WE'LL TRY TO ANSWER YOUR RUNNING RELATED QUESTIONS AND PROVIDE SOME NUGGETS OF WISDOM. KEEP IN MIND THAT DIAGNOSIS IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR PHYSICIAN. COMMENTS POSTED HERE SHOULD NOT BE MISCONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE! USE THE FORM BELOW TO SEND IN YOUR OWN QUESTION FOR THE COACH. ASK THE COACH ARCHIVES ARE AVAILABLE HERE.
Have a question for the coach?
When to peak for a marathon - Jill
My marathon will be Sunday Feb 5th 2023. My dilemma is when to run my final long run with my work schedule. My last marathon I had 21 days from my last long run to the marathon and felt great. I currently work Jan 13-18 and they are 12 hour shifts in the er. Would it be best to run on the 11 or 12th before I start my stretch or wait till the 19-20th?,
Reply - Coach Janet
As you noted, most athletes do best with about a 3 week taper which would put your taper starting on the 16th with your peak long run on the weekend of the 14-15th. Since that is out - you could push your long run to the 19/20th but do a very aggressive taper after that. Many runners do something like this for their last 3 long runs : 20-22, 16, 10, then race the following weekend. You might be able to get away with 20, 10, race... but that's pushing it a bit. If you opt to put the peak long run 4 weeks out, you might do something like 20, 10 (this is the weeknd you're working so it may not be realistic to even target that much), 16, 10, race.
Never underestimate the value of well rested legs on race day -- I would be really cautious about putting the peak long run just two weeks out... it can work out fine but you'd need to be in a sharp taper from that weekend forward in my opinion. Good luck! Let me know if I can be of help.
Best regards, Janet Hamilton, MA, RCEP, CSCS, USATF-level 1 coach, RRCA-certified coach
Our Athletes Share their stories
"We are undefeated coach! We prepared for 5 marathons together and we set a PR every time!"
Paul S (NY)
"Janet's education, experience in patient care & as an educator give her a credible resume for advising runners. More importantly to me, she is able to reach out and see where I need a boost - nutrition, race day preparation, etc. She is intuitive in reading my running log and tweaks my training accordingly. I have worked with Janet for several years and I have been injury-free while snagging half marathon PRs."
Over the years my running goals have evolved, and, thanks to Janet, I’ve achieved them all! Janet’s background in physical therapy and biomechanics was invaluable to get me back on my feet after a bad hamstring injury. Janet uses her knowledge of the latest scientific evidence to optimize performance. With Janet’s help, I’ve reached the podium for races from the 5K to the marathon and qualified for Boston. Most importantly, Janet has a positive, supportive coaching style, and is a pleasure to work with!
Kathrine T (GA)