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It’s Taper Time

March 12, 2012

Good evening. I hope that everyone had a pleasant weekend. I certainly did, although it was quite busy with a lot of travelling involved. I went down to Cambridge on Friday night and then had quite a chilled out Saturday. It was Peter’s brother’s birthday yesterday, so we headed down to Essex to celebrate with him, and then I made the epic journey back up to Leeds last night. It took me four hours, which isn’t that bad, but it seems a long way on a Sunday night when you’re listening to various local radio stations (don’t they have the most cringe-worthy adverts?) and the same Glee CD on repeat. Consequently, I’m quite tired today and looking forward to an early night.

This Sunday is Liverpool Half Marathon. It seems like ages ago that I registered to take part, but it seems like yesterday that I started training in January. It’s my second half marathon and I’m really looking forward to it. The course looks quite interesting, with a couple of loops around a park and a section along the river. However, it also has the potential to be a bit breezy along the Mersey. I finished Peterborough Half in 2:01:00, so I’m really hoping to finish in less than two hours this time, and maybe even knock a bit more off.

Seeing as I only have a week left I guess that it’s taper week. I haven’t really worked to a particular plan in the lead up to this race. I’ve built up my long runs to a maximum of 12 miles, which I did last weekend. I’ve also done a minimum of one speedwork session a week and plenty of hill sessions thanks to my running club. I’ve been pleased with how my training has been going and I’ve definitely got faster on my longer runs, as well as knocking 30 seconds off my 5k time.

However, I’m starting to feel tired and my legs are feeling heavy. Tuesday’s 5k time trial was brilliant and I was elated to get a PB, but Thursday’s and Saturday’s runs were more tiresome. On Saturday I ran my favourite 7 mile route which takes me out into the beautiful countryside, plus it was a glorious day, but I still wasn’t feeling it. It was a struggle to put one foot in font of the other and my breathing wasn’t as steady as it normally is. I didn’t wear my Garmin, so I don’t know what my pace was, but it felt slow.

The trouble with not having a plan is that I don’t have much of an idea how to taper. I just know that I want fresh legs and a fresh mind for Sunday. I’ve looked up some plans on the internet, and there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice, so I’m going to go with what feels right for my body. I’m also not afraid to change the plan if I need more rest, or if I feel like taking walking breaks during my runs.

  • Monday – 2 mile walk
  • Tuesday – 4 miles easy run
  • Wednesday – gentle yoga (shorter session)
  • Thursday – 3 miles easy run
  • Friday – rest
  • Saturday – rest (maybe some walking)

How do you feel about travelling – do you do a lot of driving?

Runners – how do you taper for a race? Do you think that my plan looks sensible?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2012 7:06 pm

    I’ve always just listened to my body too, you clearly have a great base level of fitness built up so I think you’d be fine even if you needed to take more rest. I don’t mind long drives as long as make something fun out of it, I like stopping at service stations and getting coffee and treating myself to M&S salads!

  2. March 12, 2012 7:53 pm

    First, I am not a fan of traveling and long distances…. well anything over 4 hours for me is just not okay! If I am listening to a good book though, the time goes by much faster
    I agree with what Laura said.. you have a great base-training, as you have been following the plan you need to and I would trust in that! Rest when you can this week, roll out, stretch, easy runs, stay loose and even if you feel fatigued for the race, that actually might be mental and it could turn out fantastically 🙂

  3. March 12, 2012 10:13 pm

    do you have a foam roller? that may help with ironing out any muscle twitches. good luck with tapering.

  4. March 13, 2012 12:54 am

    Good luck with the race! Honestly, I’m a really bad taper-er. I always think that if I take it easy for a week I’m going to get out of shape – even if I’ve been working out hard 5 days a week for months prior. I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. It looks like what you have planned is perfect – you really don’t want to do anything more than that.

  5. March 13, 2012 9:29 am

    I actually don’t mind travelling in general, but not driving, it just infuriates me, I hate being stuck in traffic, and I never cover long distances in the car. I think your taper plan looks good, enjoy your taper week and I’m sure you’ll do amazing on race day!

  6. March 13, 2012 9:34 am

    I don’t mind driving long distances, but I don’t really like it. I do try to stop at least once if we are going for over 2 hours, just to stretch out the legs a bit. Although as Andy has a better car than me if we go anywhere far he drives.
    With the taper, you want to be rested. You won’t lose fitness in a week, so just do what feels leaving you fresh and energetic. Some people like to run the day before a race to shake out the legs, but that never worked for me- I preferred a walk the day before and just some shorter runs in the week, so your plan looks very similar to the sort of thing I would do. 🙂

  7. March 13, 2012 9:48 am

    I love a road trip, but sometimes they just leave you so worn out, especially if you have to go back to work the next morning. Hang in there, I know you will do well for the marathon!

  8. March 13, 2012 1:32 pm

    I’ve always done a lot of travelling for work so I don’t really notice a long journey on my own. I hate travelling with the kids though as they always get bored and bicker and that winds my husband up so I end up trying to keep everyone calm!

    AS for the taper, I’m very good at it as I’m always terrified that I’ll injure myself in the last few weeks leading up to a race. A friend of mine has just done a 100 mile ultra and she had to take the very hard decision not to run at all in the 3 wks leading up to it (her legs were just worn out from the training and starting to give all sorts of niggles). They were the longest weeks of her life but she ran a blinder on race day! When I did London last time my plan had 8 miles the Sunday before and then 3 miles on the Tuesday and 3 on the Friday but in the end I just did 3 miles, 2 miles and 0 miles! I’m sure it helped to be more rested.


  9. March 13, 2012 9:22 pm

    I know absolutely nothing about running but if it’s any help at all, your paln for the week looks good to me; you’re comfortable at 12 miles so if you have a restful-but-still-ticking over sort of week, you should be fine I’d have thought?
    That is a mission of a drive and it’s even worse when the radio’s rubbish! I’ve got a radio adapter thing for my iPod so I don’t mind driving distances, as long as there’s no traffic. My drive to work’s about 40 minutes, which isn’t too bad.

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