TNT: Rest and Recovery Makes You Stronger, AKA the Taper Crazies

Hello Tuesday! When was the last time I blogged on your day?! It’s been a hot few minutes.

So tapering…it’s supposed to recharge your body from all the pounding on the pavement you’ve been doing and getting your bodacious legs ready to rock and roll! Today’s five miler felt stiff, heavy, and so not what I expected…but here’s what Dr Smurawa from Runner’s World says:

“Tissue repair in the legs during recovery, coupled with the fact that you are storing more carbohydrate and water late in the taper, will make you feel like you do after eating a big meal,” says Dr. Smurawa. In other words, you feel like a slug.

I’m praying my legs feel strong come marathon day. I keep emotionally swinging between “I feel so totally awesome and I’m going to kill this marathon!” to “Oh. my. word. How am I even going to manage running a 8:11 min/mile for 26.2 miles?!?!?!” And today’s short jaunt had me feeling the latter. I know I’ve trained hard, but was it enough?

I found $1 on my run! Going directly to St. Jude. Every dollar counts.

***And hey listen, you guys, I am only $55 shy of meeting my personal St. Jude fundraising goal of $500! If each of my readers gave only $1.00 I’d have it met in a heartbeat. When I found that $1.00 on the ground I took that as a sign. I immediately went home post run and donated more to St. Jude’s!***

As far as my past two week taper here’s a few things that have worked well for me personally:

**As always, please consult a professional running coach, nutritionist, or md for you. I am a certified personal trainer, but not a medical professional. Also, there are no affiliate links. Yes, I am a NUUN ambassador but I am simply sharing the brand love here because I believe in their company and like their product.

Products I use (throughout training as well):

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  • CheriBundi – a tart cherry juice that reduces inflammation naturally. I swear by it!! I haven’t taken a single IBU for marathon training this season. period.

    nuunstjudegiveaway

    want to try NUUN for FREE? Enter the contest HERE!!

  • NUUN hydration!!! Restock your electrolytes without all the added sugar or chemicals. Founded by an athlete himself an avid cyclist, student, and professor from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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    don’t mind the ugly runner feet…

  • Menthol lotion. Tingling. Refreshing. It’s like a liquid massage for your feet and legs.
  • IMG_3551 OOFOS recovery footwear for post run footsies. I used to wear traditional flip flops post run but they always ended up hurting my feet. But these….these are sooo nice. It feels like a constant massage to your arch. Well worth the money spent.

Practices:

  • For post long or hard runs: Ice bath draw a super cold bath add a little ice. Super uncomfortable but awesome post. Try getting in with a hat and gloves and a warm drink to make it more bearable.
  • Massage. nuff said. I can’t afford a legit massage but my hubby makes an excellent masseuse. 😉
  • Don’t stress. Try lots of prayer, yoga, and/or mediation.
  • Know your body. Rest when needed. Get enough sleep!
  • Don’t just stop all workouts and running. bad idea. Keep your workouts but reduce intensity and overall mileage. For more tempting “taper traps” read THIS Runner’s World article.
  • Now is not the time to squeeze in any MORE than scheduled last minute runs or workouts. What’s done is done.
  • Take recovery runs as they are: recovery. This means sloooooow. If your tempo pace is a 7:30 then a 7:40 is NOT a recovery pace. Try 8:30 or even slower. I’m guilty. This does not make you a slow runner. I promise.
  • Add a few pick ups during your easy runs to keep your legs poppin’ and fresh (a local running coach gave me this advice and I like they way he phrased it. Bill is the man!) but definitely keep the mileage reduced. Adding a few pick ups will help you feel like you are shaking off any “rust”.
  • Legs up the wall. Lie with your booty close to the wall and run your legs up and just lay there for at least 5 minutes…this is actually a great daily practice for those of you who work on your feet everyday.
  • Take the extra time to catch up on reading other blogs, like these cool girls from all places and paces:
  • Do NOT diet. Now is not the time. Maybe just don’t weigh yourself at all. You may feel as though you’re gaining unnecessary weight, but what you’re gaining is water retention and necessary fuel for a long 26.2 freaking miles. DO NOT starve yourself now (or every really). Having a full gas tank, so to speak, is much more important than a few pounds on race day. For more on the art of the taper check out this Competitor article HERE. From their site:

Some runners feel that they are gaining unneeded weight, and although this is usually mental, you actually should go into the marathon a few pounds heavier than you’re accustomed to being, especially if you’re a higher-mileage type who spends much of a training cycle in a state of partial or pronounced glycogen depletion. Glycogen storage requires significant water retention, so if you’re a few pounds up, you very likely have achieved a state of proper hydration, not packed on unwanted body mass.

And this is how I’ve been feeling every single day during the taper:

thanks H for sharing this on Facebook! I can not wait for my bacon cheeseburger post race!!!!!

In a vain effort to be healthy I’ve been eating rabbit food like arugula and drinking beet juice on top of my carb loading game plan. They say, you know the infamous ‘they’ of the interwebs, these foods are full of nitrates that they aid in maximal oxygen uptake. I’m game. I’ve never eaten a beet in my life or drank the juice. But I must admit, I kinda dig it. Get it? Beets are roots…you have to dig them up…yeah. anyway. I need to get this marathon ran!! I’m starting to get stupid.

“On average, the subjects were able to run for 7.6 minutes at high intensity after six days of drinking nitrate-depleted beetroot juice. But after six days on regular beetroot juice they lasted 8.7 minutes.” Read more HERE 

Last but not least, I wanted to send a HUGE congrats to all who ran Boston yesterday! What an incredibly inspiring race!!

How do you keep busy during the taper and week before a race? Any additional tips for the week before the marathon? Do you drink beet juice? I actually kinda like the stuff…tastes like dirt. 

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

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5 thoughts on “TNT: Rest and Recovery Makes You Stronger, AKA the Taper Crazies

  1. I don’t really taper because I don’t run marathons :). But I agree, it would be hard to keep calm before one and never, ever weigh. In fact don’t weigh the week after an endurance event either (I don’t weigh the week after half marathons). When I’m recovering my body holds onto *everything* too! It will just get you down before the big race and that’s not good.

    I think you will do really well! Your training has looked solid in your blog. And beet juice and veggies are great (I actually like beet juice and all things beet).

  2. This is a great read for experienced runners and newbies. Tapering is so important even if it drive you nuts! Good luck at the CMM! I will be running the half with my mom and sister.

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