Most training plans include a tapering period 2-3 weeks before a marathon. This means you run less, and slow the eff down in fitness and ideally in life. The theory is the work is done, your strength and endurance are built and it’s too late to try to work on speed. Now it’s time to relax and get/be healthy. The goal is straightforward: Show up to the marathon well-rested and eager to run.
I’ve heard the taper can make you go crazy. Some dub the moody response some runners have “Taper Tantrums.” I figured I’d have some issues here, but it’s not what I predicted. I expected to feel the desire to run more than I was permitted to and to feel frustrated and nervous about the lack of mileage, but au contraire. All I want to do is sit on the couch, forget running, take some naps and eat pretzel croissants from City Bakery. (I’m averaging three a week. Too much?)
I ran 4 miles yesterday at a 10-minute per mile pace (on the slow side for me) and it was a workout, not a casual jaunt in the park. Everything feels HARD. I’m still sore from the 21 mile run. Which was like, 10 days ago. So I’d say things are going only OKAY. I feel DONE.
How is tapering for you? Got issues?
Here’s what week 16 looked like:
Tuesday: 4.25 miles. I was still pretty tired from Saturday’s super long run, but the cool temps (45 degrees) made it easy enough to get going.
Wednesday: Refine Method. I had to throw myself out of bed and force myself out the door for this early morning class. But I went and I’m always happy I did.
Thursday: 6-mile run. I was meant to run 8 miles, per Hal Higdon, but and this may be TMI, but my toe nail cracked in half. So it hurt. So I ran less. I saw a great podiatrist though, so if you need a sports podiatrist I know a heavenly hero and I’m happy to make an introduction.
Friday: Physical Therapy
Saturday: I sat on a couch all day watching a Netflix documentary about the British monarchy. #AMA
Sunday: 11 struggle bus miles. To cheer me on Matt, who had run the day before, meet me at mile 4 to run a few miles with me. He held my water bottle and insisted I call him “coach.” My stomach was not cooperating so unfortunately Coach Stein was stranded with one bratty runner. No good deed goes unpunished, but we made it through, and by all accounts are still happily married.
How is your week? Make me feel better and tell me your tapering horror stories please!! XOX