Excitement is building for the top rated Missoula Marathon. While it's easy to get caught up in the fervor, coaches say it's time to taper workouts in the final weeks leading up to race day.
John Pitcairn has been running for 32 years, finishing ten marathons, two of them in Boston. He advises cutting your regular weekly mileage 25% for the next two weeks and 50% in the final week leading up to the race. "It's now time to just start maintaining what you have built up and what you have learned. Runners will start to cut back on their mileage because you want to just maintain now."
Experienced runner Vicki Mix says you should not be out of breath when you are training. "You should be able to talk to someone you are running with, or if you love to listen to music while you are out there, you should be able to sing along with your ipod."
Pitcairn co-coaches weekly runs in Missoula adapted after Olympic runner Jeff Galloway that interval personal ratios of walking and running. Pitcairn tells NBC Montana, "What they are doing is saving their legs for the last eight to ten miles. Other runners who will run the whole time will start slowing down at the end. This keeps your legs fresh. It also avoids injury and allows you to have a real life while you are training for an endurance event."
Coaches also say that intervalling helps reduce injuries and speeds up recovery time after running.
The Missoula Marathon is Sunday, July 8th.
If you have not registered yet, entry fees go up on July 1st.