I hate tapering, I genuinely do not welcome the down time, I mean I should and my body needs it, but I just keep procrastinating about one last run, the weigh in etc, even though I am totally prepared, I somehow feel lost without my long run and the fact that I have to decrease my millage. Its really my mind that needs to taper!!
I mean I am already up to 28 miles and its only tues!! I definitly need to ease off before saturday, one tip I like to do is aim to run before I have to get ready to be somewhere, meeting, work etc. That way I cant run the risk of over running!!!or I will be late…
The fact is that we runners develop a bit of an addiction to running; we become psychologically dependent on the rush of endorphins and the feeling of staying in good shape. And when you are used to a certain level of training and then stop, some bad things can happen.
So what can you expect during the tapering phase, below is a little list of how, what and how should you prevent problems?
Carbohydrate Overload: As you wind down your workout, make sure you don’t wind up eating too many carbs ignoring other important nutrients. Try and get 55 to 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 to 15 percent from protein, and 20 to 30 percent from fat. Ensure the proteins are low in fat, such as chicken, fish, lean meats, beans, and legumes.
Intense Last Minute Workouts: Runners usually fall prey to the impulse to get a lot of training in to ready themselves for the big day. The problem with following your impulse is that you will be absolutely exhausted by the time the starting pistol fires. Marathon training isn’t like closing a merger or prepping for a big presentation—don’t cram.
Phantom Aches and Pains: Isn’t it odd that during your taper you start feeling weird pains and muscle twinges? Trust us, this is part of the rejuvenation process that the body goes through naturally. Try to think of this as a good sign—rather than a pesky problem or cause for alarm. Your body is getting stronger during this healing process.
Heavy Limbs and Depression: When it is only one week before the big race, many marathoners get a sluggish feeling throughout their body. Remember that it is psychological. Also, you can knock out a few 100-meter sprints after some of your easier runs and this will help recharge your batteries a bit. If you are getting depressed about not running, try routines that are easier on your body, or space out your runs. If you must run to feed the addiction at this point its def more mental than anything else, just go for a short one. I always do yoga alot more during taper week 🙂 soothes the mind more than the body sometimes!!!
And remember to spend more time with your family and friends and engaged in activities you like.
Preparing and running a marathon is intense emotionally and physically. While the above problems and pitfalls are by no means an exhaustive list – sorry I know! – if you prepare yourself mentally to go through them you will emerge ready for the big race.
Good luck to anyone and everyone running NVM this sunday and in any other races too and stop by the San Francisco Marathon Booth at the expo in the Marriot on Saturday, I will be there repping fro SFM.
Happy tapering and happy running 🙂