The Stages Of Tapering

October 28, 2013

As a runner who has only stuck with 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons, I came into this marathon training without knowing much about the infamous twenty six point two. I googled every thing I wasn't sure of whether it was suggestions on what to eat throughout the day or why my legs were sore after running only ten miles.

Last week I was crossing off training days when I realized all of my longest runs are over. Five months ago, as I had the idea to start training for my first marathon, the 14, 16, 18, and 20 mile long runs made me nervous. I had not run anything over thirteen point one miles and wasn't sure if I could run for that long but I decided to take on the challenge anyways. I am excited to have completed every long run! I was reading an article the other day when the runner was giving training advice and one of his points was not to jump from the 16 miler to the 20 miler. Which is exactly what I did. Whoops!

Apparently the next stage of training that could possibly be considered as hard as the longest runs is, drum roll please..... tapering.

I give you the five stages of tapering. So far I have reached the first stage and it has only been one week of taper. I got a little off on my training schedule due to overtraining and taking a short break so I have three weeks instead of two weeks of taper. But of course I googled it and it is okay for me to taper for three weeks. 

1. Denial - I no longer have to wake up at 5am! I get to sleep in and can complete my easy runs in the afternoon. I have so much more time on my hands. I also get to focus on school a little more since I have so much more time. This taper thing is great.

2. Anger - I'm not an angry person. I haven't gotten to this one yet and I am kind of hoping it won't happen.. 

3. Bargaining - This is hoping that any aches, pains or illnesses are not going to harm all the training that I have built up for the past 140 days. Literally 140 days. 

4. Depression - Also one I am hoping to not reach. These next few weeks of training are much easier compared to the "run thirty miles in one week" types of weeks. 

5. Acceptance - Finally the marathon is here!

So why am I telling you this? I heard tapering gets to runners and makes them crazy. If you see me crying or not able to handle myself in different situations please return me to my home. Thank you.



  1. I've never seen that taper image before and it's hilarious. My marathon taper is always 3 weeks. Hope it doesn't drive you too crazy!

  2. Haha I know! Oh good, that definitely makes me feel better. I hope so too...

  3. I haven't had to taper yet but I have had the dreaded rest days when injured and they drive me bonkers. Enjoy the taper, you've earned it.

    1. Thank you for the new perspective Anita! You're right, I need to enjoy it. :)

  4. I only tapered for two weeks this marathon and it was the hardest two weeks of training, hands down. I felt like I had lost all of my fitness and was just going to be bouncing around a flabby ball of emotional mush at the race. If you start feeling the same way... it's not true! I promise!

    1. And then you go out and run a low 3 hour marathon. Haha I will keep my mantras in mind!

  5. Hi! I just found you through the IDEA Facebook group :)
    I am not a fan of the taper, I like to work HARD. That said, it's important and I just try to keep myself busy with other things and know that I trained enough to complete it.

    1. Hi Ange! Yes me too! That is a good way to look at it. I have plenty of other things to do so maybe I should focus my attention somewhere else for a few weeks :)

      Thanks for commenting!


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