Taper Time: Paris Marathon


In case you’ve been lucky enough to escape my blog posts for the last while and are blissfully unaware, the 2016 Paris marathon is set to take place in just under 3 weeks. For those hoping to run along the Champs Elysees, through Le Bois des Vincennes, along the Seine and finally under the Arc de Triomphe, the time to begin tapering for marathon day has arrived. The hard miles are over, the work is done and now it’s time to pull back, reign it in and keep everything fine-tuned.

This doesn’t mean you have a license to park your heiny in front of House of Cards for the next 3 weeks while you “carbo-load” on pringles. That would be nice but it’s not happening folks so park that thought until after the marathon. Then you can take House of Cards, the West Wing and as many flavours of pringles as you can handle…

Tapering 101 : Cutting down on training for a determined amount of time so that you’re optimally rested for marathon day. The words from my mates Pfitzinger and Douglas:

Tapering your training is critical for reaching the starting line in peak fitness and with maximal energy reserves. The challenge during the last several weeks leading up to the marathon is to find the best balance between continued training to get into the best possible racing shape and resting to eliminate the fatigue of training…”

The logic behind tapering is very straight forward, as well as being multifactorial. Reduced mileage and training gives your body more rest – your body has a greater chance and more time to repair microcellular muscle damage which results from training AND your running less, which means that you’re using less energy, which in turn facilitates the replenishment of your body’s glycogen stores.

A well-rested body and mind, fresher legs, tip-top energy stores and stronger muscles. Who’s going to argue with that logic?


As ever, I’m being led by a training plan from Advanced Marathoning by Pfitzinger and Douglas, but have tweaked the plan slightly to work with my week. For a peek (pun intended) at how my next 3 weeks of running will look pre-Paris, this is my taper:

The schedule for this week:

Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 7.5 Miles – Easy
Wednesday 3 Miles – 5 x 600m @ 5km pace
Thursday Road Cycle
Friday 14 Miles – Medium Long Run
Saturday 4 Miles – Parkrun + recovery mile
Sunday 16 Miles – Long Slow Distance
Total: 44.5 Miles

Next Week (21st-27th March):

Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 7 Miles – Easy
Wednesday 3 Miles  – including intervals
Thursday Rest
Friday 10 Miles
Saturday Rest
Sunday 12 Miles – Long Slow Distance
Total: 32 Miles

Final Week (28th March-2nd April):

Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 4 Miles – Easy
Wednesday 5 Miles –  Dress rehearsal – 3 @ marathon pace
Thursday Rest
Friday 3 Miles
Saturday 2 Miles
Sunday Paris Marathon – 26.2
Total: 40.2 Miles


What sort of tapering do you do for an upcoming marathon or other races?

Are you training for a Spring marathon at the moment? Tell me



2 thoughts on “Taper Time: Paris Marathon

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