Taper means less volume, and usually some higher intensity work. Taper is the time you tell yourself that the physical side is done and all that's left to do is to keep yourself healthy and work on the mental side of your game.
For me, taper also means taming the appetite to avoid what I've come to call "taper tummy".
My taper for this event is particularly long for me, at four weeks. When I devised my training plan I consulted a couple of programs, both of which had a longest run of 42ks. One with a three week taper and one with four. The one for beginners had four weeks. I've never run 42ks in training. I felt like having longer to recover was wise.
So here I am, half way in to taper. Throughout my program, my overall volume of training hasn't been as high as it is when training for an Ironman. Even so, take my word for it. Running for more than three hours at a time still gets your metabolism going.
My long run hasn't been close to three hours for two weeks now but I'm still hungry all the time. So food choices become more important. Smashing through a Grill'd steak sandwich, chips, and schooner of beer just isn't justified when your longest run of the week is just 8ks.
(Some purists would say it isn't justified no matter how long your run. But hey. I'm not talking a KFC bucket, potato and gravy and a litre of Coke.)
Instead, today's lunch was rice crackers with avocado, hummus, and salad. And my beverage? Water.
I'm not starving myself. If I'm hungry, I eat. But I am trying to choose healthy foods even more than usual. I'm aware though that apart from avoiding "taper tummy" the other advantage of choosing nutrient rich foods is that it can't hurt in keeping my immune system up, thereby keeping me healthy.
My tummy is the first place I store fat. I don't want want to be doing a Homer in two weeks time.
|Image sourced from http://runningwithcarbs.blogspot.com.au/|