Memories from ‘The Diaries of a Runner’
Dear Diary, it’s taper time!
Body, we’ve been through the worst of it, the end is in sight … the big day! How daunting. How exciting. How ABSOLUTELY DAUNTING!
(Body) “What’s tapering? Is that what the Australians did with that cricket ball?”
(Runner) “N0! Tapering is reducing our training mileage so we are fresh and perky for the race.”
(Body) “But shouldn’t we train all the way to race day? To peak just in time?”
(Runner) “Nein! Last minute training and cramming shan’t work here my dear friend. Unlike our 1st-year University exams, running performance will not be crammed into the final days/week.”
And so we begin…
“Narrator: The Runner was right. With a well-constructed 1-2 week tapering period, you aren’t forced to relax, you are allowed to relax. It is several days for ‘you prep’. Tapering is a delicate balance between keeping the pistons primed and not blowing up pre-race. Look after the machine and it’ll run smoothly on the day.
Some common traps!
- Tapering doesn’t mean kick up the legs on the couch for a 1 week, Red Bull fuelled, fortnight marathon, eating junk food (although it is tempting)!
- Nor does it mean filling up your now abundant spare time taking up CrossFit or F45 gym sessions to show off your new found fitness. It’s dedicated relaxation time to look after your body and your mind.
So what to do? Well, choose ANYTHING you love to do… and do it in moderation, like cupcakes!
- Short, leg loosening runs (25-50% distance and intensity of your training runs)
- Yoga and stretches to keep the body limber
- Go out and eat wonderful, tasty, fresh food. FUEL THAT FIRE!
- Spin classes – motivating and great cardio
- Sleep in – You deserve it AND 8+ hours of sleep is a known peak running performance variable
- A sports massage, mmmmmmmmmmm!
- A sunny walk or hike for the soul
- Shop and pick out your fashionable and stylised race outfit! We run to have fun, for the rush AND the photos!
- Plan the race day: Pre-race meeting, food, drink, clothes, pace, goals.
“Dear Diary, It’s been a wonderful tapering week. Thriving off the socialist runs with friends, millennial smashed avocado on toast, and my wonderfully colourful matching racing gear. I’m ready! I’ll go relax and go snowboarding too, what’s the worst that could happen…?”
Narrator: Runner mistook the word tapering for tumbling, but it all worked out in the end!