It is common practice (almost mandatory) in marathoning to decrease the amount of miles ran per week progressively as you approach marathon day. This transition is called The Taper and is probably the worst part of the whole marathoning training. For the past 10-16 weeks you have putting the mileage on the road, doing the long runs and recovery run, etc. Only to have the last 14 days prior to the marathon basically become your slackest days of training.
Why is it important? The not-so techincal skinny on the Taper is that, you can't do anything in two weeks that is going to affect your performance in the marathon, except for getting injured! So, you relax the last 2 weeks and let your body heal and it will get stronger and faster, if you have done the work before the taper to warrant increases in performance. At two weeks, you are about at maximum, and waiting any longer will do no harm, but won't help either. In the second week before the marathon you may run only 10-15 miles and the last week maybe 5-10. And this is more to calm your nerves than anything else.
So, I am in a mini-taper right now. I have cut off my workout for Thursday and Friday. I'll be drinking more water tonight and tomorrow. Tonight I will have Pasta with Jalepeno Ranch Dressing as I “carbo Load” (another running term) and perhaps a beer or two (the fun “carbo-load”). Funstuff
11/12 Chickamauga 10 miler (Chickamauga, Ga), Goal time: 1:26:00
11/24 Autumnfest 8k (Knoxville, TN), Goal time 37:30
12/04 Reindeer Run 5k (Maryville, TN), Goal time 21:55
(indicates potential Personal Record for distance)