2 Weeks to Go...

And I'm going crazy. My knees hurt, my ankle feels like I've rolled it, I'm really tired all the time, my diet is tragic, and every run for the last three weeks has felt horrendous. It has become warm in Glasgow, and I'm freaking out that it'll be warm in Liverpool too. I can't believe that I have gone from 19 weeks out to two weeks out. 

I'm officially deep in taper madness.

I have to strenuously remind myself that taper is good for endurance race performance. Taper allows your system to rebuild itself after the stress of high mileage training- glycogen increases in the muscles and muscle strength goes back up; antioxidants, your immune system, and hormones all return to their optimal settings after depletion during training. Theoretically this is setting myself up to be the best I can be. 

I'm suddenly really tempted to diet- imagine having 5lbs less to lug about on the day! But no lady, breathe. Dietary fats, proteins, and carbs are all very important at this point. Or maybe tempted to drop out... I could just go support in Liverpool, that would be safer? No, breathe, breathe, breathe. At the route of this all is of course the fear that it just won't be enough. The training hasn't been good enough, I'm not strong enough, my knee will give out, or my motivation will give in.  

So to distract myself from internal drama I'm trying to prepare my mental game for Liverpool: what if it's hot? Answer: I slow down and reassess my goals. What if I slip off pace? Answer: I try to pull the pace back up, but not 'catch up' by sprinting off. I am trying keep stress low over the last 2 weeks before the race (although life admin this week is not helping). I also want to decide my A, B and C goals- A being 'I will cry tears of sheer golden happiness; B being 'Yeah, good'; and C being 'I finished!'. Normally for my races C is 'I will cry tears of sheer salty sadness' but this is marathon #1. Finishing is good enough. I don't want to walk, I want to enjoy myself- very basic goals.

I've done what I can now. No, training hasn't been perfect, but it's been pretty good. I've raised some funding for a charity I care about (to donate, here, to read about why, here). All that's left to do is to try and get some good sleep, eat healthily, stay hydrated, and stretch it out. Then run for a while.

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 16/05/2016


  1. Everything you're feeling is totally normal - those taper demons are terrible!
    My best advice is to trust your training, try to relax and remember to enjoy the race - it is supposed to be fun after all :-0
    Good luck!

  2. Ahhh how exciting!!! This time last year I was in your exact position. It will be absolutely FINE. You have got this. Don't stress and panic. Taper madness happens to everyone and everyone feels pants beforehand (if they don't they're not normal).

  3. Taper madness is so real! It's awful, trust in the process though and you will be ready to go on race day- good luck!

  4. It's all in your head! Good luck, I'm sure you'll do great. Just be prepared for anything and if it is hot outside - hat, sunglasses, sun screen - learned this the hard way.

  5. ^ All of the above. (Don't panic!)It'll probably be fine. And if not then you'll easily do better next time. Make sure you go into it refreshed and well rested. (Lots of sleep for the 4 days before.) No running or dieting from now will make much difference to the result. But don't pig out either. Try and play it cool like it's just for fun and doesn't really matter (in the bigger picture it doesn't really.) I always do better when I go into an event not being rigid with apprehension. But how do you get to that point? Not always easy for sure! Best wishes and looking forwards to hearing all about it! Have fun. x