Embracing the Taper

Embracing the Taper Fall| happyfitmama.com

This week officially marked the beginning of my taper for Baystate Marathon.

Most people fight it but I’m embracing the taper with open arms.

Two weeks ago, I hit my all time high weekly mileage – 54 miles. Never, ever did I think I could handle that amount of miles. I also never, ever thought I could get 10-12 miles in before most people’s alarms are going off to start the day. But I did. You make it work when it comes to marathon training!

Last week, threw my training off. The surprise Achilles pain and subsequent rest days meant I sort of started to taper a week early. If I would have run all my planned runs, I would have had over 200 miles for the month. Another milestone. My competitive self is a little bit mad about that. But my sensible self is happy just to be running. My Achilles got it’s extra TLC, it’s feeling OK and I’ve picked up where I was in my original marathon training plan.

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I saw this sign heading into my massage appointment yesterday. Isn’t that the truth?

This week I’m cutting my mileage by 20%. Most of my runs will be at easy pace with a few miles at marathon pace. There’s no need to push the limits right now. All of my fitness gains have been made. I also won’t lose any fitness in 3 weeks of tapering.

According to Runner’s World, “levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormonesโ€“all depleted by high mileageโ€“return to optimal ranges during a taper. The muscle damage that occurs during sustained training is also repaired. And if that isn’t enough, immune function and muscle strength improve, as well, which reduces the odds you’ll catch a cold or get injured just before the race. And get this: The average performance improvement by the subjects who tapered in these studies was 3 percent. That works out to 5 to 10 minutes in a marathon.”

That’s a good enough reason for me to taper!

There is another 5K that’s a part of the Dover Road Race Series this weekend. I was tempted to do it after learning that I was in 9th place in the overall women’s standings. That was my competitive self thinking. My sensible self spoke up louder.

4 races in the past 4 weeks = not good for Ang’s already injury prone body.

So I’m sitting out this 5K and instead following my plan like a good girl. I just have to remember what my focus is.

The marathon.

And blowing away my previous time.

I’m sure I’ll have oodles of phantom pains and twinges in the next 18 days.

All I can say is, bring it on! I’m ready for it!

What do you do to tame the taper crazies?

30 comments on “Embracing the Taper

  1. Bring it!!! The fact that you’re embracing the taper says you’ve trained right. I always know when I’m race ready and it’s pretty much whether or not I’m ready to taper!! Glad your sensible side is winning this one. You’ll be happy come race day. Enjoy the next 18 days woman – you’ve earned it!
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  2. When you are happy in a taper, it means everything has gone well with your training. I’m not sure if you have run the Baystate but it is a fabulous race. I only did the half last year, but got a PR. Having a high school open to use bathrooms and stretch ahead of time was nice. Also, it was cool on race morning so it kept you warm beforehand as well. It is a huge Boston qualifier race so there are lots of speedy runners too!
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  3. Embracing the taper is always a good thing. Hope you don’t get too many phantom injuries and drive yourself crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. So glad you are being smart, I know it will pay you off for the marathon. I too, have started the taper, and yes, the crazy thoughts have begun. I do not have any advice for you, and it sounds to me like you are in a better place than most people. I am planning on doing a lot of visualization to imagine finishing feeling strong. That can only build your confidence too ๐Ÿ™‚
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  5. “Phantom pains and twinges” — Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am to see my own feelings reflected in some of your blogs?

    Good luck at Baystate – you sound ready to bring it!!

  6. Tapering is definitely the best idea so that you feel like you are a firecracker about to explode when you get to the starting line and it is so easy to overdo it in the last couple of weeks and to not get the adequate rest that your body needs so that you don’t get sick or injured. I am happy to hear that you are taking it easy! Your body will be ready come marathon day!
    Sandra recently posted..I’m running the Kingdom Marathon!My Profile

  7. I am also starting my taper this week for an October 19 marathon! It’s a difficult balance to get your body the rest it needs and still feel on your game! Hoping you have a great and restful next couple of weeks! And best of luck on your race – I have enjoyed reading your training updates! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. WAHOO!!! 54 miles is LEGIT! ๐Ÿ™‚ You deserve a taper! Just listen to your body. I myself, I go the distance all day every day and honestly never give myself a break which, I have heard, is NOT good, but to be honest, my body isn’t screaming at me for it…. Uh, knock on WOOD
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  9. My marathon is two weeks after yours so it’s been cool to follow along as you’re just a little ahead of me. I can’t wait to read the recap where you kill it! Also, I totally get the taper crazies, and I worry about phantom pains through 100% of the training because I’m injury prone and injury terrified. I’m glad you’re being smart and enjoying the time to let your body get ready!
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  10. Yay for the taper!!! If you are ready for it that means that you are doing a great job training :)!!!! Now time to enjoy it :). I used to hate the taper, but lately I have been ready for it when it comes and this training cycle I am nearly positive I will be ready for it…but I still have a few weeks to go. My house is usually cleaner and I get in an organizing kick during my taper time ๐Ÿ™‚
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