The Runner's Reward

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Taper! Arrrrrghgghhghghgh!!

It is taper time here in Pittsburgh!  Commence screaming into pillows, experiencing anxiety about every tiny ache and pain (of which there seem to be more and more daily as we heal from training), and second guessing our training.  Did I log enough miles? I got sick and had to take off that week! I am totally screwed now!

Relax!!  I is easy to say, but hard to do. On a side note: this post is basically a reminder to myself.

The training is behind us. Now it is time for logging light miles to keep flexible and it is time for letting the body rest and heal.  You, like many folks, may be experiencing soreness and fatigue. It takes about a week to fully heal up muscles. As we train we take maybe 1-3 days of rest per week. Now we are reducing the load on our bodies for the first time in months and it is trying to repair itself.  That fatigue means your body is using energy to heal itself and become stronger from all the hard work we put in.  The aches and pains are also a sign of healing.  It is all a part of the process.

The grumpies may have set in. Are you irritable? I am really freaking irritable! I attribute this to the healing process and also reduced endorphin release as we are not running as much or as hard.  This is just a guess, but if you tell me I am wrong I might bite your head off. Taper grumpies...we aren't always rational. 

Free time? What's that? Now that we have some maybe you don't know what to do.
1. See your family. Your wife/husband and kids might have forgotten what you look like. 
2.  Have a day with your non-running friends. They have been wondering where you disappeared to.
3.  Read a book. (About running of course)
4. Watch a movie (about running also)
5.  Have some downtime you time. Did you have a hobby before marathon and half training                started?  Now is the opportunity to pick it up again. Your stamp collection has been sad without you.


Two nights before the race try and get a good night's rest. The night before the race you likely won't from the pre-race jitters and excitement. This is entirely normal for the majority of people.  

Get down to the expo Friday if you can and avoid tiring activities on Saturday. If you are running the 5k take it as an easy effort shake out run.

Twas The Night Before Race-mas

Make a checklist of everything you need. Bib, race clothes, hydration belt, gels, GPS watch, post race change of clothes, and comfy shoes. Whatever you want to have with you, both before and after the race. Throw-aways for pre-race are good if it is chilly out.

A throwaway is simply a layer you can pitch at the starting line or a mile or so in. Something to keep warm until the run warms you up. Please, please move to the side of the course to pitch. Don't throw a hoody down in the middle of the road!

Gather all the things on your list up and put them in one location for the morning. You will be tired, excited, and may forget something important.Take it from me, the guy who left his Garmin in the hotel room for my first marathon. My pacing strategy was out the window before I even started!

Check out your route into the city and where you will park. Normal routes may be closed for the race. 

Race Morning

Eat whatever you practiced during training for your breakfast. Most sources recommend eating 3-4 hours before the race which may mean waking up to eat and going back to sleep for a little.

Go early. Especially if you need to find parking. Normal routes may be closed for the race.

Here we are! About 1 week away and it is go, go, go time! So rest up! The training is behind us. Rest, heal, hydrate (all week), and eat up!

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I learned something new! I was wondering why my easy runs this week felt a little tough and why my hip aches a bit when it hasn't all training. I hope those are good signs! Good luck and have fun on Sunday! Maybe I will see you at the 5K too.