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#1 of 7 Old 04-27-2010, 05:10 PM - Thead Starter
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I'm training for my first marathon, which is Ogden on May 15th. I'm using Hal Higdon's novice 1 schedule, which had me run my last long run of 20 this past weekend, and now I'm doing a three week taper. Those of you following the spring marathon trainers threads know that I've been having some problems with toe cramping, which appears to be related to PF. I haven't really had any actual heel pain, except for the weekend of April 10. I had to cut my planned 18 miler short (did 14) because I couldn't keep the toe cramping under control, and I did have a little bit of heel pain for a few days after that. My doctor put me on a course of prednisone and gave me a shoe insert, and I didn't have problems finishing the 20 miles on Saturday.

I am a little concerned about not having done enough long runs, since I didn't finish the 18. This Saturday I'm scheduled to run 12. If I'm feeling good, would it be a mistake to tack an extra 6 miles on at the end, and have a two week taper instead of a three week taper? Mentally I think I would benefit from having done another long run. Is this physically a bad idea?

I'm running my mid-week middle distance run (8 miles) tonight, and if I feel okay I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow and see what he thinks. I'm also planning on basing my decision on how I feel after running the 12 on Saturday. If there's any discomfort at all, I have no problem sticking to the scheduled 12. Obviously the main goal is to make it to the starting line uninjured. If I feel good though, the extra 6 miles is going to be tempting. Feedback would be appreciated, I'm interested in what you more experienced marathoners have to say.
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#2 of 7 Old 04-27-2010, 08:55 PM
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Since it's your first marathon, I'd suggest sticking with the plan and avoid the urge to make up a run. Generally speaking, its better to go in a little under-trained than 1% over-trained.

Also consider that the long run is but one aspect. Consider your overall mileage and any other quality workouts as part of your tapering plans.

Although I am an advocate of shorter taper periods, for a new marathoner I would suggest your three week plan. You want to go in fresh, and you can expect to be a little stir-crazy in the final week.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-28-2010, 04:12 PM
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I second what roots said!
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#4 of 7 Old 04-28-2010, 06:30 PM
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FWIW, I had PF like symptoms 2 years ago that magically disappeared when I upped my shoe size by 1/2 size, had no problem since. When you say toe cramping what do you mean ? Make sure your shoes are not too small. As I have aged, my right foot has grown bigger then my left one causing the shoe size increase over the years. On making up the mileage I agree with the others. Biggest argument for a plan with several long runs rather then just one or two, if you miss one no big deal.
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#5 of 7 Old 04-28-2010, 07:43 PM - Thead Starter
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Thanks, everyone. Hazelrah, the cramping is on the outer three toes of my left foot. After I push off with my toes, it feels like they won't relax. I recently got fitted for new shoes at the running store, and the guy was surprised that I was in an 8 1/2 since I measure for an 8. I've tried a men's shoe for the wider width, which is fine for shorter runs but actually seems to aggravate the PF over a longer distance. Weird.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the input. I suspected that would be the case, but it eases my mind to know that I'm okay to skip the run. I have to remind myself that I've done two 14's, two 15's, a 16, and a 20 miler, plus raced a half. I have a base. I've done most of the training. I'll be fine.
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#6 of 7 Old 04-28-2010, 09:20 PM
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What does your weekly running look like?
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#7 of 7 Old 04-29-2010, 12:01 AM - Thead Starter
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Trent, I followed Hal Higdon's novice program pretty closely. I did a 15 mile run instead of a 13 during week 8 (was checking out a local running club), and I had to cut week 13's scheduled 18 miler to 14 as I mentioned before. My doctor had me skip the 10 and one of the 5s last week so I'd be fresh to do the 20, but other than that I've pretty much done the schedule as outlined.
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