"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's Taper Time

A wise man once said that running was not 100% mental, just 99.9! (see previous post here: RWH : The Mental Game).  I would further suggest that the bulk of that 99.9% is found in the final three weeks of training; the taper period.  When total weekly mileage decreases by 25% or more each week and the pace is pulled back, all in an effort to achieve maximum performance on race day.

Mentally, the taper is a challenge to me for serveral reasons.  First, putting the brakes on what has been 15 weeks of buidling mileage and increasing speed, doesn't come easy.  You begin to wonder if you are pulling back too much, or if you should get in a few more long runs.  Next, the diet must adjust.  The taper means that you automatically give back about 1,500 - 2,000 calories a week that you had previously been burning off.  Finally, the taper period means that race day is just around the corner.  There are a thousand diferent things going through your mind and it's hard to focus on much else. 

But never fear, the realization that the taper actually works can bring peace to a troubled mind. It's just like I always say, "Follow the plan!" It may make no sense whatsoever, and you might be tempted to keep pushing, but give your body a break. You will approach the start line with fresh legs and a renewed confidence. 

Now, if I can just keep reminding myself of this advice for 17 more days! 

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