With my peak mileage weeks behind me, my final really long, long run done, I am heading into my taper and although I’m (honestly) welcoming it with open arms, I’m hearing the taper is not all it’s cracked up to be.
I’ve been logging my highest mileage weeks ever throughout this training cycle, which makes sense since it’s my first full marathon, so the prospect of lesser mileage totals seems appealing to me right now. But, hey now, stop right there, my coworkers say, the taper is the hardest part of marathon training.
Why is this, you ask? Well, while you’re training for a marathon you get used to always having a very long run on the weekends. You get used to logging double workouts to hit your midweek mileage goals. And, you get used to spending most of your time running. Then the taper comes and all of a sudden you have some free time and you don’t know what to do with it. Some people start to doubt their training and others just enter into the taper crazies.
Upon hearing all of this, I thought I’d seek out some advice to avoid taper madness and hopefully make it out alive- and more importantly, make it to the starting line at Big Sur confident in all of the training I’ve put in during the last few months. Here’s what I found:
Racing soon? Add up miles in training log. Draw confidence from what you’ve already accomplished! #runningtips
— RW Challenge (@rwchallenge) April 8, 2013
Race Week #proruntip: Be boring and routine. Don’t try that new Thai restaurant or adventurous trail! Stick with what you know and trust!
— stephRothsteinBruce (@Steph_Rothstein) April 8, 2013
@fithappygirl keep yourself busy with other things!! Can’t believe it’s already taper time for you! Enjoy :)
— Abby (@nycrunninggirl) April 3, 2013
@fithappygirl Lots of books, movies and fun with friends!
— Pam and Christine (@werundisney) April 3, 2013
@fithappygirl Plotting my strategy for the race. It’s a little torturous, but it makes me even more pumped for the run.
— WhatThe5K (@WhatThe5K) April 3, 2013
@fithappygirl a really good book or start watching a new TV series
— Janet Larchey (@jlarchey) April 3, 2013
@fithappygirl I love to watch movies and fall asleep to them.Lots of naps
— 1Run.org (@1RunAmerica) April 3, 2013
@fithappygirl schedule extra breakfast and lunch dates with friends you haven’t seen in awhile. Go easy on the carbo-load!
— SMACK! MEDIA (@SMACKELI) April 3, 2013
So moral of the story? Find a way to distract yourself from the fact that you’re not running as much as you’re used to. Whether that means catching up with friends, reading a good book or straight up sleeping through the taper, try to get your mind off the fact that everything you’ve been doing for the last few months is about to culminate in one goal race. I’ve told many people before to trust in their training once the training cycle starts to wind down and race day slowly approaches but now, it’s my turn to trust in my training. And the extra naps don’t sound too bad either!
Do you have any tips for surviving the taper? If so, mention them in the comments section below!