This post was originally part of Episode 295 released in August of 2016 and is more or less copy and pasted from that post. The audio, however, is a new take on the topic.
I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest struggles when training for a big race is dialing things back in order to taper leading up to a race.
The taper crazies are real, y’all!
The more experienced I’ve become as a runner and racer, the better I’ve gotten at dealing with the taper crazies.
How? I’ll tell you.
3 Tips for Taming the Taper Crazies
Ignore the Phantom Pains
One of the craziest things that I’ve experienced, and I know I’m not the only one to feel the same way, is the occurrence of phantom pains.
Basically, when something that hasn’t hurt for your entire training cycle all of a sudden starts to ache randomly.
I don’t know what brings these about, but I’ll be damned if I don’t experience some form of phantom pain during every taper period.
It could be knee pain. Plantar fascia pain. Shin pain. Or something else.
Here’s the thing about phantom pains: nothing is really wrong.
I don’t know why our brains do this to us. But if you just ignore the phantom pain, as soon as you start running you’ll be fine.
Trust the Process
There is a reason that every good training plan includes a taper period before the race.
Training for a long race takes a toll on your body, and if you want to perform your best on race day you need to give your body a chance to fully recharge before you go out and race hard.
There’s very little that you can do from a workout perspective two weeks before a race to improve your fitness, and cutting back on the volume and/or the intensity of your training for two weeks isn’t going to harm your fitness either.
Don’t Go Rogue
Whether you’ve been working with a coach or training on your own, you’ve likely been following some type of training plan to help you get ready for this particular race.
So if your coach or your training plan is telling you to dial things back for two weeks before your race, do it!
You’ve trusted the process up to this point, and only a severe case of the taper crazies would cause you to think that NOW is the time for you to throw caution to the wind and do your own thing.
You Can’t Prevent Them, You Have to Manage Them
I wish I could tell you that after a certain point, you’d pretty much be immune from the taper crazies.
Some races bring out the worst of the taper crazies, whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned vet.
Just know that they are a normal part of the process, and they won’t derail you unless you let them.
Don’t let them.
Today’s Episode Sponsored By: Amino Co.
What do You Do to Manage a Case of the Taper Crazies?
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