What does one do 11 days out from a marathon? Well usually about this time in the taper is when I start going crazy, but this time around I am working my butt off to get all of my final projects and papers completed before I catch a flight to Boston. I think the combination of training and stress from a chaotic semester has just been building and my body is beyond fatigued. Besides my last few hard speed workouts, I have been resting so much. Upping the water intake, making sure I am getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night, taking my vitamins, and eating plenty of good foods; hopefully the mixture of all of these things will have me feeling energized soon! This is what the taper is for anyways, cutting down the mileage and allowing your body time to recover. I decided to make a list of things to do to help manage the “crazy” during the taper.
- All of the things you haven’t had time to do while you were training (i.e chores, (cleaning out your closet, projects you put on hold), use the extra time now to play catch-up
- Find a good book. I hate just sitting around (even though it is important for recovery), but when I sit around and read it turns into a form of relaxation.
- Make a new recipe! Try to keep it healthy and incorporate foods that promote the body’s recovery processes. Save the decadent ones to indulge in after your race. You will deserve it!
- Take a bath. Add epsom salt and your favorite essential oils to turn your bathroom into a spa.
- Sleep. Very important! Make sure you are getting ample amounts of sleep leading up until the big day. You may have had to cut down on sleep to squeeze in your workouts before work or like me- maybe you stayed up a little too late some nights studying.
- Reflect on your training logs and do some journaling. Taking a look back always helps keep my confidence levels up before race day. I know that I put in all of the hard work, now I just have to let my body adapt and prepare.
- Foam roll! I take my foam roller with me everywhere especially if I am going to be sitting for long periods of time. It gets you up and moving and works out all of those knots you have developed over the past 14-18 weeks of training.
- Visualize. On your easy runs, when you wake up in the morning, before you go to bed, whenever you have the chance, visualize what it will be like on race day. Imagine yourself on different parts of the course, crossing the finish line, getting a medal put around your neck. It’s part of the process and trust me, it works!
They call it “Taper Madness” for a reason and sometimes coming off of high mileage weeks and cutting down runs quite a bit can leave us runners not feeling our best. Trust in the process. The human body is incredible and if you put in the training, you will be more than ready for race day.
It’s back to the books for me! I’m Boston bound in a week! Happy running (or tapering)!