I made a reference earlier to taper madness, and I can say one thing: I’m so glad that I spent most of the first week of the taper in Vancouver and was busy at work last week. This taper is kind of driving me nuts, but in a good way. I’m happy and full of energy, and want Sunday to come!
A taper is, in short, what it sounds like: 2 to 4 weeks at the end of your training when you consistently cut down your mileage. You generally reduce length, but not intensity, each week. The idea is to allow your muscles to recover from months of training, but not to completely relax and get rusty. And given that I’ve also spent the past months strength training my back and glutes (in particular) and haven’t want to lose those gains, I’ve been reducing my strength training without eliminating it. So, it’s a bit of a balancing act (like the whole training program has been so far).
From looking at the Internet (yeah, I know), and talking to other runners, there are a whole variety of symptoms: soreness (from the healing muscles), irritability, insomnia, a desire to keep pushing harder, anxiousness, obsessiveness about mental/health state, among other things.
The only real issues I’ve had are recent muscle soreness (in the back and glutes) and a heck of a lot of extra energy. I’m desperately trying to keep myself from going out for a really long run (I’m going to try going for 5K tonight just to keep myself same)! Instead, I’ve tried to channel my energy positively through other things like darts and social events, while getting enough sleep every night.
I will admit, I have felt like a kid waiting for Christmas over the past few days (only 2 days and 17 hours to go, not like I’m counting) but I’m hoping that will dissipate as I get closer.