• Shelby Schmidt

The Madness Called Taper

Updated: Sep 23


Attention: Please check in with your running friends, we are not ok!!!!

With tapers in full swing for Chicago, right around the corner for NY and many more marathons, we hit the time where after months and months of hard work runners have *gasp* free time. Instead of hours filled with miles upon miles you could sleep and not have to necessarily wake up at 4am if you don’t want, you don’t have multiple hours long runs and chances are you are absolutely going bonkers figuring out what non runners do all morning/night.


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A lot of beginning runners find the taper concept counter productive (much like fueling on runs) but it’s an integral portion of the training cycle. You’ve put in so much time and energy into training and now it’s time to dial it back and give your body a breather so that you can go hard on race day fully juiced up and ready to go. A big mental milestone that helped me not HATE tapering was thinking of the taper as honoring band celebrating a training cycle well done. I pushed, worked and progressed and made it to the taper (hopefully) healthy, happy and full of carbs.


Taper isn’t punishment—-it’s a celebration!

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A lot of runners ask “What do I do with all this free time?” Here are some ideas:


  • Learn a new language

  • Knit a new outfit

  • Learn to knit

  • Solve world peace

  • Time travel


Ok, maybe you won’t have THAT much free time. But some realistic things you could do:


  • Start a new book that you haven’t had energy to read

  • Go for a beach/lake/hangout day

  • Have a brunch date

  • SLEEP!!


Above all else, don’t forget the taper is still part of your training.


While you taper and enjoy some freedom keep the following tidbits in mind:

  • SLEEP ALL THE GLORIOUS SLEEP YOU CAN GET

  • Take rest and recovery seriously. Don’t do some random activity like rock climbing or sky diving—NOT the time to try something new.

  • Continue to fuel your body, don’t deprive because you miles are lower. DRINK WATER LIKE ITS YOUR JOB.

  • Look back at your training log and make a kick a$$ playlist for race day to keep you moving and grooving SUGGESTIONS HERE


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To all the athletes currently tapering I wish you a a peaceful couple of weeks and a happy race day to come!


Share your training, your race, and everything in between with me on Instagram! I would love to send well wishes your way and to be able to give you a shout out on race day!!


IG: @RUNNINGSCHMIDT


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