Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is There Anyone Else Out There...Who Loves to Taper?

I love to taper.  I love everything about it:  fewer runs, fewer miles, fewer UN negotiations with spouses for run time, less need to plan meals, and less need to quash that ravenous feeling every 30 minutes during big bouts of training.  It's just an all around pleasure, and one I seem to relish a lot more than others.  

Reading blogs and talking to folks, you'd think that tapering was some form of incarceration meted by race directors -- a prerequisite for participation to be suffered through rather than savored.  Maybe this is grandstanding by some, headgames by others, but overall it seems to be heartfelt that tapering removes them from what they love best:  running, and running a long way.  

At times, it can make me feel like less of a true runner to love to taper so much, to let my slothful inner core out to blink at the sun.  But, just as some folks love distance training and some folks love speedwork, I love tapering.  I wish only that it came around every Thursday like trips to the track.   


Brad Mitchell said...

The taper can be tricky to handle. The feelings you go through that by cutting volume one is losing fitness and that if you don't continue to hammer miles up to race day you just won't be ready. It can be maddening.
Personally, after many big weeks, the cut is nice once I get over the mind games.

Nick said...

Well, I'm spending my taper time obsessing about weight, tired legs and disappearing fitness - and I'm only three days in! I've already decided to add more miles this week than originally planned because my legs felt better on big miles last month than they have been the last three days. I am effectively reducing my taper to two weeks because of an overactive, second-guessing mind.

Spent an hour this morning going through registered runners for the BH100, and found your website as a result. Need to find a non-running outlet.

Good luck in the Bighorns!

Hank Dart said...

@Brad. Yeah, even my lazy self doesn't want to scuttle all the hard work because I took it too easy in the days leading up, but I try not to let that stop me....

@Nick. See you out at Bighorn. I'll basically have a 2 week taper too. I did the Pocatello 50 May 23 and have taken things a bit easy since then. One more big run, then a cruise to the Start in Dayton. Cheers.

Gretchen said...

Mmmm...tapering. Love it. I learned the value of a good taper back in college when it was forced upon me by a coach. I thought he was crazy. We needed more training! I was getting fat and out of shape! I couldn't stand it. Then, the big race day came. That's when it all made sense. I couldn't believe the jump in performance.
Ever since then, I love tapering. By this time, all the hard work is done. Now, resting IS training, and it's the best part.