Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend, and happy mother’s day to all you awesome moms (and puppy moms)!
I can’t believe it’s the week of my SECOND MARATHON. I am so excited to be in Utah, explore and run Ogden and live it up (#bucket list), but I’m also a little apprehensive of the race and elevation. But, it’s all for fun, right?!
You can read about how I’ve prioritized nutrition during marathon training, and a little more about the marathon here. If you’re in the Utah area or interested in going, you can use the code BLT2017 for $10 off your entry.
So, I’ve actually truly been tapering, aka taking it easy. And let me tell ya, by decreasing mileage and turning it down, my body has wanted more rest and relaxation. I know some runners get antsy with their taper, but that hasn’t happened to me yet…
Less running = more time for other things
Sunday dinners with friends. Most epic wedge salad? I think so!
More QT with this guy and this girl.
More walking and some quick, efficient workouts.
According to Runner’s World, you want to decrease your mileage by 20-30% each week from your highest volume week when tapering. My last long run was supposed to be 20 miles 2 weeks ago, but if you remember, that wasn’t my greatest run. I ended up stopping at 18 miles. The following weekend, I did 16 miles no problem and felt great. And since then, I’ve consciously been decreasing all across the board.
I’ve appreciated these last few weeks of less mileage, except it has made my runs harder!
I haven’t been stressing about getting my workouts in, but I may have over-tapered last week. My 12 miler on Saturday was tough – sluggish and heavy, even with maintaining an 8:40 pace. I guess this is normal, if you take a few days off. Ed reminded me that this is normal too (He coached college cross country and has been running for like 20 years, so I trust him).
So, this week, I’ll plan to get 2-3 runs in before the race, with a little pickup/fartlek work with some speed bursts, to remind my body of my marathon pace and decrease any nerves or anxiety I may be feeling. I’m not really going to bother with cross training, and just save up the extra energy.
I have been focusing on…
More yoga, stretching and foam rolling
I got a massage last week which felt like pure bliss.
My favorite runner’s yoga video with stretches.
More walks with Tater
She doesn’t let you sit around much, anyway. She’s a true to form puppy, and loves to be active.
Mostly complex carbohydrates
You don’t want to carb load just the night before – use the weeks leading up to the marathon to teach your body to store extra carbohydrates as glycogen to have during the race. I have a nutrition plan with taking some gels and tailwind, but I will be having a large oatmeal breakfast (like I always do) the day off, and relying on my stored muscle carbohydrates (glycogen) that I’m currently building up.
We know how important those carbohydrates are, right?
Also, when tapering, make sure to hydrate hydrate hydrate! You can’t make up for a poor hydration plan on race day, or even the days before. Prep your body now! I’m trying to drink more water and less of other things. For example, I’ve cut my alcohol intake down to maybe 1 drink a week. But, you bet the beer will be flowing once this marathon is over.
And lastly, sleep. I have trouble sleeping in, so I’m working on getting to bed earlier. It’s a great life habit to get into anyway.
Why Tapering Is Hard
Tapering can be difficult for runners because it involves less movement and more sitting still. But, it’s vital to take care of your body and allow it to fully recover and rest before you put it through the stress of a marathon.
Many runners fear the taper period for weight gain or losing fitness. Yet, you won’t lose your fitness in a matter of 2 weeks. Use the extra time to enjoy relaxation, sleeping in, and visualizing your mental plan for the run.
For the marathon, I’m putting together my play list, and coming up with my mantra that I’m going to recite to myself throughout the race, especially during the tough times.
I heard a quote the other day: “Underprepared and under-trained means you’re ready to rock it,” or something like that.
I’m planning the restaurants we’re going to eat at, where to explore in Park City and Salt Lake City, and focusing on the fun stuff. I have found that if you take the focus off of running (therefore, decrease your anxiety about the upcoming race), it’s much easier. There’s not much you can do differently to produce different results on marathon day!
Do you love or hate tapering?
What’s your number 1 tip for taper period?
What’s your mantra for getting through tough times?