In lieu of a Weekend Wrap-Up – since there’s really nothing to report, at all – let’s talk tapering, shall we?
Tapering, according to this Runner’s World article, is “the reduction of exercise before a competition or race.” After training hard and building up your mileage, tapering gives your body a chance to recover from all that work, rebuild glycogen stores, and repair any tissue damage that might have happened during that training (hello knees). Nearly every instance of tapering I’ve seen in blogs, on facebook, or wherever has included a runner complaining about how terrible tapering is and how cranky they get while doing so (see image above).
Maybe this makes me a terrible runner, I don’t know… but I’m loving tapering. As I struggled during my 10-mile training run two Sundays ago, I kept thinking how awesome 2 weeks of tapering would be, and that’s what got me through that run (that, and Colin being motivating and awesome as usual). However, I might be taking the rest-during-tapering instructions a little too… restfully.
I took my tapering advice from another Runner’s World article titled “How to Taper for Your First Half Marathon.” After a final long run of 10-14 miles 2 weeks out from the race, RW advises 30-minute workouts during the week, a 45-minute run on the Sunday before the race, 30-minute runs on Tuesday and Thursday, rest or a very easy run Friday, rest/walk Saturday, and go-go-go on race day (they didn’t really say go-go-go, but that sounded more exciting to me!)
So what did I do after my last long run? Rested Monday, skipped speed workout Tuesday because my knees were still bothering me, skipped soccer Wednesday to attend a fancy work shindig, kickball was rained out on Thursday, I did nothing Friday, nothing Saturday (other than beating Super Mario World, heck yes), and blew off Colin for my stepdad’s birthday party, after having promised to run my 45 minutes with him (oops – sorry Colin!). I rested, and how! The one constructive things I did all week were a) ask my doctor about my knees and, b) on her advice, buy some knee braces.
This week, during the final countdown? I’m planning a nice, easy run with Colin on Tuesday, then I have a double-header for soccer Wednesday (which I really, really want to blow off in order to protect my knees but it’s the last 2 games of the season and I’ve only played in 2 games total and feel bad leaving everyone a sub short for a double-header… pray for me, readers, or cross your fingers or send me all the knee-protecting vibes you can muster!), a wicked late kickball game on Thursday, and then I intend to rest my little legs for as much of Friday and Saturday as I can. And hydrate. And eat all the pasta. I ❤ pasta. I may test out my knee braces at some point too, to see whether a patella strap or a compression sleeve works better. And hydrate.
On top of all that, I’m going to try to calm my pre-race nerves down a bit (ha!). The pre-race stress dreams have already started, and each time I think about running 13.1 miles my heart starts to race a little. I need to remember the words of Pattie, my Shammie friend: “Just take it one mile at a time!”
Any tapering advice? Am I doing it completely wrong? 😉
What are your thoughts on patella straps? Have you used one/did it work for you?
Any half marathon advice??