The Tale of the Taper
The taper is the curse of the well-prepared runner.
I’m two weeks away from my first half-marathon. I’ve been adding mileage for the last few months and feeling rally good about the base I’ve built. Now, all the experts are telling me to back off – to effectively stop training.
In theory, you’d think that having to take it easy for two weeks would come as welcome relief. In fact, the taper is more of a mixed blessing. In an odd way, I feel fragile. I feel like I’m more focused on what I’m not supposed to be doing, rather than what I’m capable of doing.
My training group is going out for an 18 miler on Saturday, and I desperately want to be out there with them. I’ve been doing a little trail running, but I don’t want to risk tweaking an ankle.
That’s not to say that I’m bed-ridden for the last few weeks. I’m going to get in a few hard tempo runs. I’ll run a very easy 10 miler this weekend. I’ll hit the pool. Plenty of foam rolling and stretching.
Ultimately, I have to accept (and respect) the taper as a part of my training. All of those long, hard miles served a purpose – to make me a stronger runner. Taking it easy for a few weeks will ensure that when I hit the starting line at the Bull City Racefest, I’m going to run the best half-marathon I’m capable of running.