The Taper Effect

Between Ann and my two sisters (the two who are doing the Iron Cowboy with me), I have a pretty good sounding board for all things training related.

This coming week is my recovery week, and I always seem to fall apart emotionally during a rest week. I feel like I have this huge event coming up and I’m not doing a damned thing to prepare for it. It really gets in my head a LOT. I know, logically, that I have to let my body recover from workouts. But it still feels like I’m not doing anything to prepare. So I struggle.

I was mentioning my recovery week to Ann and then the final three week push towards the race. She goes, “Your taper weeks.”


My what?

People! I run 5k and 10k races. There is no taper. I have heard of people tapering while training for marathons and triathlons and other types of races within that distance/intensity level. But during this whole training process the word “taper” never entered my brain.


freakout in 3….



My brain started immediately spinning in circles as I looked at my training schedule, and I tried the best I could to readjust it in a way that would allow my body to recover and be well rested by my race, but I really don’t know what that should entail. I sent my updated plans to Ann, Julie, and Melissa. The responses I got have me feeling a lot better about tapering, even though I know (because I know my brain) that it’s going to be difficult. Emotionally difficult.

We’re going on 30 weeks of training. Ten were “pre-training.” Yes, training for my training. I know. It sounds stupid. But this is a type of race that I have never even considered before. Remember – 5k….10k….that’s MY kind of race. So I spent ten weeks, beginning the day after Christmas, to start building strength and endurance so that I could actually do my “official” twenty week plan.

So. Recovery week. Then taper. I’m seriously bracing for this. I hope I don’t spin out over all the training I am NOT going to be doing. I’m sure my girls will have to talk me off the ledge a time or two. But I know that it’s time to taper. My body is beyond exhausted. I’m struggling through every workout. And in turn, I’m beginning to feel like I can’t do this. Logically, I know that my body needs some serious recovery prior to the race. My body is ready to taper. My brain? Well. We’ll see if my brain is ready to taper.

Beer me strength!

My last LONG workout before my race.

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