Cleveland Marathon is less than 2 weeks away.
Where the hell did this year go?
I feel like just yesterday I was like
"Hey what are we doing for New Years?"
This is not my first marathon,
therefore not my first taper experience.
Each one was a little different,
& each one taught me something new.
Quick recap of my taper experience...
and then my little present to you...
a T.A.P.E.R Acronym :) ENJOY!
Marathon #1 Taper (March 2011)
3 weeks of very little running,
and lots of eating.
I had no clue what I was doing for this,
literally flying by the seat of my pants.
Mentally I was just tired and nervous.
Lesson: It was my first marathon, too many lessons to name.
Marathon #2 Taper (September 2011)
Raced a half 2 weeks prior, shouldn't have done that.
Then a solid 2 weeks of light exercise.
Carb-loading was decent I suppose,
but still really had NO clue what I was doing.
I went into this race very unprepared mentally,
crappy support system didn't help.
Lesson: Don't be around people who make you cry a lot during taper,
and especially on race morning.
Marathon #3 Taper (November 2011)
Decent taper, cut back for about 1.5 weeks.
Got sick in last week or so,
I remember taking Mucinex like it was my job.
Mentally I felt good though,
taper/vacation/marathon was mentally what I need to
escape the problems I was dealing with in my personal life.
Lesson: Do what YOU need to do.
Taking care of yourself isn't selfish, it's NECESSARY.
Marathon #4 Taper (November 2012)
Tapered very well for this one.
Worked out, but kept it clean and easy.
Kept myself busy enough not to freak out.
I played it very smart the few weeks leading up to the race,
and it paid off big time.
Oh, and getting engaged a week prior to the marathon....
makes for a really happy, less stressful taper.
Highly recommend it. Tell your boyfriend.
Lesson: Distract yourself, and surround yourself with positive things.
A happy taper can make a happy racer.
Marathon #5 Taper (right meow)
Plan is to continue working out/running like I have been.
No real taper this time,
this 26.2 isn't a goal race...& to be honest,
I haven't been training hard enough this time around,
to really need a full blown taper.
This week I'll go forward as planned,
next week I'll cut back about halfway through.
My current taper problem: Checking the weather.
This is the first 26.2 race I am going into,
that has a serious chance of being stupidly hot.
Let the praying to mother nature begin.
Lesson: Not sure yet. Let's hope the lesson isn't
"maybe I should have actually trained this time"
And without further ado...
my take on the infamous TAPER...
T-Take time for yourself,
mainly because no one is going to want to be around your cranky exercise deprived self. Alone time will help you relax & reflect.
A-Appear calm and collected like a duck on the water.
P-Pray. Even if you aren't religious.
|What you really pray for: not tripping and falling, not letting that girl pass you at the finish, finishing with clean underpants, don't let them see me cry, a tank to follow me and push me through the wall, a nice person to pause my Garmin if I collapse, mother nature can visit this lady another day, Jupiter(Weather God) please keep the temps above 40 and below 70, is that too much to ask?|
E-Eat Carbohydrates, lots of them.
Don't let Emily Blunt make you feel guilty.
Reduce your mileage
Reduce your exercise frequency
Reduce your intake of crap foods
(but DONT make too many drastic diet changes in last week,
your body will be thrown out of whack and you will hate your life on race day.)
Reduce the bullshit in your life.
(I can't tell you how serious I am about this, this is more important than carb loading, seriously...get rid of the drama and the stress and toxic people. You need to go into the race with a clear mind, not worry about other people or anything but yourself)
What's your take on TAPER?
For those of you tapering for your first marathon, what are your thoughts fears?
For those who have done this before, what advice do you have/what have you learned?