April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Erika from MCM Mama Runs, and Patty from No-Guilt Life.
I am currently in a Taper for the LA Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday and I am pumped! Look for a post on Thursday about my goals and my costume I have planned :)
Anyways, I am IN LOVE WITH TAPER TOWN. I got a lot of my ideas from this Runner's World article but I will summarize what I want to accomplish in a taper and what I do.
WHY I TAPER?
I want my body to be in the best shape it can be in for a race. By allowing your body to rest, you allow it to rebuild muscles and adequately be able to store glycogen in your muscles to use during the race.
HOW I DO IT?
As always it depends on the race:
5k or 10k: I taper for a week
Half marathon: 2 weeks meaning I do my final long run 2 weeks before
Full marathon: 3 weeks meaning I do my final long run 3 weeks before
- I do shorter long runs on the weekend meaning I usually do somewhere between 6-8 miles on the weekend. I stick with my typical 3 miles on Tuesday and Thursday but I cut out speedwork the week of the race.
- The week of the race, I limit my workouts: I switch out weight training and PiYo for yoga and stretching so I am still being active but getting ready for the race.
- I also spend more time stretching and rolling at night to make sure I don't have tightness or soreness.
- I also aim for 8 hours of sleep a night the week of the race.
- Any extra time I have in the week of the race is spent prepping for the race-trying on my outfit, packing everything I know I need and making my final playlist and charing all of my electronics along with the physical prep-I also make sure to have a plan for getting to the Expo and the race.
- I also prep all my food and prepare for the carbload (as we know, my favorite part of racing) and making sure I get enough carbs to prepare myself for the race!
- If I get nervous, I review my Chi Running book.
HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Great! I know some people get bored and go crazy. I usually am not that bad but I can be annoying because I have early nights and usually cut out all going out. For example, if my race is on a Sunday then I go to bed early on Friday to get up early on Saturday. That way I am up early on Saturday and will be tired and ready to go to bed that night and get up early to run! I will be going to be bed around 9 or 10 on Friday to get up at 6 on Saturday. That way I will be ready to go to bed around 930 so I can get up around 5am on Sunday.
I also get nervous so I try and stay calm, as much as possible. Easier said than done, of course!
DO YOU ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR TRAINING PLAN?
Not always-I am skipping longer runs for the Dopey plan for both this race and Wine and Dine. Honestly, my long run pace is not the same as my race pace (and it shouldn't be the same) so for me to race a half marathon is a lot more strenuous than doing a 17 mile training run I should be doing this weekend. I will definitely reach the miles with the walking before and after the race so I am not too concerned.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU HAVE RACES CLOSE TOGETHER?
I taper as best as I can. I have Wine and Dine coming up and then Avengers the next week. I will only get 1 run in (on Thursday morning) between the 2 but all of my walking around WDW, plus working a Thursday night football game will be all I need. I plan on taking Avengers much slower to make sure I can recover correctly.
Overall, it is important to trust your training. I have been focusing on the Taper and Carbload for most of the year and PRed in almost every single one of them since March (1st marathon and I never hit a wall, 2 sub 1:10 10ks, sub 30 5k, a new Disney PR 10k, one of my fastest Disney half marathons) So what I am doing, is definitely working so I just plan on trying to tweak my Taper strategy going forward.
How about you-Do you Taper? How do you do it? Do you get the crazies?