The other day I announced on Facebook that I was officially on taper for my upcoming race. And, so I am. However, I’d like to clarify what that means.
I’ve been training for this half marathon for several weeks. I’ve put in both time and hard work. I’m excited to go run and exert as much energy as I have on that morning. What’s the best way to be able to do that? For me, a good taper will guarantee that I am feeling ready to race. If I taper properly, I feel like a penned up colt ready to break through the fence and run. Ok, a little dramatic, but that’s the feeling I’m going for.
For this half marathon, my taper actually began earlier than when I announced it. I began to taper 2 weeks before the race by decreasing my weekly mileage. This time around I’m using a plan that helps me know how to adjust my workouts to make sure I am tapering. By the end of this week, I’m gonna feel lazy, I mean well rested.
Honestly, sometimes I have a hard time with tapering. I get used to a certain amount of mileage/workouts each week, and I crave them. While tapering for a marathon or half ironman, I tend to get a bit antsy. I do follow the plan because I know that there are definite benefits.
This time, my taper couldn’t have fallen on a better week. My kids start school this week and I know that I will be distracted with our schedule changes. I’m hoping that helps me with the reduced exercise level.
Typically during the taper week I spend some time on visualizing what I want the race to be, I study the race course (this year I’m paying close attention to the elevation gains!), I check out results from last year, etc.
So, why do I taper? Well, it’s good for me. It allows my body the chance to rest and recovery a bit which will make me feel refreshed for race day. In addition, it reduces my chance for injury.
Do you taper for your races? Do you like taper weeks?
Here are a few articles if you want to read more about tapering:
This first one is good since it addresses tapering for the different distances, starting with a 5k.