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?