Ask Our Coaches: Tapering for a Half Ironman


I have a 1/2 IM in early November and am not sure how much and how soon to taper. I am 67 and figure that the usual tapering routine might not be ideal for someone my age? Any suggestions? Bobby D.

Our Coaches’ Replies

Coach Kurt Madden


Good morning from San Diego!

Tapers can be tricky and it really depends upon the following:

  1. What is a typical taper you have used in the past to optimize your results for a ½ marathon?
  2. Have you tapered for any other races this year?
  3. Do you have any injuries?
  4. Have you put in a block of training consistently for say 12 – 16 weeks?
  5. Is this your “A” race or “B” race?

Generally speaking, most people your age, will go with a 10-day taper which means their longest run is 3 weeks before at say, 2:20. Two weeks before, the long run is reduced to 1:45, and a week before the race, the long run is 1:10.  This is also assuming that you are running four times a week with a faster session of say 50 – 1:10 at a Zone 4 or getting anaerobic, two recovery sessions, and a long run.

Hopefully, this information is helpful and you might consider looking at RunDot to get in on a free trial:


Kurt Madden


Coach Tony Washington

Hi Bobby,

I’ll echo Coach Kurt’s response. What have you used in the past? I’ve found with good consistent training, my folks need a shorter taper. We want to be prime to race. Not too flat, but fresh and ready to roll. I recommend some short, sharper intervals around race pace to build some race day muscle memory.  

Good luck in your race. Kurt or I will be glad to help you ready and provide a race pacing plan.




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