The Bit Before the Taper…

  • There’s a dull ache in your legs that you just can’t shift
  • You waddle down the stairs amusing your colleagues no end
  • You’re so exhausted your housemate pokes you on the sofa to check you’re still alive
  • The weariness makes simple tasks confusing
  • You’re always hungry
  • 15 miles is an appealing ‘shorter run’…

It’s almost time for the taper, you know it’s coming, it’s waiting for you with open arms… but you’re not quite there yet.

I caught a glimpse of myself in a shiny shop window last night.   Luckily it was dark, I looked like this…


The weeks before the taper are the hardest, for me anyway.  Not only is mileage at its highest but you’re still trying to get some quality speed sessions in and recover from every session quickly so you’re ready for the next one…it hurts.

Ironically, I’m not actually a massive fan of the taper – it makes me a little bit crazy (yes, more than usual), I worry about getting fat and how the hell I’m actually going to run 26.2 miles.  But I definitely like the idea of it at this stage.

Last Sunday my running club hosted the Thames Riverside 20 – a lovely 20 mile run along the towpath.  Lovely, but it’s pretty much all off road.  I planned to run 9mm to the 10 mile mark then pick up the pace. Of course I didn’t, I ran with the 8.30 group and dropped back at 15 miles, the last 5 miles were really challenging and I finished feeling disappointed and slow.

Clapham Chasers Thames Riverside 20 – much happier at the start than the finish!

photo (15)

Those 20 miles were exhausting, much more so than the 21 miles I ran the weekend before.

Recovery has been an arse – after resting on Monday and 5 miles or so on Tuesday I couldn’t face my 9.5 miles on Wednesday and had to run them last night…I should be running round Regents Park right now, but I’m not, I’m writing this because my legs aren’t willing to do as they’re told.  Soooo, that leaves me some miles to make up on Sunday then.  Yippppeeeeee!

Right now, I can’t wait for the taper. But next week? Well, we’ll see.