Taper Dos and Don’ts


Hey y’all!  It’s the middle of Rock n Roll Chicago Taper Week and I am enjoying it to the best of my ability.  I like to keep up with a somewhat “regular” running schedule.  I don’t stop running completely but definitely reduce mileage and intensity to get ready for the big day on Sunday.

Chicago this weekend! If the route goes past the fountain, I just might have to take a pit stop.

Here are my dos and don’ts for this particular taper week:


  1. Drink A LOT of water.  All the time.  Especially since Indiana is about to run out, grab it where and when you can.  You will lose it all in the first mile of the race on Sunday in Chicago’s humidity.
  2. Reduce mileage and intensity – today I reduced from 6-8 miles to a strong 2 miles with the men and dogs.  Tomorrow and Friday I’ll continue to take it easy, doing no more than 5 (probably 4 max).
  3. Use the extra time not spent running to get your life under control.  For example you could mail in your apartment application/deposits and get 4 new tires on your car (so that you don’t wipeout on the way to Chicago), dropping more than you’ve made all summer in a matter of 20 minutes.  Or that could just be me.  You could also spend the time studying for your biomechanics exam tomorrow.
  4. Start increasing your carb intake just a bit.  Starting today, I’ll have at least a serving of fruit or whole grains at every meal or snack.  Apples, oats, bananas, berries, wheat cereals etc.
  5. Start to get your shit together (meaning literal shit – routes, plane tickets, registration tickets, photo id, clothes, gupacks, beans, food – and mental shit – calm down, you got this!  Review the course in your mind and on the map.  Review your workouts and the miles you put in.  Review your race-day plan from the time you wake up to the time you finish including water, bathrooms, food and re-fueling.)


  1. Drink so much water that you get a citation for violating the water restrictions.
  2. Lift weights.  (That might just be me, but my usual routine of 3-4 resistance sessions is completely non-existant this week – I’m letting my muscles rest to repair the damage all that lifting has done over the past 4-5 weeks.)
  3. Use the extra time to try new activities like rollerblading or water skiing.  We don’t want any injuries before the race!  Or getting a pedicure.  Unless you can communicate to your girl that she should not take the cheese grater or pumice stone to your feet/toes.  You have those calluses for a reason and you’ll miss them on race day.  She’ll look at you funny and try to talk you into just the pumice stone but you must stand your ground (ignore the stares coming from the other women in the massage chairs, they don’t understand the functionality of callused feet!)
  4. Go carb crazy.  Carb loading does not mean (unfortunately) it’s a free for all on everything bread, dough, cereal, sugar and carbohydrate-y goodness.  You can definitely do some damage in just five days before the race.  Stick to fruits and whole grains and try to pay attention to when you’re full.
  5. Lose your shit.  (Literally try to keep track of all your things.  And mentally, you may start to lose your mind a bit.  You’re not running as many miles, which is your main ticket to calming down.  You’re convincing yourself that in the seven days you’ve reduced your mileage you’ve undone all your fitness and training and probably gained 10 pounds.  Take a yoga class – or at least a deep breath – and calm down.  You got this, and remember, if it’s not fun, why are you doing it?)

Here we come Chi-Town!


One response »

  1. Good question! Why am I doing this??…to run another race with you!! In person rather than virtually!! It ain’t gonna be pretty, but we will pound it out. The extreme weather condition is what almost makes it a fun challenge!! I have tapered to ZERO miles for “injury recovery” and loving it!! Did it two years ago for the mini and got a PR….not expecting that this time, but do expect to survive and check the box for your #9 state!! Hydrate and carb up!!

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