[Be advised - No elephants were harmed in the making of this post.]
Rest does a body good. After a weekend of mental and physical relaxation, I think I’m starting to feel more like my old self. Darn those doldrums for trying to interupt my training regimen though! After taking it pretty easy this weekend, I’m hoping the mental benefits will outweigh any physical loss experienced from, well, taking it easy.
With the countdown to raceday officially less than two weeks, we’re on the “downhill” anyway. In other words, rest is a good thing! For those of you who have been training hard, focusing on doing your best July 4th, now is the time to think about giving yourself some rest too.
As with all our other crazy running lingo, we have a name for this period of rest before race day – your taper. A taper means reducing, or tapering off, exercise in the days just before an important competition. A taper can be a beautiful thing. After weeks of pushing yourself, now is the time to ease up just a little so you’re body can gather energy. This helps us be in top performance mode on race day. But it can also be a confusing thing because a taper is a fine line – resting your body, but not taking it so easy that you lose all the work you’ve invested. If you’d like more info, here is a helpful resource on tapering I found on Rice University’s web site.
Curious as to how you should taper for the upcoming AJC Peachtree Road Race?
How do you plan on enjoying your taper?
In the end, we can only do what we can do, so don’t get discouraged if the race countdown finds you wishing you had more training time. Race day will be here in 13 days whether we like it or not. Take comfort in words from, once again, my favorite quotable Dr Sheehan:
“Like most runners, I always want to do better. I am constantly after myself for eating too much and training too little. I know if I weighed a few pounds less and trained a few hours more, my times would improve. But I find the rewards not quite worth the effort… I am forced, therefore to do the best with what I’ve got. I must get my speed and distance from the most efficient use of my body.”