In the 16-week marathon training plan I’ve been using for the upcoming Richmond Marathon, tapering begins at week 14. Any race plan will include a taper and depending on your level of fitness, race goals, and race level (elite vs. beginner) the taper will definitely vary. In addition to the actual change in mileage and type of runs on the schedule, tapering also includes a rise (at least for me) in the mental preparation for race day.
Unfortunately for me, week 14 was also a week from hell. I had a nasty cough that kept me up all night and left me so exhausted that I missed several runs, I had an intense work deadline that got me up early and kept me up late which meant I missed an additional run, and my last (and worst) excuse is that I had a lot too much fun at a college alumni event causing me to miss yet another run. So on what should have been a 45-mile week 14, I did a whopping 8. I stressed about it every day and knew that it would be yet another mental hurdle to get over in race preparation. Continue reading