I wrote this post when I had 5 more weeks until my first marathon. Which means I was staring down the barrel of a taper. And I’ll be honest I hadn’t done a full taper since my first half marathon a year before that. Because I do not like it. But it’s not negotiable with a marathon. With a half you can get away with a minimal taper, with a marathon? Not so much.
Burning questions that tend to arise on a taper include:
1) Why is everyone in the universe so irritating? And why do I have an urge to kill people?
2) Why do I resemble a human garbage can and why am I eating for a small nation?
3) Would we even really consider 15km to be a ‘long run’?! Really?!
4) Why do I sign up for races? Races are stupid.
5) Why do I suddenly have five million phantom injuries and the plague of death/cold/man flu?
Actual, scientific benefit of the taper
Unfortunately, the fact that I feel like I really want to go for more of a run doesn’t trump the fact that a good taper does the following things:
1) Bolster muscle power
2) Increase muscle glycogen
3) Aid muscle repair
4) Freshen the mind
5) Fine tune the neural network so it is working efficiently
6) Eliminate the risk of overtraining
7) Improve performance by 6-20%
DAMN YOU SCIENCE, DAMN YOU!!