Lately, most of the blog posts I have been reading are about tapering. This is because most of the blogs I have been reading are running blogs, and most of the runners who write them have been tapering for a fall marathon. Now it is my turn to taper.
Last week the beginning of my taper felt nice. I had more time in the morning to get ready for work, because I was running shorter faster runs. I thought to myself I love tapering!
This week I hate tapering. I know my body needs the rest, but I am feeling antsy. I am ready for this race. I am ready for my fun weekend to begin. It feels weird not having any serious weekly runs. Running gives me energy, and all this rest is making me feel tired not energized.
A lot of non runners have asked me lately, “What does taper mean exactly?” Well I found the above taper photo and thought it explained it perfectly.
T- trust your training : That is exactly what I am doing. At this point, my training is done. There is nothing more I can do to increase my fitness level, my endurance. Last week, I did shorter, faster runs, to get my fast twitch muscles moving and keep my legs from getting heavy.
This week I am only doing shorter easy runs for my mental state, to keep my confidence high. Trusting in my training gives me some sort of comfort. I am trusting in my training, because I trained hard, never missing a long run – I put the work in. Along with that I will follow exactly what my training plan tells me to do. I have run two other marathons using this training plan, and they were successful, so I believe in it. Yesterday, I ran a little more than 3 miles. Tomorrow, I will run 4 miles. Friday, I will run 2 miles.
A – adjust your calorie intake : At this point, in my training, I am not strict with my diet. I can’t be. I have been running 20 mile runs, which burns 2,000 calories. So I have been eating three meals a day, snacking when hungry, eating well balanced meals. I am still eating all organic, mostly plant based meals, but I have been listening closely to my body. If I crave something I eat it. When running this high of mileage, if you crave something – for example something salty, most likely your body needs salt.
Friday I will start my carb loading. I will have pasta for Saturday night dinner as well. Sunday morning, race day, I will bring with me a bagel with peanut butter. I have tried hard boiled eggs, yogurt, pb&j, all of these work fine, but I trust in bagel with peanut butter the best. Starting tomorrow I will make sure I stay hydrated and start really focusing on my water intake. You’ll see me with a water bottle everywhere I go.
P – perfect your race day strategy : I will be running this race by myself. However, this is my 3rd time running this race, and I have run several races in this area. I have an advantage because this is where I am from, so I am comfortable and know my way around. I was talking the other day with a client of mine who is from the area and also runs Marine Corps Marathon every year. She too loves how it is familiar and easy. Just wake up and head over to the Pentagon.
However, I’ll hit up the expo on Friday. Once I get my bib and packet I will read everything, to get a better idea of everything that will be going down that day. On Saturday night, I will prepare everything for race day, so I am ready Sunday morning, this will include creating a fresh new running mix for my iPod, and getting my race outfit together.
I plan to write a separate post about the Marine Corps Marathon Expo and about my mental strategy for running the race, so look for that on Saturday.
E – embrace your free time : I definitely have been sleeping in and enjoying having more time to get ready for work instead of rushing there after a run. I thought my min pin would have made the perfect accessory to my work outfit. His spiked collar matched my leather pants.
R - rest and recover : I have been trying to sleep in. I have been trying to take it easy on my runs. I plan on going to bed early Friday night and Saturday night. A good night sleep is more important on Friday night. I will be antsy the night before my race, so the odds of me having a good night sleep will be slim.
So that is what taper means. However, the other thing I have been doing is checking the weather. The other day on the news they did the weather and placed the MCM logo on the weather map for Sunday. So far if anyone cares to know it is starting to get chilly. Today felt cold. But the colder the better. The weather man is calling for a low of 44 and a high of 59 on race day, I’ll talk it!
So thats what has been going on for me during my taper week.
Question for You…
Do you enjoy your taper weeks? or do you hate them?
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