What are the Tapers?
In this case only, don't listen to Kim Possible. She's got it all wrong here. Tapers are NOT 'the vapors'.
|Quick! Get this girl some electrolytes!|
What about this? Is this the Tapers?
|Malayan Tapir: Tapirus indicus|
Still no. But I guess we are getting closer.
Definition from Running World:
Taper, or tapering, refers to the reduction of exercise before a competition or race. Tapering is believed to be essential for best performance and can take from as little to a week to two or three weeks.
That's right. Reduction of exercise to improve performance.
My next running event is the Swamp Trail Half Marathon on January 5th, followed by the 10K during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. DisneyGroom's next event is the runDisney Dopey Challenge: the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon during the same weekend.
Many of you are in the same boat - big races those first few weeks in January. And you've prepared too, right along with us.
For months or weeks you've sacrificed: sleeping in, time spent with loved ones, donuts, adult beverages, and other things you love.
- You've logged countless miles on the road, trail, or treadmill.
- You've analyzed your pace, your nutrition, your salt and caloric intake.
- You've fantasized the entire course over and over again, even planning your potty breaks.
- You've got a spot at home picked out to display your medal(s).
- You've identified issues and potential pitfalls and have a plan to overcome them.
- You've worked really hard, are very determined, and can actually taste the success. And now...
And now you feel like a racehorse hitched to a donkey cart.
Or like poor Maximus here.
"I'm ready!", you cry.
"I'm NOT ready... but bring it anyway," others say. That would be me.
Let me tell ya - I'm there. We both are. We've been figuratively racing to our goals, and here we are. So close. And we have to slow it down.
Is there anything I can do?
Yes. The Tapers is a very treatable affliction.
Trust in the wisdom of the training plan that got you here.
For DisneyGroom it was Jeff Galloway's Goofy Challenge training plan, that he began last August - modified to include two fall marathons. Then tweaked in early November to accommodate for back to back long runs. He carefully stuck to his plan, rarely veering off track. Logging his miles with the 26.2 Galloway training app by lolo. I would be a nervous wreck, but I have no doubt, my husbeast will cruise through the Dopey Challenge. He will be his usual calm self, take it at a nice slow pace, and be ready to party in the parks afterwards. That's how he rolls.
For me, well... let's just say, I am a lot less disciplined. Sporadic bursts of training runs and a fair amount of long walks. But I did find that using a Gymboss Interval Timer helped me be a bit more consistent- both for short and long runs. Also, unlike my superhero hubs, I have a local half marathon, followed by 'just a 10K' at Disney the following week. Given the way I ahem 'train', I knew Dopey was way outta my league. I won't be setting any course records, but I can handle my distance.
Heed whatever remains of your training plan.
It got you this far, so stick to it. It may be tempting to do more - what am I saying? It is very tempting. But Don't Do It. You are not going to get any faster in the next two weeks. Keep running at an easy steady pace. Don't go too far or too fast. Save it for race day.
Take care of You.
Don't injure yourself. Rest. Eat well. Hydrate. I know it's winter, but drink your water! Get plenty of sleep (did you know your muscles repair themselves while you sleep?). Wash your hands often and do your very best to not catch a cold or flu.
11 days to go, Dopey Challengers.
You worked hard. You got this.
But this is so frustrating!
Taper tantrums are a real thing. They ain't pretty.
We totally get it.
And for your loved ones that DON'T get it: feel free to share the following educational video from Oiselle with them. (It's funny, I promise.)
You and me, let's go have a snack and daydream about the finish line.