Tapering for the Cork City Marathon

10 Things I Think About Tapering for the Cork City Marathon

1. Leaving Cert

The Cork City Marathon is a lot like the Leaving Cert. It's on the first week in June, you pray that the weather isn't hot, you're pretty sure of the questions that will be asked and you get lots of questionable advice from people on how best to approach it. The only real difference is that my mother couldn't care less how well I do in the marathon.

2. Laois Hire

I think those signs on the motorway warning about the impending traffic chaos as a result of the marathon are actually injury inducing. Every time I pass those signs I see the words "you're not running the marathon are you, you'll definitely get injured again like the last time you tried".

3. Religion

I think tapering is against my beliefs. The concept disagrees with me. I have similar beliefs to Trump, I think the human body only has so much energy, except I think you may as well make use of it while you're fit and healthy. If I can run, I'd rather run.

4. Kobe Beef

I think stress is responsible for most niggles and injuries, I'm not a very stressed person but sometimes you have to do stressful things. Apparently Kobe beef is so good because the animals have no stress. This is because they get fed beer, listen to music and get lots of massage. I think I'll do that this week, drink some beer, listen to music and get massage.

5. Niggle

I don't think a marathon would be complete without a career threatening injury or minor niggle. My injury/minor niggle involved my right hamstring taking on the properties of a guitar string. Of course I tried to run on it for two days which played on the tendons at the base of the hamstring. Thankfully a good massage removed the guitar string, unfortunately the tendons remain less than harmonious. They're getting happier every day so I'm not too worried.  I know I'm nearly better because the niggle is moving back to my left calf, in my experience this is the best place to store your niggle.

6. Disease

Disease is another potential threat to a marathon. I used always get a disease before exams. To protect myself from diseased people I have been taking a Yakult every morning and evening along with some more probiotics and Vitamin D. Salazar and Team Sky are always right. I also keep a bottle of hand sanitising gel in the door pocket of the car as you never know when you might meet a diseased person, more marginal gains.

7. Diet

I read that a lot of people use a carbohydrate depletion diet in the week before the marathon. I was tempted by this because it sounded mad and the people In the 1980s running book did it. Then I thought about it logically and realised that it makes no sense to do something you've never done before the week before a marathon, having said that I've never tapered before either.

8. Pace

I think whatever pace I run at will be either too fast or too slow. There are all sorts of pace calculators that you can use. Marco has one and McMillan too. I think I'll stick to the Donie Walsh pace calculator. This is not available on the Internet.

9. Gels

I think gels are a marginal gain that I can live without, I know they help but so do lots of things. I'd rather not end up like Tom Dumoulin at the Giro. Marginal gains can easily turn into major losses.


I've probably jinxed the marathon now by writing about it. I don't know why the marathon is so important. You know what, it's identical to the Leaving Cert, you can just do it again if you don't  get the result you want.