I recently reread Hal Higdon’s chapter or tapering in preparation for these last 3 week of training before the Chicago marathon on October 13th. I picked up some interesting tips, but before I share those with you, I wanted to fill you in on my week (and why you haven’t heard from me).
Sunday, I took an active recovery from my 20 mile run to walk the mall with my girlfriends. We had a fantastic lunch at Cheesecake Factory, with plenty of delicious carbs for me before talking and shopping our way through our favorite stores. I had planned to do a meal plan on Sunday but realized that this was an odd week ahead, so my plan involved mostly premade options (hello veggie burgers) and grilling. Sunday night, the BOY made some of his famous grilled fajitas for dinner while I finished laundry and other exciting household stuff.
Monday morning, I woke up to run 5 miles in the cold and dark and then realized I didn’t have to work that afternoon and would much rather run later! Instead I was a TA in a graduate classroom that morning, which I LOVE! Then took the rest of the afternoon off to spend time with a friend, who is soon moving to Arizona and catch a late night Cubs game with my family.
We had the most beautiful evening…even if the Cubs didn’t win!
I slept Monday night at my parent’s house and got to sleep in after our late night. Tuesday morning, the first thing on my agenda was a 6 mile run. Which went great! Even without pushing and on tired legs times all of the stairs at the Cubs game, I still made decent time. I spent the rest of the day at work and come home late.
Moving on to Wednesday. I worked a 12 hour day and was just tired and a bit cranky by the end of it. Although this was the one day I had ‘planned’ a meal of grilled chicken, the BOY and I decided last minute (as I walked in the door) to use our almost expired Cooper’s Hawk gift card for some dinner and a glass of wine. When I came home, all I wanted to do was curl up like Cooper.
Thursday came with running decisions…my long run of the weekend is 12 miles but I wasn’t exactly sure where to fit in with all of the other excitement I’ve got going on this weekend! This morning, I really wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and run, but had no energy for speed. Despite…I pushed through my fatigue to pull out a solid 4 mile pace run maintaining less than 8:30 minute miles.
I’m still not exactly sure when I will be squeezing in this next long run…tomorrow morning I have a massage booked : ) But I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually! I had some strong runs this week in perfect fall weather. Woo Hoo! This week has been pretty crazy as I’m sure you can tell from this scattered post. Plus, it’s been tough to blog (and read your wonderful blogs) with Cooper all up on my computer.
So back to the purpose of the this post…the taper!
I’ve been skimming through Hal Higdon’t book Marathon for the past two months. I found the chapter on tapering to be one of the most interesting.
Here are a few things that I learned from Hal…
-Marathon training is not the time to lose weight.
-Tapering should begin 3 weeks before race day after your longest (most likely 20 mile) run
-Decrease mileage by ~25% each week.
-Decrease running frequency.
-Even though you are decreasing weekly mileage, you should keep up your pace and intensity to get your body used to the speed.
-Don’t use your free time for other exercise, such as strength training.
-Begin increasing carbs each meal the week before the marathon.
-Don’t try to make up for any lost training during your taper.
-Cut back on calories during your taper.
-Eliminate junk food and empty calories the entire week before your race.
-It is ok to have a beer the night before the race if that’s what you typically do.
-Tour the course if you are able.
-Don’t overeat the night before. Hal says ‘Eat what you usually eat. Drink what you usually drink.’
-Don’t worry too much about sleep the night before the race, but get a good night’s sleep two nights before.
Hal says that he almost does no work for the last 3 days before the marathon with a light jog the day before.
I have been doing a lot of mental preparation this week as I get closer to race day. I seem to have found a new love of carbs, potatoes in particular and of course worry about my strength as I decrease my miles and frequency.
My last piece of advice…
Trust the Taper!!!
Are you tapering right now?
What tips do you have?