Mary Baum

Don’t Disrespect The Taper

After completing my last really long run last weekend, I was definitely not concerned with the run I had on my schedule over the weekend. I covered 22 miles only 7 days prior, so the 12 miles I had on tap would be a cinch, right?

Oh, so very wrong. Not sure why, but it completely left my mind how bad my body feels during the taper. I was so excited to not have to spend hours running on Saturday, that I completely disrespected the distance. I was up and on my feet at Howl O Scream on Friday night (check out Meghann’s post on our awesome time there!), and had a terrible pre-run dinner as well. I expected the run to be pretty simple, but it was the hardest run I had in weeks!

My legs were still tired from last week, and I was hurting. If I had not already run 6 marathons before, I would have been seriously nervous. Why do our bodies feel so terrible during the marathon taper? It almost feels like the past couple of hard training months didn’t happen. It is super important to focus on what you have already done, and focus on the goals of the taper:

  • Decrease the fatigue you have accumulated over the past few months as you built your mileage
  • Increase glycogen stores, which actually helps to increase your muscle power in the process
  • Strengthen your immune system so you don’t get sick for race day
  • Catch up on some much-needed sleep!

The marathon taper is a fine art really. I found this simple guide, and it definitely puts everything in to perspective. Obviously, you need to reduce your mileage, take care of yourself, and resist the urge to put in extra miles and exercise.


That is all much easier said than done, but I am doing just that! I am spending more time relaxing these next two weeks, and sleeping in has never felt so good! With less than 2 weeks to go, I am in the home stretch – the 10 day weather forecast is almost in view, and I am crossing my fingers for good race day weather!

Do you find that your taper long runs are difficult? Ever caught yourself disrespecting an otherwise easy long run the couple of weeks before your marathon?

10 Responses

  1. Mindy @ Road Runner Girl
    Mindy @ Road Runner Girl September 24, 2012 at 8:36 am |

    I definitely agree that tapering is hard! And I have been there…thought “I just ran 20 miles last weekend…this 10 miler will be easy!” Wrong! Live and learn lol! Good luck on tapering and on your marathon!!!

  2. Whitney @LiveRunLoveYoga
    Whitney @LiveRunLoveYoga September 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

    I feel your pain! This always happens to me! It’s miserable. But hang in there you will rock Chicago! I have no doubts!

  3. Tina @ Best Body Fitness
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness September 25, 2012 at 6:52 am |

    I don’t know what it is but 12 miles always end up being rough runs for me. Even during marathon training, that distance always seemed to bite me in the butt. Great post on respecting the taper!

  4. Presley @ Run Pretty
    Presley @ Run Pretty September 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    I’ll have to remember this if and when I ever get the balls to make it to 26.2 ;)

  5. Jill c
    Jill c October 1, 2012 at 10:49 am |

    Needed to read this. Thanks! Chicago will be my first full, and all these new aches have arisen with tapering!

  6. December 15, 2014 at 5:36 am |

    s alors que les hommes de D’Antoni doivent faire le plein d’ici à mi-avril s’ils veulent voir la postseason.


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