Half Marathon Training Weekly Recap: And So This is Taper

I’ve read and heard from many triathletes and runners about how they go crazy during taper; the sudden drop in activity and being forced to do so much less leaves them figuratively twiddling their thumbs in anticipation of the race.  I figured this wouldn’t be a problem for me; there’s lots I’ve been meaning to get to, and taking the time I would have put into a workout to devote to those other tasks would be great.  It didn’t work out that way unfortunately;  I think some of those athletes were talking about a much greater volume of training being done for a longer period, and the truth is, I found myself in a funk that bordered on depression toward the end of the week before last.

Chart showing all activity for 2013: Doesn’t look like much of a taper….

Chart showing Running Activity only.  Weekly results may be skewed based on whether the long run took place on a Saturday or Sunday.

I had very little energy or motivation to do anything; train, blog, work, play with the kids everything felt “too hard, why bother”.  I had a few above-average sleeps, by our family’s yardstick (that still means getting up 2-3 times a night) and I still felt tired and listless most of the day.  I can at least claim that I still got a few treadmill runs in, but they weren’t spectacular and they were less than *prescribed*.

  • Sunday: 7km run (instead of 8km)
  • Tuesday: 8km on the treadmill.   I played around with video recording my stride as best as I could with this run, and I even switched shoes.  That broke up the boredom and fatigue a little.
  • Thursday: 5km on the treadmill (instead of 5.6km).
  • Friday: I started to feel a little more like myself on Thursday night, so I was willing to put in a little more effort… just not necessarily on the treadmill as much.  I completed a spinning class, and turned into a brick by doing my 2 mile tempo work on the treadmill right after.  No extra warm-up or cool-down mileage though.
  • Sunday: Nearly 8km of cross-country skiing.  Pulling the kids in the Chariot as usual, conditions gave us some alternately sticky and slippery snow, but at least it was fresh and mild.  A really pleasant day to mark the end of my funk.

Overall this week, I’m pleased with the fact that I got all my runs in – which is to say I ran as many times as I was supposed to, even if I didn’t to them to the prescribed length (or prescribed procedure).  Let’s not even mention cross-training; there might have been a few extra planks here or there.

Next week it’s even less volume, which means I can focus on preparing logistical details for the race…

Have you ever suffered from Taper Blues?

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