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Taper question

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Mark B
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Post  Jordan S. Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:53 am

My first marathon is Dec. 7. so I haven't started tapering yet. I am trying to follow one of Mr. Higdon's plans. The long runs that I have left to do are 18, 14, 20, 12, and 8.
I am a little concerned about hitting "the wall" at mile 20. What do y'all think about replacing that 14 miler with a 21 or 22 miler just to help my confidence about going over 20? Is it a bad idea?
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Post  mul21 Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:02 am

No, not if it's your first.  That's going to be 3 consecutive long runs and you risk injury and overtraining if you do that.  Also, most first timers are typically running their long runs too fast because they don't have an idea of what they're race pace should really be.  I would stretch the 20 miler out to 21-22 if you feel the need to do so.  And run it a little slower than you might normally.
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Post  Michael Enright Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:15 am

I'd stick with a three week taper for your first (that is Hal's standard). If you really want to add to your long runs, consider turning the 18 miler into a 20, as that might build your confidence for the distance. You can also go a bit longer than 20, as suggested, but I find that it only wears me out.
If you're worried about this now, just wait until you get to the taper and actually have to reduce the miles! Very Happy 
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Post  Jerry Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:24 am

Sooner or later, everybody hits the wall. It's part of the game and why people are so addicted to marathons. 

No need to build confidence cause it does not work. Just go there, enjoy your day and anticipate pain, lots of pain.

If not, if you miss the wall, great ...
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Post  Nick Morris Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:28 am

mul21 wrote:No, not if it's your first.  That's going to be 3 consecutive long runs and you risk injury and overtraining if you do that.  Also, most first timers are typically running their long runs too fast because they don't have an idea of what they're race pace should really be.  I would stretch the 20 miler out to 21-22 if you feel the need to do so.  And run it a little slower than you might normally.
I agree with Jim.  The risks out weigh the gains (if any).  Stick to the plan.
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Post  ounce Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:40 pm

I'd also stick to Hal's plan on taper.  As far as extending the 20 mile run a mile or two, for me that would be a decision made during that run.  If you're doing fine, then give it a shot, if not, then don't.  Don't blow weeks and weeks of training by just wanting to extend a run by a mile or two.

I do think there is a mental benefit to running a distance longer than 20, because then during the race you can psyche yourself into believing that, "It's only 5 more miles.  How many times have I knocked out 5 miles without a problem?"

As far as the Wall, the better you have executed and followed your training plan, the less effect the Wall has OR you don't notice it until later in the waning miles.  Don't succumb to thinking 20 miles = Wall, plus gloom and doom.  I've had one hit me at 16 and another hit me at 23, but I finished them both.  When you're in the zone and mindset to finish a race, there ain't no Wall in the world that can discourage your mindset.

Race your training.  Finish without concern for time.  Bawl like a little baby.  Then come here and write about it.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:46 pm

I'm with the others - and if you feel the need, increase the first 18 to 20 and the 20 to 21 or 22 max. But don't push it if you feel tired.  The biggest mistake any marathoner can make - novice or experienced - is leaving the race in training.  Good luck!
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Post  Mark B Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:26 pm

One more vote for sticking with the plan. Hal's plans work well, especially for first-timers.

Once you've gotten one or more marathons under your belt, you'll be in a better position to experiment and find out what works best for you. But for now, you're better off completing the training cycle and enjoying the race.
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Post  Julie Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Yeah stick with the plan and during the race tell yourself "trust your training" and tell yourself you're tough and you can do it. And don't eat anything weird the night before.
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Post  mountandog Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:08 pm

been there, done that.  Stick to the plan.
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Post  ounce Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:43 pm

mountandog wrote:been there, done that.  Stick to the plan.
Well, that was simple.  Direct.  And to the point.
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Post  Mark B Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:27 pm

ounce wrote:
mountandog wrote:been there, done that.  Stick to the plan.
Well, that was simple.  Direct.  And to the point.
Yup.
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Post  carleenp Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:30 pm

The plan is good. Stick to it!

Take it easy on race day. Don't go out too fast, and be sure to fuel well during the race, and you will be just fine.
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Post  nkrichards Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:45 pm

Don't forget the most important thing! 

HAVE FUN!  After all you only run your first marathon once and it's guaranteed to be a personal best. Smile
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Post  Nick Morris Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:24 pm

nkrichards wrote:Don't forget the most important thing! 

HAVE FUN!  After all you only run your first marathon once and it's guaranteed to be a personal best. Smile
+100!!!
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