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!