Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Toe-tapping (the impatient kind)

Hurry up.
Hurry up, hurry up and wait.
Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up and wait.
Please come see what you do to me.
I got the blues.

Hurry up, hurry up. hurry up. hurry up. hurry up.

I don’t think I like tapering.


Naomi: Should I be getting worried? I haven’t had a good run since the 20-miler. I want to be out there running, but I don’t feel right when I am.

Shelly Glover*: Some runners gain weight, get restless, climb walls and deeply desire to run more miles and so forth.

Naomi: Yeah, that pretty much covers it. But what about Brian? And both Jens? Everything seems out of sync and achy, even though I was feeling great leading up to the taper.

Shelly: The taper may seem to bring on injuries. You may develop all kinds of minor aches and pains, or feel sluggish and irritable as the race approaches. You train less but worry more. This is normal. These problems disappear as race day adrenaline pumps you up and your well-trained body and relaxed, confident mind take over.

Naomi: Oh. So, I’m normal then? That’s… well, a relief, I guess.

Shelly: Yup. Normal.

Naomi: So, should I make sure to get all the runs in, even if it feels crappy? I don’t want to ruin my conditioning…

Shelly: It actually takes less mileage to keep your fitness level then it did to build it. Dr. David Costill's research shows you can actually maintain your VO2 max or maximal oxygen consumption with a two-thirds reduction in training frequency.

Naomi: No way. It always seems like it’s much easier to get out of shape then to get back into shape.

Shelly: …

Naomi: No, you’re right. That’s dumb. It’s just how it feels. Anyway, now I’ve got more time to hit the weights and get in some aerobics classes and stuff.

Shelly: When we talk about resting here, we really mean it. This is not the time to catch up on all those chores that have collected while you've been marathon training. Read a little and rest a little. And remember to cut back or stop weight training and other cross training.

Naomi: Oh. Oops.

Shelly: If you are concerned about resting in these next few weeks in lieu of training vigorously, be assured that no training you do at this point can improve your performance—but it can hurt it.

Naomi: Huh. That’s a good point.

Shelly: Well, I do have a master's degree in exercise physiology from Columbia University. I co-authored The Runner's Handbook and The Competitive Runner’s Handbook and I am a veteran road runner and marathoner. Plus, I coach Mercury Masters and The Greater New York Racing Team.

Naomi: Hmph. Smarty Pants.

* All of Shelly’s lines come from this article, helpfully linked to by Chelle. Chelle’s running a marathon the same day as I am, but at her pace, she could probably run hers, fly to Alaska, and run mine with me. Heh. Fast chick, indeed.


Okay, I still hate tapering. But I’m supposed to. Or, at least, with my personality, it’s pretty much a given that I would.

At this point, I just want to get out there and RUN already. I’m ready and raring to go, and all this waiting is messing with my head.

Plus, I keep reading all these inspiring race reports. It seems like EVERYBODY ran a PR or a new distance this weekend, and I’m so impressed with you all. Check out this week’s Rundown for links to a bunch of really good ones.


Blogger Denise said...

Respect the taper the way that you previously respected the long run. The race will come along and you'll be glad you've followed the program and we'll all be here cheering you along virtually. :)

10:33 PM  
Blogger Brit said...

This is soo me! I freak out as the run approaches. STart to have weird aches and pains. As I anticipate doing a marathon for the first time (never run more thatn 14 miles) I already have a stomach ache.

We're all pulling for you.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

I'm looking forward to hearing your post marathon stories! The wait will be worth it!

11:58 AM  

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