But first, 7 random pictures from last night:
As runners we like to work hard. Those hard and long runs are what help us to become faster and stronger. Those hard runs help us to reach our goals EXCEPT when we try to do them the three weeks leading up to a marathon.
Those last three weeks of training for a marathon are for tapering (2 weeks for a 1/2 marathon and 5-7 days for a 10k or 5k). Pushing it is going to do everything but help us perform our best at the marathon. Take the taper seriously because you don’t want to go into the 26.2 miles already tired from pushing yourself too close to the race.
Tapering will help your body to rebuild itself, fill up on glycogen and help with any pains/problems you are having (i.e. this taper is going to definitely help my feet feel 100% again).
Okay, these aren’t official commandments but they are what I go by when tapering for a marathon:
1. CUT BACK ON MILEAGE AND INTENSITY. Pete Pfitzinger gives an awesome taper plan:
1st week of the taper—> 80% of your normal mileage
2nd week of the taper—> 60% of your normal mileage
3rd week of the taper—> 33% of your normal mileage
2. For me, I cut back on my fiber in the last week before a marathon. It works great for me. I eat more rice, pasta, bread and my normal amount of protein (which is usually grilled chicken and my protein smoothies in the morning). I drink more water per week during the taper than I normally do in a month (an exaggeration but I do drink more water during this time). I always have a water bottle with me during the taper and make sure to drink drink drink. I especially love having pizza the night before (and after;) the race.
3. For this marathon I am going to get Hulu Plus so that I can get all of the seasons of The Mindy Project for when I am tempted to go for a nice long run, I will just replace it with 4 episodes of TMP.
4. I practice a lot of positive thinking. The hard work is over by the time you get to the taper. There is nothing left to do as far as training is concerned so I use all of that extra energy I have to think positive about how the race is going to go.
5. I get rid of my friends. Not entirely, but I do my best to get home at a good time every night so that I am in bed and resting up rather than staying out late.
6. I organize like crazy because it helps me to get rid of some nervous tension. Making sure that I have absolutely everything that I could ever need for the race really helps me to feel prepared and ready to go rock the 26.2.
7. I study the course and talk to people about what to expect so that I am mentally ready.
8. I attempt to avoid stressful situations because that will put a major damper on your mental game (my last marathon I did not do well with this one and it definitely hurt me during the race).
What are some of your tapering commandments?
Do you like the taper or dread the taper?
What was the last dessert that you had? On a scale from 1-10, how good was it?