Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tapering Blues

Tapering for a race has never felt very normal for me. Typically I will hit my peak of training about 10-15 days before a race and then I will make an effort to cut back gradually until finally cutting back severely the last 2 or 3 days before the race. I never have too much of a problem with the severe cut back just before the race but the slight cut back in training that I started about 5 days ago now is always a bit uncomfortable. It always feels weird to be in this limbo state of training in which you are still putting a lot of time and effort into it but much less so than you were just a few days previously. I find it harder to put in a 15-17 hour week of training like I might do in the early stages of a taper then a 20+ hour week like I typically do in the midst of my training. I guess it's just hard for me to cut back my training but still feel like I'm moving forward toward an ultimate goal to be as fast as possible on race day. With a big race just a week away I know that it's better for me to be doing the 75-90 miles per week that I'm doing right now rather than the 110+ that I was doing a couple weeks ago but it is a little hard to cut back that much and not have a sense of moving backwards. All week this week I had been planning to take a day off but I just kept going out for a run everyday because it felt like taking a day off would be "slacking" off (not to mention that I just wanted to get outside and run each day). Finally today I actually got myself to agree to the off day. It felt kind of nice to take the day and do some other things, but it sure is going to feel nice to get back out for a few hours tomorrow. In reality I'm not sure how much of a difference I can really make in my race performance with only 7 more days, but eventually here as I do more races I hope to become more comfortable with the whole tapering process, because right now it just feels way too contrived and out of place on the heels of my previous 5 or 6 weeks of training.