine your taper time--the taper is to allow your legs to be fresh come race day as well as replenish glycogen stores needed to run a race of this distance--that said, mileage is not as important as keeping the intensity--you want to cut back to 50-60% of your weekly mileage but keep the intensity--you don't want to be too sluggish come race day morning.
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Fitness Minutes: (26,518) Posts: 828 9/30/13 7:01 P
My first half is coming up on 10/20. I've sort of created my own training program based on a combination of several programs I found online, and now that I'm almost there, I'm wondering what most people do about tapering for a half. Some of the programs I've drawn from include a taper and some don't. I did 13 miles yesterday, then will have two more long runs before the race. Thoughts/suggestions for how long those runs should be? (I do three mid-week runs between 4 and 6 miles each, in addition to that long run.)
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