Two Oceans Ultra Marathon – Tapering for and recovering from your qualifying marathon

Many Western Cape runners who have not yet qualified for the Two Oceans ultra marathon or, are looking for a nice long training run, will be either tackling this Sunday’s Peninsula marathon or the popular “downhill” Cango Caves marathon at the end of the month.

These are both great events to do as a qualifier or training run for Two Oceans. A word of caution though:

Runners need to be careful of ensuring that they do not jeopardize their main goal, the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon, by not allowing enough rest before and recovery after the marathon. With runners entering the big mileage months of Two Oceans Ultra marathon preparation, the risk is there of doing too much in the week leading up to the marathon and rushing too quickly back into training after the marathon, is high.

Even if you are taking the marathon “easy” as a training run, a marathon is still 42.2km long and no matter the pace, tiredness from going the distance is going to sit in your system for up to 2 weeks post event. Going into the marathon tired and/or rushing back into training will put you at risk of overtraining.

Below is a suggestion for a pre and post marathon week:

Pre marathon week:

Day 1 – Have a complete rest.

Day 2 – Run easy for 6km. Towards the end do a 4-5 light accelerations of 50-100m.

Day 3 – Run easy for 5km. Towards the end do a 4-5 light accelerations of 50-100m.

Day 4 – Run easy for 4km. Towards the end do a 4-5 light accelerations of 50-100m.

Day 5 – Have a complete rest. Stay off your feet as much as possible. Get in good nutrition and an early night.

Day 6 – Run easy for 3km. Towards the end do a 4-5 light accelerations of 50-100m.

Day 7 – Marathon race

Post marathon week

Day 1 – Have a complete rest. Ensure good nutrition and plenty of sleep.

Day 2 – Have a complete rest. This is a good day to go for a massage if you are able to.

Day 3 – Go for a long leisurely walk.

Day 4 – Start a “reverse taper”. Go for an easy 4km run.

Day 5 – Go for an easy 6km run.

Day 6 – Go for an easy 8km run.

Day 7 – Rest again.

Day 8 – Resume Oceans training.

Train smarter, not harder!

Coach Kathleen


About Coach Kathleen

Coaching since 2004, I have coached both young and old athletes from those achieving provincial and national medals in track, biathlon and cross country to runners running their first ever half marathon or marathon. I am a specialist in youth coaching and my coaching philosophy is to not only help each athlete achieve their best with their athletic talent but to guide each athlete in developing character and transforming their lives beyond the track. As an athlete I have competed at high levels across all the running disciplines, track, road, cross country and trail running as well as internationally in triathlon. I have a personal best of 2 hours 45 min for the marathon and have twice been part of the winning ladies team in the AfricanX trail race. Qualifications IAAF Athletics Lecturer Level 3 Distance Running Coach SAQ Fundamental Movement Certificate Personal Running Performances
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