I seem to have forgotten another important rule- enjoy your taper! The days leading up to your marathon should be easy- short and maybe quick. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that I don't need a long taper, so until today have been focusing on quality and perhaps not cutting enough quantity. It's time to relax!
Today was great- an easy, comfortable 55 minutes on trail with the dog- felt good, and my legs certainly needed a break. Remember, the work has already been done- the purpose of maintaining high intensity in those final days is to keep blood volume levels from dropping and perhaps increasing muscle glycogen storage and enzyme activity. The low volume is required to allow full muscle recovery.
Check out this great tapering article by Owen Anderson, who cites research that found runners using 500 meter high intensity intervals (but running only a total of 6 miles for the week) improved significantly more than runners who rested or stuck to all easy running.
I'll do a few 800s tomorrow.