Holding Back During the Taper
As many of us get closer to race day, there’s a tendency to want to do more. To squeeze in a few extra miles onto the end of your run, to swap that rest day out for ‘just a short run’. You may even feel inclined to push the pace a little harder, add in an extra rep, swap an easy run out for some ‘tempo miles’ or the favorite during a long run to “just test out your race pace” and throw down a few race pace miles so you know it “feels right”. The temptation is real. I found myself on an easy run last week, feeling fantastic and wondering if I should instead turn the run into some tempo intervals until I gave my head a wobble and settled back down.
This is the time to show discipline and trust the training that you have done and is planned out for you. Stay the course. Having doubts is normal, it shows you appreciate the task in hand. During your taper and the weeks approaching it, emotions can swing widely and everyone is different. Some people feel great, and that’s when the voices to do more can be loudest. Some may not quite be hitting your stride yet (and that’s okay) and feel tempted to push some extra race pace miles to make up for that run that didn’t go so well the other day. Stay calm, trust the process. Trying to do more at this point is going to have the opposite effect of what you need. If you really want to focus on anything, make it getting extra sleep, improving the quality of your diet (maybe skip the beer/wine in the weeks leading up to race day ), or trying to spend more time with family and friends.
The important thing is that you feel great come race day. Know that you have put the work in, and you have trained as well as you could have and that you. The hay is in the barn and you are ready!
Hold back as well as these folks, and you’ll experience the same success on race day too!