Taper Secrets Of The Reigning Ironman World Champion

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Oct 1, 2013
  • Updated Jan 15, 2016 at 1:38 PM UTC
Jacobs went on to win the 2012 Ironman World Championship. Photo: Kurt Hoy

While many age groupers are will be putting in their final miles on Ali’i Drive next week, Pete Jacobs will be kicking back and resting. Jacobs traditionally does only two run workouts in the week leading up to Ironman Hawaii. Last year, he did a 50-minute run six days before the race and a 35-minute session three days prior. We tailed the Jacobs during his final run session before he won the 2012 Ironman World Championship.

RELATED VIDEO: Pete Jacobs Talks Running Technique

Jacobs’ last run workout before Ironman Hawaii started with 15 minutes steady running a little bit slower than his race pace. He planned to run between 30 and 40 minutes total, depending on how his body was feeling.

– Fifteen minutes in, he stopped and did a series of toe touches to stretch his hamstrings, alternating right and left.

– After the toe touches, Jacobs did a few steps of the grapevine/karaoke running drill.

– Next on the schedule was a few very short pickups followed by a few steps of walking.

– Jacobs then dropped into a deep lunge, one leg at a time followed by standing lunges with his upper body twisting past his leading leg.

– His final drill was one leg high-knee skips.

With his drills complete, Jacobs went back up to speed and continued on his run. He threw a few short pickups into his steady pace, accelerating well past Ironman pace for a few seconds. He dropped and shook his arms periodically to keep them loose. Many of his short efforts were on up-hill sections rather than flats. After thirty minutes he decided to keep going for a few more and pulled off the road at 35.

After finishing the run, Jacobs went through a short lower body stretching routine and slammed a gel. Instead of worrying about losing fitness or trying to keep his legs feeling “sharp” by running frequently, long or fast in the final week before Ironman, Jacobs had an extremely restful run schedule. After these short final workouts, he went on to claim the world title and post a 2:48:05 marathon split.

RELATED VIDEO: Pete Jacobs Demonstrates Running Drills

FILED UNDER: Ironman / Race Tips / Training TAGS: / / / / /

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

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