The Taper

Congratulations to everyone that completed the final benchmark of the training season — our 21 miler! You have now entered the best part of your training season… the taper! The taper is your chance to relax, scale down your mileage and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

As most have figured out by now, the Portland Fit schedule is a periodized training program that gradually trains your body to complete 26.2 miles. We began at 3 miles five months ago (some started earlier with the Rock n Roll Portland Program) and slowly built up from there. We had hard days and easy days (rest!), hard weeks (benchmarks) and easy weeks. The taper period is the final phase and the goal is to get as much rest and let your body repair as much as possible. You maintain your fitness, but go into the marathon as refreshed and ready as possible.

You probably also noticed that after our first half marathon, we basically had about one benchmark per month with the rest of the weeks averaging between 11-13 miles. Well the last benchmark is in the books, so about a month from now we’re going for the ultimate goal — the marathon. If you did the 21 miler, you’ll be ready.

And even if you didn’t finish the 21 miler, you may still be
able to finish the marathon. 
Talk to a coach about how.
Hint: it may include modifying your goals, switching to a different
marathon, or using a run/walk method to just. get. it. done.

Again — congrats everyone. Enjoy your taper. And that’s an order — don’t add more mileage or start a weight training program or anything else that may interfere with your body repairing itself this month. You may feel like you want to run farther or faster and that’s a good thing. Your body is telling you it’s ready. Make it wait for marathon day.

Stay fit,
John