14 days of taper…

Time flies when you’re out racking up the miles! The Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon is now just 14 days away and today’s 10 mile run is my last double digit run before I take on the 26.2 miles, today I start ‘the taper’.

What’s tapering I hear you say, well up until recently I had no idea myself. A simple explanation is that tapering is a gradual reduction of training, in both intensity and duration, before the big day. It is a necessary aspect of endurance training and usually starts in the last couple of weeks before the marathon.

According to the plan I’ve been following my last big run was three weeks before the race (I did my big mileage week last week), after that my body needs time to recover and repair itself before it is faced with the full 26.2 miles (42.2km). This is not to say that training stops altogether, I’m not just going to put my feet up and watch TV, the tapering period is a gradual reduction in running.

Tapering is reportedly an incredibly frustrating time for runners. Having spent the past three or so months training hard, the reduction in training can make some feel like a caged animal. During the tapering period, it is common for people to think that despite all the work they’ve put in, they are still not fit enough, something i can relate to as I’ve been suffering from some self doubt and lack of confidence the past couple of days.

I’m not going to fall into the trap of embarking on a handful of hard sessions to top up my fitness levels. If I’m not fit enough now, before the training wind down, a few more hard training sessions is not going to make any difference and the risk of picking up an injury is not worth it, not after the months of hard work I’ve put in. I must keep telling myself this.

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