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How much to taper? To iPod or not to iPod?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

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I ran 14.2 miles yesterday to give me 41 for the week and finish my 6 week streak of 40+ miles. The run involved a 4 mile out & back that I did 3 times (3rd time the fastest), then the rest on a cinder track and different loop. There were 2 questions on my mind during the last 2.2.

The first was how much should I taper this week? Should I drop to 35 miles? 30? Or do another 40 mile week taking advantage of the holiday Monday and keeping in mind that the June 9 marathon is not an ultimate goal, but a step along the way to getting in top shape. The first longer run toward my next big target: The Kettle Moraine 100K next year. 62 miles for 62 years!

The other question was whether I should wear my iPod on the marathon. This was prompted by my 3rd 4 mile O+B being faster with my iPod than the earlier 2 that I ran with my wife and without my iPod. Most of my 20 milers were done with an iPod. I could make a 3:30 (3:40?)playlist and try to finish before the music ends.
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I welcome suggestions on the tapering question. But I know the answer to the second one. I will not wear an iPod. I need to be able to focus totally on the running effort. I believe that my ability to focus in races is what has led me to run times better than anyone expected. And I like to talk to other competitors and respond to spectators during a marathon.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Ray,

    I am a terrible one to give any advice. I don't train with an iPod and I don't race with an iPod. That being said, there is a good historical reason to use music on distance events Marching armies of the past used drum cadence and fifes to keep the solders in step

    One thing to remember about tapering is that training puts stress on your muscles. You want to be completely recovered before your marathon. How fast you "peak" depends on your level of fitness. So, yes Ray, it is time to start tapering. How much? That is up to you.

    Sorry I cannot be more definitive. I would taper differently than you. Good luck.

    Thanks, Bruce
    2158 days ago
    I would taper a little. When I did a half on the way to my full marathon, the taper just dropped the long run to 10 the week before and kept the rest of the mileage the same. If I was peaking for the half it would have dropped to 8. So figure out your standard taper and then up the mileage a bit so you come fresh to the race, but not bouncing off the walls like you'd be with a regular taper.

    Good luck! The race adrenlline will replace the ipod for motivation
    2158 days ago
    More power to you on the iPod question! I couldn't do my long runs without my music.
    2158 days ago
    I prefer less taper to more taper (my marathon training mileage is similar to yours) but I am also a little younger. My experience has been that I have run into problems early on in a marathon when I do a standard 3 week taper, but not when I do a 10 day to 2 week taper.

    as for music, I love to train with it but MUCH prefer to soak in the marathon experience without it!

    Which marathon are you doing?
    2159 days ago
    I have no tips/ideas to offer on the taper. I just wanted to comment because this is such an awesome blog. I love reading about the journeys of those running/training for ultras.

    As for the ipod (even though you have your answer), I go back and forth on that one. Sometime I wear one, sometimes I don't. I think it just depends on my mood.
    2159 days ago
    I tend to run with an iPod and keep the volume low in the early goings. This allows me to convo with people along the way. As things intensify I usually turn the music up.
    2159 days ago
    All in all this is great
    Iam fascinated
    2159 days ago
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