Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Perilous Psychology of Tapering

The scary thing about tapering is that at the beginning, when you first start scaling back your training, you feel pretty crappy; lethargic, burned out, unmotivated. The reason is that you are still tired from your last training block, but you aren't getting the same endorphin rush that follows you're hard workouts. It's the worst of both worlds.

But you have to take a break, because your body needs time to bounce back from the trauma that you've recently put it through. So you rest and try to relax. However the race day is soon approaching and you don't feel good yet. This is the scariest part. Because you know that if you were to do the race today, you wouldn't have what it takes to hit your goal. Not only that, it would be pretty painful trying.

After a few days your legs start to recover and you begin to feel restless. Anxious, excited to get out there are give it your all. You have so much pent up energy you can't sit still. And the key to tapering is timing it out so you reach that zone exactly on race day; too early and you're legs still feel like lead, too late and you begin to lose that fitness you've worked so hard to develop.

Right now I'm in that low phase where I still feel kinda crummy but things are starting to turn around. But I've tapered enough times that I know I'll bounce back, so I just need to sit back and have faith in my training.