Oops, and The Dreaded Taper..

This post wasn’t supposed to post until today (Tuesday)…but some of you might have seen it early…oops! (clearly I am NOT very good at scheduling my posts ahead of time!)

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With less than two weeks left until my “14 in 2014” kicks off, I am now officially in “tapering mode”  for the Hyannis Marathon.
What is “tapering?”
I like Runner’s World’s Tapering description on what to do 2 weeks out from race day:

Two Weeks Out
During week two of your taper, you’ll reduce your mileage an additional 20 to 25 percent, which gives you plenty of free time to fret. Some runners tend to doubt their ability to finish their goal race during this time period but looking back at your training log can give you confidence in how far you’ve come in your training.
Reduce each of your weekly runs by an additional 20 to 25 percent. Run everything easy. If you’re targeting a time goal, do the following key workout during one of your longer midweek runs. Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes, then run one mile at 30 seconds faster than marathon race pace, followed by one mile at 30 seconds slower than race pace. Repeat two to four times. Rest two days.

Race Week
At this point, it’s all about staying rested and getting mentally prepared. This week, aim to sleep eight hours a night and stay off your feet as much as you can—reducing stress on your body will allow it to top off its glycogen and maintain adequate hydration levels. To combat nerves, schedule movie nights, start a new book, or visualize races you’ve enjoyed.
Reduce your running to just four days this week. New marathoners may run no more than three or four miles at a time, while advanced runners may do a couple of six-milers early in the week. A very light, race-pace workout early in the week can help you stay sharp. Run one to four miles at marathon pace with a one-mile warmup and cool down. First-timers looking to simply finish shouldn’t worry about a sharpening workout. 

For the full article, you can see here

Although I despise the tapering weeks;I do know it is essential to my training. I have never been in training for two marathons at the same time, so tapering is slightly tricky for me right now. To be honest, tapering is something I am NOT very good at. I do not like decreasing my miles one bit. BUT-The tradition of tapering for a marathon is proven to work.  I have done a ton of research on the best methods to taper. There really isn’t a whole lot out there on “what to do to taper if you are training for two marathons at the same time” so I kind of changed some things to suit me.

What Will I do to help myself taper for one marathon without losing fitness for the other?
-One of the things I am going to make sure I do is get more sleep.  By getting more sleep, I will help myself come race day on 2/23.. Especially because I am known to pull all nighters on the night before a marathon. I get EXTRA nervous for a marathon when I stay in a hotel so I’m going to cram in those Zzzzz’s over the next two weeks! (Last night I was in bed at 8 o clock. For real.)

-Reduce daily miles for the next two weeks.. Usually I do 2-3 9-10 milers during the week, and one midweek long run. This week, I will most likely keep my miles to a maximum of 7-9 per a day, and do a 15-16 miler on Saturday. So, basically, I will help myself by STILL running, only decreasing the mileage I will do on any given day.  Since I’m also in training for Boston, to decrease too much over the next two weeks would hurt my training for that marathon. 15-16 is still a high enough number of miles that my body will recognize the exhaustion from a long run, yet quick enough for me to bang out in about 2 hours- the less time I spend outside for a long run=the better.

-Soaking up the Easy runs. I love speedwork. I excel at the Tempo runs. Yasso’s? I eat them for breakfast. Over the next two weeks though, I will be running mostly easy runs. Not pushing it at all will leave my body rested, but I will still be getting training in for Boston. I will probably do one speed workout each week though-tempo runs-to keep my body accustomed to my goal pace for marathon day.

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-Trying not to freak out next week.. Next week is the really annoying week. I’ve never met a single runner who isn’t nervous during the week prior to the race. Anxiety is at an all-time high due to the fact that you have decreased your miles…I always end up questioning my training during this time frame. Did I even train right? Can I hit my goal? Will I be able to hold my goal pace? These questions and <del> one million </del> a few more circle my brain. I will be running no more than four days-probably 7 miles max each day, with the race dawning at a great & restful start time of 10am on Sunday morning.  When the “tapering tremors” happen-I take a  moment and scroll through my trainging log. It helps calm me when I see those lovely high mileage numbers and the even lovelier times it took me to run them!

I will probably throw in some cross training this week and next. I plan to do yoga-maybe a strength video…and I MAY EVEN let my husband teach me “gym stuff” in the home gym he installed in the basement. Little known fact: My husband is NOT a runner and I am NOT a gym rat. However, he promised me he would come running with me at some point, if I will work out by lifting weights with him…Sounds like a Win, Win to me!

I hope this helps all you marathoners out there to have your best tapering weeks!

Do you taper?

How do you distract yourself during tapering?
-I will probably make one million pieces of jewelry and read a hundred books while I am tapering! 😄

Run Free, Run Strong!

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3 thoughts on “Oops, and The Dreaded Taper..

  1. Tapering is always the pits but you are right…it’s a necessary evil and will help you rock your race. I usually taper but whine about every second of it…

  2. You will be fine- tapering is madness- but totally necessary! I found that doing a “dress rehearsal” run really got me pumped- in full gear- just a 7 mile run with only 2 at goal pace- 5 days before the race, helped me to calm down.

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