Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!
Sprint and Marathon Training: How to Taper?
Since your “A” race is your marathon, which you stated in your question, this should be your main focus. I encourage you to taper a bit for the sprint distance triathlon.
I've been lurking for a few weeks on this site and am blown away by how supportive of a community that BT is. If you don't mind, I would love some feedback about my training.
I'm doing my first sprint triathlon in three weeks, and I'm also training for the Chicago Marathon at the same time. My long run scheduled for the week of my sprint is supposed to be 15 miles and my tempo run is supposed to be 7 miles. I know that I should do some tapering for the tri, so I was wondering if I should skip those runs or if I would lose running fitness by missing all of those miles. My ultimate goal is the marathon, but I don't want to finish completely at the BOP in the tri because I'm exhausted.
WOW!! What an undertaking! You have set some pretty high goals and I commend you for your efforts and stick-to-it-iveness!!
First of all, I want to let you know that the Chicago Marathon is OUTSTANDING!!! This was my first Marathon and I loved it!! You will be supported by an enthusiastic crowd for every mile and their energy will carry you through all 26.2 miles…I promise you!
Now, to answer your question. This is a GREAT “problem” to have, as it isn’t really that much of a problem…and I thank you for making my job easier as I’m going to whiz through this question!!!
Since your “A” race is your marathon, which you stated in your question, this should be your main focus. I encourage you to taper a bit for the sprint distance triathlon (typically at ¼ mile swim, 13 mile bike and 5K run…for those of you new to the world of the triathlon), and I guarantee you will not lose any of your running momentum.
When I design a program for people, whether it be for a marathon, half marathon, 10K or any distance triathlon, I incorporate an “easy” week. This should be the week before your sprint. This ”easy” week, will allow your body a bit of rest, while maintaining your level of fitness. There is no need to opt out of your tempo run, but perhaps you could either cut back a bit on your mileage (instead of doing 15 miles, do 8 to 10 miles) on your longer run OR you could just flip flop some runs.
As wonderful as training programs/calendars are, they are not set in stone. You can make changes to a training schedule that best accommodate your schedule and still not lose anything as far as endurance, strength, or mental toughness. I am always flip flopping days when my work, life, or mood gets a little out of whack, but I rarely miss a training day all together.
This is something you can do as well without losing an ounce of fitness. Shorter runs during the week are scheduled in for maintenance. The longer runs on the weekend are scheduled to increase your endurance…however, in a week, while you are still training, but just cutting back a bit, you will not lose any endurance and you may actually feel better and more invigorated for your next long run!!!
Give that taper week a “tri” and kick it up at the triathlon. You’ll find you’re even more excited and rested for the remainder of your marathon training! Go get ‘em!!!!!
Click on star to vote