Trail Running & The Reverse Taper


Wednesday: 3m easy 9:00/pace, 20min core

I know this happened last week–but i have to talk about it. GUYS, i went on my first real, lots-a-miles/hills/creatures trail run! I don’t know what it was but I felt kinda like some sort of badass hippie. haha! I’m sure you trail runners out there get it.


Returning to base training after a marathon is one of my favorite times. Lots of easy running and low mileage is just what my body likes after a hard race. After the marathon I took 10 solid days off running and returned slowly–my first week with just 2 miles, the 2nd week 13 and last week was 20.


I’m finally getting the rest of my tattoo finished tomorrow which means a few days off from running as it heals. Next week I’m anticipating my mileage to be closer to 18. I like taking a week as I’m building up mileage to check in with my body and make sure i’m not increasing too quickly. (I do this about every 6-8 weeks)


I’m thankful this is the week to ease off the buildup–my shins are being a little picky so backing off more mileage, a visit to the chiropractor and a good calf massage are on the weekly schedule.

Remember, you don’t always have to increase mileage every single week as you build your base. Plus, when you don’t have a race on the schedule yet there’s no rush to get back into full on training mode—just got to make it there healthy! Seriously though, i need a race. I feel like there’s a medal-shaped-hole in my heart that needs to be filled.


almost squished this fuzzy bug


Hope everyone is doing a good job at recovering from the fall marathons! Be safe & smart with your return to running!

Weekly Workout Roundup!

Monday: 5m easy run 8:06/pace

Tuesday: 3.1m easy 8:50/pace, 10 abs

Wednesday: 45min shoulders & core

Thursday: 5m tempo 7:23/pace 

Friday:  Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 7m easy 7:56/pace

Total Miles: 20.6

How long do you wait before returning to your normal weekly mileage?

Author: She's Going the Distance


13 thoughts on “Trail Running & The Reverse Taper

  1. Love those pics! I didn’t get as much trail time as I wanted this year, and we are quickly heading into the late fall chill at this point 🙂

    My general approach is to do a literal ‘reverse taper’ … maybe take a day off, then a couple of miles, then more and more and within a week be running my normal distances. But I am an idiot, and would never recommend anyone do what I do. 🙂

    And it is funny – in the lab today the guys had the radio on and Cake came on and I was wondering if I had missed a post from you. True story.

    Glad you are being smart coming back and hope everything is going well in all parts of your life 🙂

  2. Yay trails!! I feel like such a badass and so outdoorsy when I do trails, there’s just something very different. I want to say I’m more in tune with nature but that makes me sound like a crunchy hippie 😉

  3. Your trail pics are gorgeous!!
    I’m with you…I try to do a reverse taper. I’m three weeks out from Chicago and just now feeling strong in my regular mileage.

  4. I just tried my first trail run as well! My run wasn’t as woodsy and gorgeous as yours though. Looks amazing!

    I try to take 1-2 weeks off after a marathon. After my marathon in October I took 9 days. Now I’m training to place in my age group for a 5K!

  5. I usually try to do a reverse taper that mirrors the pre-race taper, but I’m an idiot and scheduled races too close together for that, so I only took one rest week before starting training again. Fortunately I’m at relatively low mileage at this point, but I am feeling like I could use a bit more rest.

    I love the trail photos! Did you get those with the camera on your phone? They’re beautiful!

  6. Love the pics (although I’m not a big trail runner….lizards always find me….they’re everywhere….) I ran my second half on the 9th and so this past week hase been my reverse taper week. I rested on Monday, walked on Tuesday, ran 1 mile on Wednesday, did nothing on Thursday (sadly), and ran this morning (Friday). I need to get some swimming in for cross training so I might do that tomorrow and then I run 6 miles on Sunday (really looking forward to that!)

  7. Good stuff here! I was way too impatient after my first 50 miler, resulting in an injury(tendonitis for a few days).

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