Forced to Taper

It feels like a long time since I last blogged. It’s been around a month so there’s a lot to catch up on!

Last time I checked in, I was on a PB-high! I had such a great time at the Cambridge half marathon and I couldn’t stop talking about it for days afterwards. I had really pushed myself though, so I did not train hard the following week and took the opportunity to get some much needed rest. I guess this is why some people advise against looking for a half PB during a full training cycle…it takes a lot out of you.

Unfortunately, a number of other events have happened since my last post which has resulted in a real lack of training and my Forced Taper situation. Namely:

1. Minor car accident in London. Nothing serious, just a rear end shunt following a lovely afternoon trying the street food and looking round the markets in Camden. My neck was stiff for a few days afterwards and given my previous experience with car accidents ad running….I decided to lay low for a few days.

2. Snow. Snow snow and more snow. I know it’s terribly British for me to complain about the weather, but really, it’s April now! Move on and warm up!

3. Work. I LOVE my job, the people I work with and the company I work for so I am not complaining…it’s just been a busy few weeks and it’s sometimes hard to juggle work with having a life, being a wife and training for a marathon. Last week I was so desperate to get all my work done AND get a training session in AND not interfere in my husband’s evening plans that I got up at 4:45, got to the work gym at 5:45, logged onto the wifi so that I could review emails whilst on the treadmill and knocked out a 10k and a kettlebell strength workout before heading over to my desk where I stayed until 7pm. I then headed straight to a friends for dinner and champagne to celebrate some fantastic news before collapsing in a very tired heap on her sofa. It’s this kind of day that wears me out and leads to number 4 below…

4. Bronchitis I pushed myself last week in a desperate attempt to keep up the momentum before the big day, but my body decided it didn’t want to play. I woke up on Good Friday feeling a little worse for wear..not from the champagne! I headed to church to help serve the kids at the special Easter service. It was lots of fun but exhausting and I had a funny turn at the end. Dan took me home and we spent the afternoon with me in bed starting to feel very unwell. This quickly turned into a throat that felt like I had swallowed razor blades and an extremely painful cough. A fever followed and I struggled to breathe, eat or sleep. My Easter was a bit of a blur and I’m now stuck in bed away from work trying my best to get better.


Many marathon schedules suggest a three-week taper. The taper period allows the body to rest and recover, ensuring that it is ready to race when the big day arrives. When I first heard about it I thought it sounded a little crazy and would result in me losing fitness. However, you don’t stop running altogether; you just tone things down with lots of nice easy sessions and maybe the odd race pace session to remind you of your desired pace. Your long weekend runs should be much shorter. My schedule recommended long runs of 10-15 miles during taper-time. Personally, I think these are too long for me based on how rough I’m feeling now. As soon as I’m fit enough to run again I will just take it easy and run how I feel. I was meant to run 21 miles at Easter but missed the opportunity with being sick so I’m going into the race with my longest run at 19 miles. Scary and not recommended, but what can you do when your body says NO and forces an early taper / bed rest? Listen and rest.

Need to head off now..sorry for lack of pics…I’ll be better next time 😉



4 thoughts on “Forced to Taper

  1. it’s been a super long winter in so many places it seems!
    I hope you get back to full health soon!!
    I think it’s a good idea what you’re doing with your personal taper. You will be GREAT out there!!
    LAstly, thanks for your comment on my recent post. 🙂

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