Happy happy Monday! I can’t believe in two Mondays, I’ll be hitting the Boston Marathon course. P.S., are you guys sick of me talking about this yet? 😉
This weekend was full taper mode for me –> rest day Friday (what, when does that happen?!), an easy four on Saturday and a 10k yesterday. My long run (16) is today, but that even seems short compared to what I was running in the peak of training (which wasn’t that long ago).
For those who aren’t familiar with marathon taper… what is it? It’s the time, generally about three weeks leading up to the marathon, where you run less and rest more. It seems counterintuitive… why would you scale back so close to the race?
This article provides some insight:
It sounds insane, but the fact that you are backing off — after you’ve adjusted to running all the miles — is what makes taper so hard. I feel like throughout training, my body adjusts to the harder workouts so now suddenly… they are gone, and I have all of this extra energy. Now what?
That’s where the taper crazies come into play. I generally find that it follows a pretty consistent journey:
- This is amazing! Usually by time you hit taper, you are pretty exhausted so you are SO excited to see that there are some shorter runs on the calendar.
- Oh hey energy… And this is when you start realizing that you have some extra energy, and well, what are you supposed to do with it?
- What’s wrong with my… Oh all that extra energy? It works really well to overthink everything, including that random twinge in your shin that most likely means that you are going to be diagnosed with a stress fracture tomorrow.
- And here comes the paranoia… the last few days before the race, I am always super paranoid that something is going to happen. Getting a cold, food poisoning, getting in an accident, etc., the list goes on. I generally try to avoid everyone and everything at this point.
But marathon taper doesn’t have to be all bad…
I think you can use this time during your training to your advantage — after all, that’s why it’s part of the training cycle! Here’s how:
Hit your paces. Because you have so much extra energy and generally the feeling that you might be losing your fitness, you might want to go a little harder for your workouts than what the plan tells you. DON’T. These paces exist for a reason (as they do throughout the rest of training as well). Trust in the plan.
Build up your mental fitness. This is by far the hardest part of marathon training, which I think probably sounds ridiculous. Give me a 20 miler anyday… 🙂 But, taper is a good time to focus on how you will be mentally strong on race day. Think about your mantras, visualize the race, come up with A, B and C goals… it will help you come race day.
Plan for race day. My best races have always come after I’ve planned everything down to the color socks that I’m going to wear for race day. Plan out your outfit (and a backup outfit based on what the weather might be), figure out your pre-race dinner plans, what you’ll eat for breakfast, find your throwaway gear and figure out… most importantly… how you’ll be celebrating post-race!
What do you think about taper? What drives you crazy during this time?
Weekend update! Anyone race? What was your favorite part of your weekend?
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