I know a lot of people experience taper crazies. Or maybe I just feel that way since I do.
I always get panicky, thinking I didn’t do enough. I walk up the stairs and feel out of breath wondering how in the heck I’ll run X miles, or worse yet swim bike run! My hips and knees act up. I wonder if I’ll be able to finish.
Some people experience the opposite. They’re at peace knowing they’ve put in the work. They feel strong, confident, and ready. They look forward to the start of the race instead of just the finish line.
It’s fall marathon season and many people are heading into or are in their tapers. And I wonder, what makes people one way versus the other and how do people deal with it effectively?
I read a great article in the October 2013 issue of Runner’s World called Taper Stress, how to stay calm and confident when your mind races with anxiety.
The director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology in Mankato, Minnesota, who is also a runner, interviewed 21 marathoners and found there are two distinct types: positive taperers and negative taperers.
The article goes on to give tips on what to do to set yourself up for a good race including things like carb-load with caution, set multiple goals, and have a plan for after a big race.
What works best for me? Repeating the mantra, trust in the taper. My husband started saying it to me before big races. He’d be relaxed and feeling good and I’d be a ball of nerves.
Then he’d remind me to trust in the taper. Easy as that, I’d remember the long, hard training days, and know I was as ready as I’d ever be. Pushing hard at that late stage of the game would do more harm then good anyway.
So I remind all of you, whether you’re a negative taperer or just dealing with some pre-race nerves, trust in the taper.
What category do you fall in to: positive or negative taperer? Do you have any positive mantras?