Momentum Monday: The Terrible Taper
I hope you all had a fantastic long weekend and a wonderful Easter. I purposefully did not plan much because of the crazy March that I had and used it as a giant reset button. I did ALL the sleeping this weekend and it was wonderful. Saturday night, I logged a solid 12 hours and I felt just so good on Sunday.
I was able to spend some quality time with family and went out for dinner with a few friends, but other than that, I kept it uncharacteristically introverted and spent a lot of time cleaning, reading and drinking Easter Egg Frappuchinos at Starbucks.
Another thing on my agenda this weekend was my long run to cap off the week. Given last week was a 39 KM, it was a little shock to the system to only do 21 KM but I kept a steady pace despite the wind and hills (and snow?!).
One thing I have been struggling with this week is energy. It is the first week into my taper and I have never experienced this before but I was asking my coach what was happening to me.
Throughout my training cycle, I felt amazing, strong and ready to go harder in every workout that was given to me. THE SECOND my taper hit, I had the two worst workouts of 2015.
My intervals on Monday felt hard and they shouldn’t have. He kindly reminded me that I did a 39 KM two days prior so I took his advice and took two more days recovery and attacked a tempo session that should have felt easy. I probably shouldn’t have eaten dinner beforehand or had that extra tablespoon of peanut butter but hindsight is 20/20… Regardless, it was another terrible workout and I was left feeling a bit deflated. But thankfully, I have my own personal cheer squad.
What is it about a taper that completely ruined me? Well, the main issue is that I was confusing a taper with easy workouts. A taper is not easier workouts, they are just shorter workouts. Never underestimate the power of the mind. I mentally checked out a little bit because to my mind’s understanding, it was smooth sailing and an easy glide to the Boston start line.
Another thing to remember is that it can take 10-12 days to properly absorb a workout so easing up on training does not mean I will automatically feel fresh.
I will be doing quality sessions right up until I stand in that second wave, ready to race my little heart out. I mentally adjusted and my long run went much better. I am attacking the upcoming week with the idea that I am going to crush these workouts as well.
Last week’s training:
MONDAY: 13 KM intervals
TUESDAY: Easy run, 4 KM
WEDNESDAY: 30 min cycle, 30 minute weights
THURSDAY: 17 KM sub race pace run
FRIDAY: strength training
SATURDAY: 21 KM at 4:37 Km
How many of you find the taper the hardest part of the marathon cycle?
What is the best Easter treat you had this weekend?
Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen says
Tapers really can play with your mind! I think you are right, you subconsciously equate a taper with feeling rested….but the idea is to be well rested at the end of the taper on race day. Details…. Good luck with your taper and final few workouts!
Thanks Beth! I need it. 🙂
I hate tapering. That is definitely still a solid week of training, and hopefully those nice long sleeps this weekend will have you feeling better. Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine today and not worrying too much! xo
HAHA. Thanks. You know me too well, Alyssa. This morning’s workout went MUCH better so I am feeling a lot more confident moving forward.
Sarah Esh says
I was browsing through Strava last night and couldn’t help but notice your running pace, especially on your recent long runs. Come coach me! I dream of one day being able to keep a steady pace for that distance. You are my inspiration!
Browsing strava…I love it! You know you are a runner when…..
Endurance is learned. You have some big races coming up and I have no doubt you will crush them!
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Taper is always the worst! It messes with my psychologically every time. I hate it! That’s so great that you have a coach who can reassure you and make you feel better. Good luck with your last few weeks of training!
I need the reassurance both from my coach and from YOU! Thank you for the well wishes. They help. 🙂
Maddie@Dixie Runs says
Love what your coach said.. “no need for anything more.” If you take each workout for what it is without thinking about what more you have to do or if you’re doing enough you will have the confidence you need on race day! You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do, no need for anything more. You got this!
I know. I loved the “no need for anything more” too, especially as a type a perfectionist!
Amy @ Mama Running for God says
Thanks for this post. I am 5 weeks away from my first taper ever. I am training for my first Half Marathon that’s next month.
Good luck on your race!
Ohh! Good luck with your first race!
Sooo I don’t entirely know what a taper is, maybe ‘the less than’ period right before the big race, but I do know you’re a rock star and totally have this. You’ve put in the miles, literally, and got a solid 12 hours of sleep (how beautiful is that). Think vanilla gorilla. It’s all mental and you can totally handle that.
Blogging fail for not explaining a taper…
Vanilla Gorilla. LOVE it
My store didn’t make those Easter fraps, and…I’m glad. HA. Glad you enjoyed them though. I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW CLOSE BOSTON IS!
Not a fan or afraid that you would drink it all?! 😛
I KNOW. I am so scared and excited!
Tapering is THE WORST mental game ever. Everything hurts, feels fat, sluggish, it all sucks and it feels like the whole world is going to hell in a handbasket. Know what I say? If the taper feels good, then you’ve done something wrong. You’re gonna nail this sucker.
HAHA – you are AWESOME Suzy. I just need to steer clear of the scale..
Christina @ The Athletarian says
I had he same attitude and thought taper = easy. NOPE NOT AT ALL. Phaedra had me doing WHACK ASS speed work up until the very end. I’m not complaining…it was just not what I expected and I felt like I was doing something wrong/feeling tired when I shouldn’t be feeling tired. You rocked your week and especially that 21km!! Holy smokes. I hope to run a half marathon that fast someday.
MINI EGGSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! Best Easter treat FO SHO.
I know. It is so strange but the closer to the marathon I get, the faster speed work I am doing. I can hardly deal.
Also, mini-eggs = free speed. 😛
Ange @ Cowgirl Runs says
I haaaaate tapering. I will purposefully look for a training plan that has as short of a taper as possible because they mess with my head so much.
I know. They mess with your head and leave you feeling like life is not worth living. 😛 I will need to see these short programs you speak of…