Nearing the end of this series of four marathons/ultras in four months, I'm tooling somewhat with conventional wisdom about tapers. To my own peril?? We'll see, in two weeks, when I run the Illinois Marathon for the third year in a row. Here's my thinking...I welcome your scrutiny.
Going into the Illinois Fat Ass 50K in January, I ran the previous four weeks with 25, 34, 20 and 27 miles. That race went OK...I had endurance, even at the 31st mile.
Six weeks later was the Austin Marathon...the five weeks in-between were 8, 23,34, 20 and 18. Only one decent week. The race went OK, though ITB issues at 24 diminished the glow just a bit.
Five weeks later, I ran the 33.5 mile Ultra in Michigan. The four weeks of "taper" were really tapered, with totals of only 13, 27, 20 and 20. Those are weeks, not days. No where near enough miles for an ultra. Useful to note, though, I still felt good at 26.2 that day.
With another five week gap to the Illinois Marathon, I decided to up the mileage a bit in-between to see if I can't add some endurance. So, after taking one week calmly with only 8 miles, I've done 33 and 32 miles the last two weeks and will do 23 next week, then it will be race week. Will it add to my strength or break me down?? We'll see.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year now, there will be some fun. Will go for some speed work through the summer, as well as likely volunteering at a new marathon near Indy. I've never done that and sure owe some folks who have helped in all the races I've run the past few years. The fall schedule is taking shape but is not clear yet.