Monday, September 10, 2012

Mama on the Run Monday's Musings - Taper Time!

Congrats to all of the running mamas out there who have been plugging away at their training plans and are entering taper time. You've done the hard part - now comes the hardest part of training. (yeah, bet you didn't think less miles would be hard to do when you started your plans several weeks ago!)

I hear ya. Taper time is the hardest time for me, too. You think you should be running more. Your legs and body are screaming to run one more mile or harder or one more day. Don't listen! Remember that this is completely normal and you SHOULD be experiencing these pre-race anxieties, doubts, nerves, and the desire to run or be active when your plan and mind and everyone else are telling you to take it a bit easier.

Now, don't get me wrong. Taper time doesn't mean to do absolutely nothing. You know that just won't work. But several studies and articles indicate that  - depending on the race distance - you should give your body enough time to rest and prepare for race day. Give yourself a good mixture of running and cross-training in the days leading up to the big race you've spent weeks preparing for!

I wish I would have listened to "experts" and my body in my early race days. I think I could have run stronger and harder had I not given into the temptation to do one more run or one more mile the day or two days before a race. It really wasn't until after kids that I started to listen to my body better and understand the true tapering benefit.

Instead of focusing on the fact that you shouldn't be running, try to turn your focus on something else, something like:
* Making a nice pancake breakfast for your family on a Saturday morning when you typically race out the door for a long run.
* Snuggling up with your little ones for a board game, a movie (their pick!), a few new books, whatever they choose to do!
* Cleaning or organizing that place in your house that you always put on the back burner. (for me, it's cleaning out the fridge or the dreaded junk drawer!)
* Spend extra minutes in God's Word or in prayer - or both. You have the extra time!
* Update the baby books. (I don't think I've touched Brax's in 9 months!)
* Take a girlfriend, your husband, or your mama out to coffee - your treat. Then just spend time catching up and chatting.
* Tackle a crossword puzzle (cryptoquip in my case!) or go to the library and check out the book you've been meaning to dig into.
* Try your hand at a new crafting activity, like making cute hair bows (on my list!) or learning how to finally use that sewing machine (also on my list!). Or, do a craft with your kids!
* Research some new recipes and make a menu for the week or month.

On the running schedule this week:
* 4.6 miles today with strength/stretch/core work
* Tuesday: 4-6 miles (or double-run in the afternoon with the BOB and kids)
* Wednesday: 3-4 miles with stretch/core work
* Thursday: Workout DVD while Jack's at early morning meeting - strength and cardio involved
* Friday: Easy 2-4 miles with stretching and core work
* Saturday: 7-9 miles longer with stretching and core work
TOTAL MILES: 21-27 miles

Happy tapering! Feel free to comment or share your tapering experiences or anxieties - know that you're not alone as you prepare for race day!

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