— Alison Kenyon (@InvitationOven) October 7, 2016
There are two camps: those who love the taper, and those who loathe the taper. Taper time is when runners slow down and decrease their training. Bringing down both mileage and intensity allows the body to recover to its full potential, without losing all of the gains of training. The taper is all about low stress, and low intensity running to build the body up before the big race.
With a diminished training load comes more free time. Some runners see this period as stress inducing, because to them, more training equals better running. If this sounds like you, we’ve rounded up eight different activities your low mileage has made time for. Taking up some of these activities could turn taper stress into a a period of training you actually look forward to.
- Sleep in. Because the long run is roughly two-thirds of its usual distance, that buys a few more hours of snooze time. Take that time to get eight plus hours of sleep to help your body recover and recharge.
- Spend time with loved ones. You no longer have to run out the door after work to fit in the rest of your training for the day. Instead, schedule a dinner with family and friends.
- Pick a new show. Let yourself sit on the couch and watch a new series. And when you get addicted, there’s no guilt, because couch time is recovery time.
- Have brunch on a Sunday. Wake up and go out for a big breakfast. Food is fuel, and it’s rare that runners have nowhere to be on a Sunday morning.
- Go away for the weekend. Without a scheduled workout in the books, heading out of town for the weekend is much easier. Plan a quick getaway with your significant other, or friends for a fun change of scenery.
- Finish a book. Almost everyone has a novel next to their bed that they’ve “been reading” for months. A little more free time allows you to finally finish it.
- Cook dinner. Instead of grabbing takeout after a workout, take the time to grocery shop and make a nice meal. Chances are it’s healthier for you, and you can have leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Prioritize having fun. Avoid completely over-doing it, but a happy runner is a fast runner. Make some time for whatever keeps you happy (except running excessively high mileage).