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The causes of the taper crazies (and how to get over them)

“It’s just Doctor f’ing Who!!!” I remonstrate with myself as the tears well in an ’emotional’ farewell scene between Amy Pond and the Doctor. Here’s the ‘big and tough’ marathon and ultra runner tearing up at a kids programme! Sheesh!

I’ve got the taper crazies. I’ve got them bad. So much worse than any other race. Mood swings (coupled with a heightened emotional state), phantom pains, bouts of nerves. The lot.

tapering-runner-warningWhat are the taper crazies, really? Basically a collection of psychological and physiological effects brought on by the rapid reduction in exercise level of the taper. And having the crazies can suck. Big time! So, what causes the taper crazies?

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Marathon de Paris : Race week

It’s race week so there isn’t much running going on, instead it’s more about recovery and preparation for the race.

That said, the main reason there isn’t much running going on is because I missed my run today due to a ‘scheduling error’. I thought I could go for a run tonight, however Lovely Girlfriend reminded me this morning that we were going out, and that the date was, contrary to my initial belief, in my calendar. Completely my fault, however missing a single easy pace 5k run today isn’t really going to affect my marathon. If anything, the stretch and foam rolling session I did this morning will have helped keep my muscles looser and more supple. I’ll just run tomorrow morning instead.

I’m off the booze as well, from the Sunday before last. I don’t really drink a huge amount anyway, but I must admit to really wanting a beer on Saturday when I was at the pub with some mates. But, coke with a slice of lemon it was. I am, however, already able to taste that celebratory Kronenbourg waiting for me at the finish line…

Nutrition wise I’m off the pizza as well. Shock horror I know! Other ‘takeaway’ type meals are off the menu also. So it’s healthy(ish) food from now on, with small snacks between meals to keep my energy up and keep my sugar levels from bottoming out. As I didn’t run today I ate a little less, but I’m trying to keep the same energy intake as my training weeks to give my body that little bit of extra energy to aid recovery. The carbo load proper will start on Thursday night, about 60 hours before race start. Watch this space.

Admin prep is also in full swing. All my tech gear has been washed. I mean ALL of it. I have a shirt and shorts that I don’t race in to use for the rest of the week, but everything else needed to cover all temperature eventualities is clean and ready to be packed.
20140401-181705.jpg I’ve also printed tickets for the Eurostar, the hotel booking, race convocation and medical certificate and have already packed them with passport and residency card. And checked them. A re-checked them. Like 20 times…

So now it’s the calm before the storm. That itchy time you get when you’ve finished your training but not yet had to put it to use. The energy levels peak, your muscles start to ‘need’ to run and well, as any partner of a marathoner can confirm, the taper crazies start to take hold…


Happy running everyone!


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Marathon Training : Taper Week 2 – Pacing For The Race

Tick, tick, tick went the metronome in my head as I ran along at a steady 5’23”/km pace, feeling like I was in cruise mode. Not a very interesting run to be sure, however very important – especially for me – but more on that later.

I’ve just finished the second week of my taper, which I’ve dubbed ‘metronome week’, and the week was all about pacing – getting used to the pace, honing my pace, and mental pacing. Read the rest of this entry

Marathon training week 16 : The Two-Times Taper

No, I’m not doing some form of double taper. In fact, I don’t even know what that would be (the semantics of increasing something that is decreasing always escapes me), I’m referring to starting my taper period as well as having to tape up my toes because of my annoying niggle.

Taper x 1: The toe taping: 

If you saw Saturday’s post I’m suffering from an ‘injury’ which is causing a lot of pain in my two smallest toes in my right foot. The pain was significant enough after my Thursday 10miler that on Friday I wore trainers to work. A great look. Not.

At least they weren’t my Adidas Adios trainers with the hypercolour laces. No, wait… Read the rest of this entry

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