Thursday, May 29, 2014

And 20 weeks later, we reach taper week

I agreed to write a law journal article on a topic that 99.9% of lawyers don't care about, and my deadline is Friday. Of course, I didn’t start working on it in April when I said yes. So here I sit in the office working evenings this week to pull this thing together. It’s a good thing it’s TAPER WEEK!

April and May were full of tough races and intense training. So, in addition to having to commit extra time to work, I welcomed taper week just for some physical relaxation!

As part of my elaborate efforts to avoid working on the law article, I’ve been reading articles on tapering. Most of the information I've found is geared toward elite-level runners. The suggested taper plans are almost harder than my hardest week of training. Not much out there on tapering for the hobbyist half marathoner. I gather that the basic idea is to assess the state of your body and what your training was like. And then you just have to trust your training. “The hay is in the barn,” as a runner friend of mine told me.

I was pretty low mileage, but my legs have accumulated fatigue from April and May. So for my taper, I decided that one week would be enough because I’ve never tapered for more than a week for any of my half marathons. And I'm planning on about 20 mile this week - half of my average weekly mileage over the last month. I’m keeping it to all easy miles and perhaps a couple of miles at race pace just for fun.

But trusting your training is the hardest part. I violated the-hay-is-in-the-barn principle of tapering on Saturday when I ran 16 miles for my final long run (the longest run of my entire 20 week training cycle, and probably the longest in the last 12 months). It was a mistake. My legs still have not quite regained their spring, and it’s almost Friday!

Speaking of almost Friday! . . . back to that law review article that no one but my editor cares about.

Two Little Runners


  1. Good luck on both the article and the taper! Motivation can be hard for those articles that you feel no one will read, isn't it? Great work on running the 16 miles, even if it tired you out. I cannot wait to hear how the race goes.

    1. I need a tongue and cheek title so that people will at least read that . . . and my name! The 16 miler definitely told me I have a long way to go before I can even start training for a marathon. I just don't react well to long runs and high mileage!