Taper Madness


The Austin Marathon is 2 weeks away and as excitement grows so can stress and anxiety leading up to the second you “toe the line” on race day. As a former marathoner I know this feeling all to well, the feeling of “TAPER MADNESS”. We reached out to coach Chris McClung of Rogue Running for a few tips and advice on how to approach the next 14 days. See you guys at the finish line!! –Michelle



“We are essentially into taper mode, although I am not a big fan of that word. We prefer to say that this is the peaking phase where we back off a little bit on quality and mileage to allow your body to fully recover for race day. Some do’s and don’ts for the final weeks:

DO follow the schedule and get all of your runs in. Reduce your miles a bit but don’t skip runs. If you back off too much then your body will lose its edge, which could end up with a flat feeling on race day.

DO take final steps to be as ready and recovered as possible for race day. Schedule a massage. Spend any extra time not running on the roller. Get extra sleep if you can. Stay on top of hydration. Do the little things you know you need to be your best self on race day.

DO visualize success on race day. Race the race in your mind’s eye before the big day. Day dream about what it will feel like at the start surrounded by crowds of people. Think about what it means to start conservatively and find your early rhythm at MGP. Imagine yourself strong and confident on the early hills. Think about those moments where the pain comes and how you will deal with them mentally. Picture yourself overcoming the dark moments and finishing strong anyway. Create a mental image of crossing that line with your goal time on the clock. What will that look like? How will it feel? Commit to doing everything in your power to make that image a reality.

DON’T do anything new. This is not the time to add yoga or a strength regiment or to take on a landscaping project at home or to change your diet. The hard work is done, and at this point, you can’t do anything new to make race day better. Frankly, you can only screw it up by changing things or adding something. Just don’t. Stay the course.

DON’T worry if your mind goes a little crazy. I call it taper madness and have shared a blog on experiencing it myself: https://roguerundown.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/my-dallas-marathon-goal-the-prequel/. No matter how many marathons or halfs you have run, your mind will still play tricks on you and have you doubting your preparation and fitness in the final few weeks. Ignore the devil on your shoulder and focus on what you can control or distract yourself with a movie!

DON’T doubt the work you have done. Trust the work you have done. You are and will be ready.



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