Tapering

“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” ~Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Terri and I began tapering this past week and we will continue to taper this coming week. I know this coming week will test my self-control in a completely different way. Since this is my first marathon, I have never tapered and had to read tons of articles and research on this process. I really had to convince myself that this was the correct thing to do. It is tricky to do literally nothing in preparation for something huge and extremely difficult. We have become accustomed to longer runs and now we have 3-mile runs this week. WOW…It is race week. It is an amazing feeling to look back over the past few months of training and see the results from the hard work.

 Here’s what I found out about tapering:

“Levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones–all depleted by high mileage–return to optimal ranges during a taper. The muscle damage that occurs during sustained training is also repaired. And if that isn’t enough, immune function and muscle strength improve, as well, which reduces the odds you’ll catch a cold or get injured just before the race. And get this: The average performance improvement by the subjects who tapered in these studies was 3 percent. That works out to 5 to 10 minutes in a marathon.” http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244-255-5958-0,00.html

 My goals for this final week of tapering:

Stay positive all week.

TRUST in my fitness and training.

Get some sleep. (I have been having crazy dreams about running, eating GU, and being in strange places.)

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