I love to taper before a big race, especially when the last long run went well. I don’t make a secret out of it, but I love rest days and taper is supposed to relax your body. All good, except oftentimes I go crazy!
During taper my body is fine, but my mind is going nuts. It usually starts with the fear of getting sick. I use hand sanitizer 24/7 and just the noise of a cough or a sneeze makes me run away! Then I start feeling “weird” pains in my legs and worry about huge injuries. After that I just get nervous and think I can’t do that. The day before the race I get all quiet and then race morning I’m excited and nervous and a little crazy, like dancing and singing in the car.
This is how taper is done right:
- Reason of taper: Reduce work load, while maintaining race-specific efforts
- Benefits of taper:
- Maximize fuel and enzyme stores
- Rest muscles and allow muscle recovery
- Mentally prepare for major effort
- Length of taper:
- 5K: 3 days
- Half marathon: 7-10 days
- Marathon: 14-20 days
- Marathon taper:
- Follow regular weekly running pattern, but less distance and effort
- last big workout 7-10 days before race
- last demanding long run 2-3 weeks out
- 2 weeks prior to race: 60% of average volume
- week of race 30% of average volume
- Taper tips:
- Don’t do extra projects
- Don’t do fast running
- Eat well and hydrate well
- Avoid excess: alcohol, fatty foods, high sugar
- Sleep well
- Motivational tools: book, movies
- Visualize race
I’m doing pretty well in relaxing and taking it easy, sometimes I’m worried I’m taking it too easy! In 2 weeks I will be lining up at the Wineglass Marathon. 2 more weeks of trying to stay sane.
Do you like taper?
Do you experience taper madness as well?
Any taper advice?