Taper Tips

We made it. Just three weeks until the Boston Marathon!!! In past marathon training cycles, my taper has ranged from three weeks to just a few days, with varying results. This time around I’ll be trying out a two-week reduction in volume. It’s a tricky thing to get right. Taper for too long, and you risk losing fitness and dealing with flat legs. Taper for not long enough, and you won’t be rested appropriately to crush it on race day.

Here are my best taper tips gained from experience (written mostly to distract myself from my own taper insanity). Please share with me your favorite ways for making it through the hardest ‘easy’ part of training!

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Boston Training Update #2: when things start to click

The Boston Marathon is just over five weeks away. Just five, short, not-nearly-enough-time weeks. If I do a typical three-week taper, this means I just have two more weeks of hard training left. What?!? Commence freak out… now.

Recovering like a boss with sore feet, plantar fasciitis, and aching knee.

Recovering like a boss with sore feet, plantar fasciitis, and aching knee.

I had a rough start to this training cycle. I began with a bunch of leftover niggling injuries from the 50 miler. I was tired. Workouts felt hard. I was dealing with some major stomach issues, and then my knee started to hurt for no good reason. I felt like I was barely hanging on, in a bad way. I was getting in the miles and hitting my paces, but it just didn’t feel good.

But two weeks ago I had that “turn-around” workout I had been praying for. It was at an Impala practice where we did a souped up version of Yasso 800s: 6 sets of 800m (I was aiming for 3:00 each), 100m recovery jog, followed by 300m at 1500m pace (aka fast). We got a 400m recovery jog between each set. It was tough. But oh man I haven’t felt that good running basically since last year. My legs had pop, I felt like I was cruising. Running with a group of fast women pulls out that speed you didn’t think you had. Sometimes all you can focus on is not getting dropped by the pack, but when things sync up– breathing together, strides matched, ponytails swishing– it’s magic. Your legs just GO. I left that workout exhausted, but so happy.

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