Taper

ˈteɪpə/

Verb: " diminish or reduce in thickness towards one end."

It's less than 10 days until the London Marathon and I'm well into my taper. 

My legs feel terrible and I'm like a irritable Jack Russell. 

I'm starving. ALL. THE. TIME. 

I've had my first niggle, which naturally I catastrophized sobbing "Mum, I've got a stress fracture!?". (Don't worry, I don't)

And running marathon pace feels like I'm sprinting (how on earth am I going to do this over 26 miles?) 

For some reason tapering is the hardest part of the marathon process and many other runners suffer from the taper tantrums. 

My 16 week build up has been relentless. Training and racing harder than ever peaking at a 112 mile final week. Initially, I felt relieved to take my foot off the pedal. Get more sleep, rest and let all my hard work absorb. But I find myself accidentally on purpose replacing runs with cycling and extra gym sessions. 

WHY, ANNA, WHY? 

I know that I'm not alone and lots of runners go from training continuously to having all this free time. Running is a huge part of our routine and enjoyment. I love running and doing less of it makes me revert to being a sulky 3 year old. 

Boredom and irritability allows self doubt to creep in. Rather than accepting the work is done, we kid ourselves that doing that extra little bit will help. It won't - nothing else will be gained at this stage. 

So I emphasise this to myself and to my fellow runners. 

Enjoy the taper. 

Allow your body to rest and to prepare it to be in the best possible shape toeing the line come race day. 


Until next Sunday.....