' Let's Talk Taper | Adventures with FitNyx

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Let's Talk Taper

Apparently, it is time for that marathon training segment that leaves a lot of runners baffled: tapering.  The last two or three weeks before the race, training focuses more on rest and maintenance rather than long runs or hard workouts, with the idea of keeping in your best shape without over-tiring.  I've heard a lot of horror stories about taper anxiety, weight gain, feeling lethargic, and then ruining taper by giving in to the gut instinct to go run more.

I was hoping the warnings would prepare me for what I would actually experience.

Already, though, it is clear that the only way to know what taper will actually be like is to DO it.  I'm hungry and exhausted all the time, I've seen the scale go the "wrong direction" a little more than I thought, and yup, I'm freaking out about training harder and not trusting that I've already done the legwork (so to speak).  Honestly?  I'm getting pretty down on myself.

Now to be fair to myself, there have been a few additional "circumstances" (I'm a Clevelander, so apparently that's the big excuse these days) contributing to the way I've felt this week.  For a few days I was a little under the weather, plus it's "that time of the month" again.  On the other hand, I've also been slipping on nutrition and hydration, which is a major setback after all the improvement I'd made over the past few months.  My run the other day was cut short because I felt awful; I've been putting off my next run for fear of feeling that badly again even though it's only three miles!

More important than anything at this point is staying focused despite these other factors.  Instead, I find myself becoming a taper opportunist - using taper as an excuse to be a little lazier and to gain a little weight even if it's from the wrong sources.  This is NOT good!  Marathon training plans, including the very important taper portion, are structured to make a huge physical undertaking possible.  I've impressed myself for months by actually sticking to a training plan for once, and MCM is far too close to fall off now!

I need some advice: what can I do to beat the taper blues and stay on track for my first marathon?  Tell me in the comments, shoot me an email (fitnyx@gmail.com), whatever it takes!  Help me stay on track and make this marathon an amazing experience in my life, not a flop that I ruined last minute!

Oh, and don't forget to check out today's Wednesday Word, which happens to be to "opportunist", over at host Deb Runs page!

Deb Runs


  1. As an experienced marathon runner and running coach, I have three words, "Trust your training." It's that simple. :-)

    Thanks for linking up!

    1. But what if you're worried your training wasn't enough?! I will stress over this no matter what, but will try to keep in mind that I HAVE done the training, and that come race day, I'm going to be just fine!

  2. Right there with Debbie--trust your training. There is nothing more you can do at this point, and so don't stress about it. Remind yourself that you did the best you could and you are bringing your best to the start line.

  3. No matter how hard I train, I always worry that I didn't do enough. But if you push in the taper, you don't actually gain any fitness- you just show up on race day tired. Instead, try to enjoy the lazier days and do your body the favor of getting to the start line well rested and well fed. Your training will then be able to shine! You can do this!

  4. AS was mentioned above...trust in your training. Even if you're having doubts about your ability, there is nothing to gain by sneaking in one "little extra run" this late in the game. I am one of the rare ones who actually LOVE taper....I know I have done all I possibly can at that point, so why worry about the unknown? It's liberating to let all that worry dissipate, and just enjoy this calm-before-the-storm ;-) Good luck!!!!

  5. You totally got this! Try to stay busy, and stay hydrated.. Catch up on sleep!

  6. Hey Hey Amanda,
    I totally understand you concerns. Working on writing you an email now, as the text is going to be a little long for posting here, but I promise to pack the email with valuable insight!