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How quickly do you back down your miles when it is time to taper for a marathon?

Currently I am looking at about 68 miles this week with a long run of 22 on Friday, then 64 next week with an 18 miler planned next Saturday, then the week after I finally back off to 38 miles and finally serious taper heading into my race.

Should I look at reducing my miles for next week?

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I looked at marathon training schedules and it seems like almost all of them start the taper on the 3rd to last week.

Personally, if I were you, if you feel like you need more training to be comfortable, maintain what you've been running for the next week, and then start tapering after that. If you feel confident in yourself, you could start tapering right next week.
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I would go for 3 week's taper with a progressive cutback-
3 weeks out, I would do 70-80% of peak mileage, 2 weeks- 50-60%, race week- 35-40% (pre-race).

My situation with the taper last year will not be a good example because I ended up with an extended taper due to an injury setback 6 weeks out from the race. I had to therefore readjust my schedule to accomodate for that, with the possibility of a small loss in fitness or premature peaking.

It seems like you are doing abit too much volume in your 3rd week out (assuming 68 was your peak)...I would go for 50-55 mpw with a long run of 16-17. Your 2nd week seems fine.
Maintain some high intensity during your taper weeks to keep race-sharp. If you can, run a 8-10k race 2-3 weeks before just as a last fitness assessment just to make sure that you are able to handle your target marathon pace by race day. (plus it's a good confidence booster)
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I go along with Tim on 80% - 60% - 30% with a 10km. race or time trail (run hard) 2 weeks out from your marathon. This way you will be able to guage your marathon potential and set your race pace accordingly.
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I think I figured out what I did with my training plan. I think I cut and pasted an extra week into my schedule. My body is ready to drop the mileage and rebuild itself while getting ready for the race. Due to other commitments I wont be able to race at all but I will have a couple of 10 milers in the next week or so to help keep me going.
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4 weeks to go, long run 23 miles, total weekly 46.
3 weeks 12/36
2 weeks 14/31
1 week 10/26
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