Respect the Taper (Part 2)

Good morning! Race day is quickly approaching, and I made the decision to be smart, not mess with the plan, and did not do #tenmiletuesday. I really want that PR next week, and I don’t want to do anything to mess with my chances. I’m really glad I listened to my own advice because just from the small amount of tapering last week, my legs felt great for this morning’s run. Today’s scheduled run was 6 miles. One mile easy, 4 miles at race pace, followed by 1 mile easy. It went down a little something like this: 8:27, 7:41, 7:39, 7:37, 7:20, 7:56. I pretty much felt like a rock star. I’m still keeping my original goal of 3:40 for the marathon. Just because I can run 5 miles at 7:xx pace, doesn’t mean I can do 26. I want to set a goal I know I can reach. I’m nervous that if I change my goal and don’t meet it, I will be disappointed.

I thought I’d share a few tips on getting the most out of the tapering process.
1. Get extra sleep. Now is the time to start getting good quality sleep. As race day approaches, your nerves will start to take over, and you may not sleep as well. If you are traveling for your race, your sleep is bound to get a little out of whack anyway, so focus on getting a full night’s sleep the last week or so before the race.

2. Clean up your diet. Limit the junk food (which we should all be doing anyway), and focus on proper nutrition. I find the whole “carb loading” thing to be an exact science. You want your glycogen levels topped off, but you definitely don’t want to go into race morning feeling bloated, puffy, and sluggish

3. Don’t start a new exercise workout with all your new free time. You are supposed to be resting some! I’m keeping my tapering workouts to running and Pilates or Yoga. It is hard to sit back when you’ve been working so hard for months, but this is part of your training. Just chill it and you can start those new workouts after your race.

4. At this point in your training, you probably have a pace plan in place, so use this time to visualize yourself running the course and how you will execute your pacing strategy.

5. Try not to freak out. It’s hard not to worry about how it’s all going to go down on race day, but you have done the training, and that truly is the hardest part. It will all pay off and you will cross that finish line feeling proud no matter what!