I "borrowed" this from another marathon board. There is good taper advice. The original poster only got in an 18 miler for his LR and was asking if it was good enough. The following is one guy's reply: "Sorry - This is kind of long - but I am in the advice giving mood. I remember how much anxiety I had of the unknown my 1st marathon. I am a numbers guy, but 20 is just a number. It means nothing by itself. Being ready for a marathon has nothing to do with 1 - 20 miler - it is the cummulative effect of all those weeks of training. I think they put 20 in training programs because of the mental effect - like a price of $9.99 or $10.00. More important is that you are well tapered. In these next 2.5 weeks you start to get rested you will feel like a caged animal. You could crank out some super fast training runs. HAVE DISCIPLINE !!! RUN SLOW DURING TAPER Make sure you hit the start line HYDRATED - pay special attention the last 2-3 days before the marathon. Have a solid NUTRITION PLAN to hit the start line Glycogen loaded? When race day comes TAPER - HYDRATION _ NUTRITION will far outweigh a stink'n 20 miles. Advice - Do not be aggressive at the start - relax the 1st 5 miles - don't bob and weave to pass people, take a lane if it is open. You will feel like running fast in the beginning - again HAVE DISCIPLINE - HOLD BACK to whatever a reasonable pace is for you. At 10 miles, pick it up 5 seconds per mile if you still feel good and 15 miles another 5 seconds per mile. Be ready for having bad patches - time when you are fatigued and not feeling like the champ you are. Very few people hit the wall that say they do, they just get fatigued. All marathon runners have to run through fatigue - except those who choose to walk through it. Expect it, embrace it and push on. The wall - It is when you run out of Glygogen and now your body goes from burning a mixture of glycogen and fat to almost straight fat. This is not an effecient process and runners will slow dramatically. All those except those on the atkins diet as they are always at the wall and are already slow. Race nutrition is individual. At minimum - Take the sports fluid given on the race course at every aide station - and at least a gulp of water to wash it down. Gels? If you trained with them - take them along - if not don't. I am a pack runner - I like to run with groups. If the group is to slow I leave them and find a faster pack - This may take a few miles. If the group is to fast - I let them go. Phoenix is a large marathon - plenty of packs. I just come along side someone running and ask them how they are doing - You will know pretty quick if thet are in the mood for a conversation. In about 80% of marathons I have met people that I will never forget. Have fun - Good running."