How does the taper affect you?

It’s Wednesday.  Four days before the race, with the aftermath of the Stella stow storm still out the window.  And the taper crazies are just starting to settle in.

I find that some people look forward to the taper and backing off the workouts while others get antsy and go a little crazy.

I typically fall in the first category- especially when training for a marathon.  I welcome those last two to three weeks of less running and intensity.

This time I’m feeling a little antsy.

But regardless, there are a few taper signs I almost always experience:

1. One really rough run during my taper

I haven’t had this run yet, but I’m anticipating it will either be today or Friday.  I always seem to have a run where hitting a normal easy pace feels way too hard and I feel like I’ve lost all fitness!  When our body notices the cut back, it works hard at repair and recovery which can make some runs feel more like a slog through mud.

2. Questioning if I did enough

That mental component is tough! I want to determine a conservative starting pace and an accurate finishing goal time but it’s hard to say what exactly I’m trained for. I’m wondering if I should have had more race pace tempos and mile repeats to teach my body the pace. But the work is done- worrying does nothing, so it’s time to turn that negative energy into excitement!

3. Phantom niggles 

Again, with the lower mileage, our bodies sometimes begin working to repair muscles or tendons that were on the verge of injury and it’s common to feel some of those aches during the taper.  Typically these are “phantom aches and pains” meaning that they don’t signal an injury.  Overall, I’ve felt good so far this week with just a little something in my shin after Sunday’s run.


For how to taper, check out this post I wrote before my first BQ at the Houston marathon a few years ago!

What do you experience when you taper? Love it or hate it?

What surprised you about the taper experience?

I am linking up with SuzRachel, Lora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPatty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Nicole, Annmarie, Michelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

16 thoughts on “How does the taper affect you?

  1. I always look forward to the taper as well. I find that I end up filling up my time even though I am running less! I do question my training during that time, but I know there is nothing I can do at that point. I hope your last few runs before the race go well!

  2. I like having the taper break but I generally turn into a huge germaphobe. I got a nasty cold leading up to my first marathon and that was miserable. Being snotty and feverish is not how I would recommend spending the week before a race

  3. I always seem to start out relieved that I’m tapering and then i get cranky because I’m not running enough!

  4. I’ve only trained for one marathon, but during that time I really enjoyed the taper. I’m not a fast runner so my long runs, and some of my mid-week runs took a while to complete so I was happy to have some extra free time!
    Kimberly G recently posted..All About Awesome Apps!My Profile

  5. I love and hate the taper! I love the break from all the hard work leading up to the taper. But I hate the phantom niggles, that one tough run that opens up the door to self doubt, which leads to me wondering if I did enough. You hit the nail on the head here!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..All About Awesome Apps!My Profile

  6. Oh my gosh. I could have written this. I like tapering BUT I almost always experience the things you wrote about–like one crappy run, phantom niggles (LOL), etc.

    Good luck, lady. You are well prepared to beast this race!

  7. I usually don’t have a problem with taper… until the very last few days. I’m ok ok ok ok ok… omgomgomgomg. Like those last 72 hours. Nearly every time!

Comments are closed.