Have you been there? You’ve done the work. You’ve put in the time. You’ve put in the miles. (So many miles!)
Weeks and weeks of training. Sweat, tears, and even blood…
You are tired. Your body needs the break. Mentally, you need the taper. You embrace it.
Then, a few days into it you start to feel something wrong with that knee. That right foot feels kind of funky. Why does my back hurt? Am I getting sick? Did I train enough? Do I need to run more? Question after question. Phantom pains. Imaginary issues. They flood the mind!
Welcome to “TAPER MADNESS”!
Well, I’m there now. I just started my taper for the Moab 240. I definitely need the time for my body and mind to recover. The taper madness has begun. I feel it. So, how am I going to handle it?
Here are a few random things that will help occupy my extra time since I’m not running myself into the ground for the next few weeks:
- Family Time: Running can be a selfish sport. My Saturday mornings have been taken up by long training runs for the past few months. Then, when I get home, I’m not very good company because I’m worn out. So, I’m planning on intentional family time for the next few weekends. This Saturday, we have family plans after my “short” 10-mile run.
- Stretching: I have more time for it now and it feels great. I stretch regularly, but I kick it up a few notches during this time to keep everything loose.
- I’m going to be using my extra time to fine-tune the pace spreadsheets that my wife, Jen will use to time my arrival at each aid station. I’ll make sure she has a binder with directions to the aid stations.
- I’m going to be going through my nutrition and hydration plan and making sure I’ll have what I need and when I need it throughout the race.
- I’m checking my gear and making sure I have what I need and that it all works.
- Rest: I’ll be setting my alarm just a little bit later to catch up on rest. I’m also “banking” some sleep because I’ll need it for the race!
- I try to spend some time reflecting on the training I’ve put in and key workouts I’ve completed. It helps dispel the doubt when it comes.
- I think about my “Why”. I allow myself to feel gratitude that I can participate in this race.
- I think about how I’m going to handle adversity in this race when it comes. Who am I going to be when adversity comes? An overcomer or a quitter?
Those are just a few ways I keep myself occupied during my taper.
How do you handle the taper time for your big races?
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