Tapering Madness

Now that Rock n Roll San Diego is quickly approaching (Sunday!!!!), I find it fitting to talk about a source of anxiety for every half and full marathoner: tapering. Just saying that word makes me want to cry.

thRunners like to run and they like to run a lot. And we don’t like it when we have to cut back on our running. Yeah, yeah, we get it. We have to taper in order to ensure fresh legs on race day. But that doesn’t mean we want to do it! Taking mileage away from runners is like taking a toy away from a baby. It just doesn’t work out well.

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After we whine and cry and throw a little tantrum, we come to our senses and decide that a mileage cutback is necessary. But, how much of a mileage cutback do we need? This is a tough question. There are so many different theories. As with anything, there’s no single method that works for everyone.

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Just in case you’re dying to know, here’s how I did my taper:

Very simply, my highest mileage week was three weeks ago (38 miles), and since then I’ve slowly decreased my miles by 2-3 each week. This past week was 29 miles, and this week is going to be 26!

Although I did a very unconventional taper, it worked well for me! What’s going to really test my patience is this week. Since I’ll be running 13.1 miles on Sunday, I only have 13 miles to run throughout the week. So, this week will be filled with short 3 and 4 mile runs. It’s going to feel weird and I know I’m going to want to keep running. But, I must resist the temptation!!

Here’s how I’m going to stay sane this week:

Gonna keep cross training

Normally, I would cut out all additional exercise. But, since I’m running this race for fun (and because I have BodyPump training in just over two weeks) I’m going to keep up the strength training, but take it a little bit easier. I’m also going to take walks to let out my energy!

along the same lines…

Gonna prepare for BodyPump training 

I printed out the instructor handbook a couple of weeks ago! I’m going to continue reading through it and practicing my coaching. Learning the music and exercises is only part of it– I have to learn how to push the class through the pain! This week I’m also keeping up with going to classes and perfecting my form. Hopefully it’ll keep my mind off of running!

Gonna study for finals

With some of the extra time I’ll have, I might as well organize some of my study materials and get started! Although this hardly belongs on a list of things to keep me sane, it’ll help lower my stress. The last thing I want to worry about in San Diego this weekend is studying. Can someone say vacation killer?

Gonna take care of that body

Race week is not the time to treat the body like crap. I’ll go into more detail on preparing yourself for races later on this week, but most basically I’m going to: get sleep, hydrate, stretch, and fuel up!

How about you?

  • Tell me your method of tapering!
  • How do you maintain your sanity during a taper?
  • How was your long weekend?

2 thoughts on “Tapering Madness

  1. Yay your race is this weekend.!! how fun and exciting 🙂 You’re going to have so much fun, just gotta get through this crazy taper time
    I taper the same way as you. Slowly decrease my mileage.
    and no long weekend here. It was the same as always.


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