Let the taper begin! The long runs are over (well, except for the long, long run!), and mileage now starts to decrease for the remainder of my marathon training.
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Week 14 is sneaky. You are all excited for the taper, but then you realize that the short and medium runs are the same as last week. I’ve found that sometimes the short runs are harder than the long runs, because with the long runs you put in more mental preparation and are aware of how long you’ll be running. After running 18 miles and then getting ready for a medium run I think, “oh this is just an 8-miler,” but 8 miles is still a pretty long run!
The long run this week is 9 miles, just half of the long run from the past two weeks. I ran to my parents’ house, which is almost exactly 9 miles away!
I’ve been following the plan set forth in the book The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer. Here are the tips given for training week 14:
Marathon Training Tips: Week 14
Week 14’s mental preparation was a review of all the mental techniques taught throughout the earlier chapters, as a refresher for being mentally prepared for 26.2 miles. Here are some of them:
- Positive thinking goes a long way! If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, add the phrase “but it doesn’t matter” to the end of them.
- Act the way you want to feel; behavior can influence attitude. Act like a confident, strong marathoner, and that’s what you’ll become!
- Use visualizations such as picturing yourself crossing the finish line, or imagine your body as a machine. If your brain “sees” you running strong, your body will respond.
- Focus all of your mental and physical energy on the task at hand (running) as a way to achieve flow, that state where the running seems effortless.
The taper is an important part of training because it allows your body to fully recover from the trauma of your high-mileage weeks. The running that you do in the last few weeks will keep your body prepared for the race without putting too much stress on it.
Okay I’m not going to lie. I am SO looking forward to the rest of training. I have 6 runs left. Week 15 is 3 miles (already done), 5 miles, 3 miles, and 8 miles. And week 16 (marathon week!!) is 3 miles, 3 miles, and walk 3 miles. Then, dun dun dun, 26.2.
Training Schedule for Marathon Beginners
Marathon Training: Week One
Marathon Training: Week Two
Marathon Training: Week Three
Marathon Training: Week Four
Marathon Training: Week Five
Marathon Training: Week Six
Marathon Training: Week Seven
Marathon Training: Week Eight
Marathon Training: Week Nine
Marathon Training: Week Ten
Marathon Training: Week Eleven
Marathon Training: Week Twelve
Marathon Training: Week Thirteen