Tapering

Time to slow it down a tad.  That’s what they tell me anyway.

Sunday was our last long run, this week we go into taper mode.  This Sunday is a 5 mile run, then next Sunday is the Bear Chase half marathon.

Being new to this kind of training, tapering is a different concept to wrap my head around.  I’m now used to this routine of gradually building up the running distance, working out a little longer, going a bit further, and now we’re supposed to back off a little?  I get it, sort of, I think I’ll get it more after going through the experience.  Maybe.

I think the idea is related to the whole concept of rest and how it plays into training.  We have a couple days of the week to rest, the idea being to let our muscles recover and strengthen, allowing us to go a bit further the next time out.  The same idea applies for the last part of training for a long run like this, where the idea is to do just enough running to keep our body used to running but to also let it build up enough energy and go into the race really fresh.  One guy puts it like we’re just letting this spring really coil up in us ready to go for race day.

I suppose that makes sense.  Of course, I sit here and think that if my training were for a full marathon, perhaps this week I ran 10, next week I’d run 11 or 12, the next week 13.  No taper there.  And maybe the idea is to throw that taper in before the actual race because the race isn’t just a long training run, it’s the event you are training for.

So I get it but i don’t.  Maybe it’s because I’m not looking at this as a race where I’m as much about my time but rather I’m thinking in terms of just being able to do it.  Next time around time is going to be more critical to me because I have something to compare to.

Did I say next time?

Yes, yes I did.  I’m pretty sure there will be another half marathon in my future.  Maybe even a full.

I really figured that by this point I’d be totally feeling the wear and tear of the training.  At more than 300 pounds you would figure this is pretty brutal on the old joints.  I was pretty stiff for a bit Sunday after doing 10 miles, but I have to say I’m pretty amazed at how I bounced back.  I actually get less stiffness in my right ankle after a run than I was getting a few weeks ago.  The back soreness I was getting last week is clearing up and I’m really rather amazed that I’m not feeling beaten and worn down at this point.

So at this point, I think I’ve decided where I go from here is, I’m going to go back to a 5K training routine after this, but this time focusing more on being able to actually run and not just a slow jog.  I’m not going to go knocking out 6 minute miles by any means, but I’m thinking I’ll train up for something like the Jingle Bell run.  I still want to get in some good quality long weekend runs just to keep up my ability to go further, but also free myself up to get more involved with other exercises as well.  I’m a little intrigued by the idea of a triathlon, though my swimming ability is pretty minimal.  They do have some where you run two segments and cycle a segment.

And then…  maybe early in the year start looking into some good marathon ideas?

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About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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One Response to Tapering

  1. Sandy says:

    Ron, this is your best blog post yet! I am so impressed with you and your discipline and stamina. I hope to keep training with you on Saturdays after our races. Of all the Change-thru-Challengers, you’ve made the most remarkable Changes. Hats off!

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