Thursday, January 23, 2014

How To Survive The Taper

How to survive the taper? I should remember, this is my 5th go at it after all. Apart from ridiculous dreams, I’ve found myself becoming anxious every time I think about the race…therefore, I’ve adopted this strategy…Do not to think about the race. :0) Yes, even after several years of running marathons, my mind still likes to play tricks on me.

Survive The Taper

If you aren’t familiar with the term taper, it’s basically the time frame (a few weeks before the big event) when marathoners and half marathoners cut back on their mileage in order to be fresh on race day. 

I’m not nervous I won’t finish this marathon – I AM nervous that my IT Band will go wonky on me randomly. All of the usual precautions have been taken, so I’m trying to remind myself that all will be ok – and even if that does happen, I’ll just have to walk……fast.

Zensah Calf Sleeves

In order to survive the taper, I’m following these tips:

  • Think calm thoughts
  • Don’t let the munchies get the best of you
  • Remember that running is minimal during this time frame, don’t overdo it
  • Hydrate adequately
  • My coach always talks about “phantom taper pain”…don’t let your mind play tricks on you!
  • Get plenty of rest during this time…have extra free time? Take a nap!
  • Trust your training, it will see you through!

I’m also reminding myself of these on a daily basis. Taper time is by far one of the most maddening for marathon runners. Don’t let it get the best of you! (I’m trying to take my own advice!)

Last but not least, rely on your friends – they will help calm your fears and keep you on the right track!

12 Mile Photo Bomb
I was photo bombed by a BRF!

There’s only 10 days until race day! Eeek!

Are you calm during taper time or does your mind tend to get the best of you?

25 comments:

  1. I get super de duper nervous ! I hate the taper mode! I usually focus my anxiety on cleaning or purging, it's helps me stay distracted! Find ways to divert that energy into something useful, plus you will feel accomplished!

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    1. Cleaning! What a wonderful idea!! :0) Love it!

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  2. You've got this Karen! Don't let the taper monster get you! I can't believe NOLA is only in 10 days! Hope to see you!

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    1. I can't believe it either!! Can't wait! We will definitely have to meet up somewhere! :D

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  3. NO! Tapering is one of my nightmares on its own! It is actually one of the reasons I had a not so stellar 2013 season. I stress myself out so much which alone is so hard on the body. I need to learn to trust my training more. I think this is key, and trusting the taper, which I think unfortunately for me will come with more experience. SO for myself I am not great but here is what I do know which you already talked about: TRUST! Trust your training, remind yourself how freaking strong and awesome you are, think about how much you have grown, prepare for the race: make a race plan, visualize, come up with a mantra to repeat to yourself throughout the race, rest a lot, drink a lot of water, fuel your body with the highest quality foods you got! And you got this!

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  4. I'm glad to hear "phantom taper pain" is a real thing...I swear, during the week leading up to a big race, 12 new things will feel funky on my body!

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    1. Yes! I know exactly what you mean!! The mind is a funny thing!

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  5. I definitely get those phantom pains. Now I just try to ignore them, but they made me panic at first.

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    1. I know that feeling well...so crazy how that happens!

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  6. I'm starting to get worried for PHM. Just like you, i'm not worried that I won't finish, i'm just worried that my knee pain ( which might be IT band) will come back. I know that I can walk and still make good time (i've tried it) but of course that's not the point, I want to run! Enjoy the last few days before your big race!

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    1. Exactly!! Well, here's to both of us and no knee pain! Thanks so much!

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  7. I do not envy your taper madness! Hang in there, you got this!

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  8. I was a nervous wreck during taper time for my first half last year, but I've come to pretty good terms with it, though I'll be starting my first full marathon taper in about 3 weeks. So I'll get back to you on how I handle that one lol :0)

    Phantom taper pain... that would NOT be fun to go through. I do have paranoia of random freak injury popping up though!!

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    1. Fear of injury, I feel you on that one! Here's to both of our tapers and no injuries or crazy pain!

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  9. Not calm at all b/c my taper started earlier than it should have because of runners knee! Now after a week and a half off, I'm trying to build back up for 2 weeks just so I can taper again! It's maddening. (this is for PHM) Good luck, I know you will do great!

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    1. You are going to do great with PHM, Karen! Your training base prior to injury was really good, I know you won't have any issues. Hope your knee is better!

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  10. I really needed this. Although I've just started my marathon training, it's my first and therefore will be my first taper as well and I rely on the veterans like you to steer me int he right direction

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    1. Excited for you! It's a wonderful journey and it's completely worth it once you cross the finish line and have that medal placed around your neck! :D

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  11. Does it include eating a jar of peanut butter because that is what just happened here.

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    1. Bahaha! Sure, why not!! It's race fuel...so it totally works! :D

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  12. Great advice! I love the point about munchies and phantom pain. I've experienced both...total mind tricks I tell ya! Can't wait to follow your progress in this race Karen! :) -Christine

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    1. Thanks so much, Christine! The forecast is calling for rain so I'm hoping that changes soon!

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