Monday, May 7 will begin your three-week countdown to the M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon! Congratulations!

You have put in all those hard weeks of training by logging several hundred miles of running (for most of us, through awful winter weather) and now you are ready for the taper!  While the taper is all about recovering from the cumulative fatigue of marathon training and allowing your body to repair itself, it does not mean you are taking the final three weeks off. For most first-time marathoners, the reduction in mileage represents the opportunity to allow your body to “lick its wounds;” the lingering aches and pains, as well as the overall heaviness, felt in one’s legs should dissipate as you progress through the next several weeks provided you don’t introduce other fatigue-inducing activities into your daily routine.

While most of us welcome a taper, there are some who have a difficult time, psychologically speaking, dealing with a cutback in training; our bodies are used to the routine and rigor of marathon training and the reduction in the running workload leaves a void which our minds have a hard time coping with. It is almost like withdrawal. The biggest mistake one could make is to continue training at a high level and cut back too close to the marathon. Any hard workout inside of two weeks before the marathon is not going to have any important effect on your conditioning. It is probably better to go into your race slightly deconditioned than to get up to the starting line slightly over-trained.

Also, be sure not to cram more time at work or overcommit yourself to other activities. Stress is stress and it’s vitally important to reduce the stress and fatigue as you approach marathon weekend. So, respect the taper, get plenty of rest through the next several weeks, maintain a proper diet and keep hydrated.

You have got this!

Training Programs

April 30 - May 13

Beginner Training Schedule Weeks 15 & 16

Intermediate Training Schedule Weeks 15 &16

May 14 - May 27

Beginner Training Schedule Weeks 17 & 18

Intermediate Training Schedule Weeks 17 &18

If you questions about the schedule please e-mail Coach Sam at

Coach Sam Davis USATF Level Two Certified Coach