So I think I’ve found the key to having a good taper… VACATION!
Okay, okay so I know that’s not exactly the most logical strategy for every taper but this time around that’s just the way things worked out and it was simply lovely.
Now normally when taper week begins, the guilt rushes in pretty quickly about not running as often or as far. At first I was a bit nervous going into taper and away on vacation at the same time but it ended up working out great for so many reasons…
- Lots of rest. I don’t know about you but when I’m on vacation I seem to sleep a lot more than usual. We’re tired from busy days so it’s easy to fall asleep quick and we also like to try and make time for afternoon naps when we can. All those extra zzz’s are perfect to rest up before a marathon.
- Lots of fresh food. I fully admit to allowing myself fully free reign when it comes to food on vacation, if it looks good, I’ll eat one (or two). This time with my DietBet ending soon, I tried to be a lot healthier and thankfully Hawaii is the perfect place to do that. I had no trouble finding fresh fish, seafood, veggies and fruit but don’t worry, I also made to sure to enjoy some fish tacos and a tropical drink or two!
- Runs can be fun again. I’m not trying to say that training runs aren’t fun but for me, I sometimes find runs in the last few weeks of training can feel like a chore or just make me doubt myself. I love running when I’m away in different places so those runs never feel that way. Having such enjoyable runs in my last week felt so great, no doubt, no chores, just running to explore and enjoy my surroundings.
- No pressure to run. As much as I love to run while I’m away, I never feel overly pressured to hit the pavement and I think that’s important for me during taper. Rest has always been my biggest influencer during taper and not feeling that pressure to run makes it much easier to listen to your body and rest when you need it. I was planning to run at least a few km each day we were away but Saturday morning my legs just didn’t feel like it, so I didn’t and I didn’t feel guilty. It was the right choice.
- Time to clear my mind. I tend to be a bit of an over-thinker and that’s part of what drives my typical taper ‘crazies’. It was a huge contrast being away this time because instead of obsessing over my training and how I’m feeling, my mind was busy chilling out and clearing out as we laid on the beach and relaxed.
So I think I might have spoiled myself by having this vacation coincide with taper week because I’m really enjoying feeling so relaxed and chill leading up to a big race. Now that I’m home I feel rested, relaxed and ready to focus. Getting away for a few days was just what I needed to really let go and clear my mind and I think that’s going to help as I prepare in my last few days before the marathon.
Have you ever vacationed during taper week before?