Tale of the taper


Hey all. Sorry I have been so lax in posting lately. Work has been crazy-busy. I've been building on my new lifestyle/running blog, to be launched shortly, I hope. (Stay tuned for that.) Plus, I've been having way too much fun hanging out with friends and a certain special someone. Normally, I would add running to my list of time-eating excuses. But this week has been a taper week, so I have not been running as much as usual. The St. George Marathon is next Saturday. 

The hay is in the barn

Tapering means cutting back both the volume and the intensity of your workouts during the final 2 or 3 weeks before a marathon. This down time gives your body and mind a chance to recover, repair and unwind after 4 months of blood, sweat and tears. All the hard work has already been done: you really can't gain much fitness during these final weeks.

The main goal is to get to the start line. And as many runners can attest, holding back here and remaining patient can be the hardest part. If you are not careful in your quest to prove yourself one last time, you can push yourself too hard, get injured, get sick (because your immune system is probably sizzled), or burn yourself out. So it's time to put your faith in your training, and focus your time on loosening up and relaxing a bit.

It's a fine line between peaking and overtraining. I've gone from my highest mileage of almost 80 miles at peak, to just about 25 miles this week. I've had some great runs during my taper, but this week, unfortunately. I am not exactly feeling as fresh as I would like to. So I am listening to my body and am cutting back even more.

This morning, for example, I had a 6.5-mile run scheduled – not terribly long – with some pyramid intervals in the middle. Even though I slept soundly, I woke up feeling exhausted and niggly. Sometimes, this kind of fatigue disappears one mile into my morning run, but not today. Both my gastrocs were aching and even my knees hurt, and my knees never hurt! So as I was running, and each step felt like a monumental struggle, I decided to cut it back to an easy 3-mile jaunt. Super slow. Boy, was I glad to be gone. Next week, I plan on more of the same as I travel.

If you want to check out my journey, follow me on Instagram

Happy running and happy weekend!