When you commit to living a healthier, more active lifestyle the hardest thing to do is to take time off and slow down. However, this is vital going in to race weekend. Gearing up for marathon #8 since January 2012 I’m no stranger to the taper. Different people do it for different amounts of time depending on their bodies, but most settle in to a 2 week taper ending with race day. These 2 weeks are generally low mileage, slower paced runs. Gone are the days of tempo runs & intervals & hill training. The goal for the next 9 days is to stay loose, stretch, keep up quality nutrition, and keep the legs well rested for Cleveland. I am shifting my training from 4 runs per week to 3 runs, none of which will be more than 5 miles. Most will be on the treadmill to help keep me honest and well paced.
The ultimate goal is to walk on to the starting line in Cleveland ready to run without feeling overworked. Week 1 ill cut total weekly mileage to about 60% of my normal training and week 2 will be at 20% total mileage.
Another added level of difficulty to the taper is nutrition. I’m burning significantly less calories than my body is used to. An increased appetite over the course of training turns into a constant state of unsatisfied hunger in the taper. I’m working to keep myself reminded that I won’t be running off that extra soft drink for another 10 days, where’s it going to go?
QOTW: What’s your plan when you taper?