I am a nut for info. I sometimes research things for no reason. Except marathon prepping is a valid reason, right? Lately I’ve been searching what other runners do to prep for the big day. I still have not figured out how to fully prepare myself, I feel like I am going to forget something. I cant believe we are 3 weeks out, ahhh, how did we get here so fast?! How to properly taper, carb-load and rest have been the the things on my mind as of late.
Tapering- Everyone has an option and truly, you just have to find what works best for you. However, when this is your first marathon taper it’s a bit unnerving and all the "am I doing it right" thoughts take over. The reason for tapering before a marathon is to allow your body to be as rested as possible so you can run your best race. Most training schedules have you cutting back mileage for about two-three weeks before the marathon. This is my first full marathon so I am sticking to my training plan to see how it works out for me, but hoping to get a few strong shorter runs in the weeks leading up to race day. Hoping I can keep the taper crazies at bay. This is a completely different experience for me, I personally feel like tapering my mileage is necessary because it’s taking me a bit longer to recover from the longer runs as I’ve mentioned in the past and I want my body to feel rested and ready. I'm also dealing with some gnarly hip pain right now so I'm very much looking forward to some rest days. My last really long run is this coming weekend, then I’ll slowly decrease my mileage over the next two and a half weeks. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. I feel as though I have trained (mostly) smart and have tried to stay healthy and hope it all just pays off at this point.
Carb-Loading- I've been trying to find the right balance with my carbs, I mean I love me some carbs but who doesn't!? The trick is eating the right kind of carbs. The night before a race I will usually have that boring ole pasta dinner and the morning of my race I enjoy a slice of toast with PB and banana and a cup of black coffee. That sustains me for a half marathon without needing any additional fuel other than liquids. This WILL NOT be the case for the marathon and I have been struggling with proper nutrition during my runs as some of you might recall.
Recovery- I’ve had a couple of bad recovery days and I’m trying to eliminate that but I know it’s going to happen. Like I said, I am kind of looking forward to enjoying these taper weeks because my body is just tired and I am looking forward to some rest. I’ve been foam-rolling and getting massages as well as wearing my beloved compression socks. This has been great for my tired little legs, however it is my hip that is bothering me at the moment. Sigh. I think at this point in my training I need to just stop thinking about everything and embrace whatever happens over these next few weeks. Easier said than done, I know.
As my first marathon nears, I’m excited for the challenge that comes with doing a marathon, but more than that I’m excited for the opportunity to learn more about myself. I’m going to do my very best to embrace those lows that are bound to come during the race just as much as the highs. Three weeks and counting.
Dream Big. Work Hard. :)
Share your tips below!
How do you handle a marathon taper?