Taper Anxiety

As you start tapering for your race, you might start to feel anxious, crazy, and a little irritable. According to Runner’s World there are 2 groups of “taperers”.

1) “Positive Taperers” – They feel energized, rejuvenated, and confident, and they are able to interpret pre-race jitters as a sign that they are eager to race. When I start to feel anxious before a race I remind myself that I need to change this emotion to being excited rather than nervous. Nervousness sucks your energy dry and excitement feeds it more and more. I’ve been amazed at what that little shift in thinking has done.

2) “Negative Taperers”—They feel wracked with anxiety and uncertainty and begin doubting the value of the taper. I’m guessing we’ve all been here before and can relate. When we are in this mode we start giving a training program way too much credit and our heart not enough. As runners, we get stuck in traps when we think that we can only do as good as our training program, or last workout. True, you can’t repeatedly cheat distance races, but at the same time we need to give ourselves permission to over perform. It’s ok, seriously, you have permission to perform better than your training or last workout.

DSC_0010“How you feel during your taper matters on race day.” Confidence—or lack of it—is a key factor. “If you spend days on end feeling negative about your training and doubtful about your abilities, those attitudes can persist on race day.”

Don’t: Spend your downtime fixating on one ambitious, stress-inducing goal.

Do: Set multiple goals, including one that has nothing to do with the clock. Wanting to PR is fine, but it puts you under a heap of pressure to perform your very best. Set a “good,” “great,” and “awesome” goal. “The good goal is something that, no matter what happens, you can achieve.” This could include not going out too fast, or maintaining good form on hills. “The great goal may be a finish time that is achievable, and an awesome goal is something that if all the stars, the sun, and the moon align, you can accomplish.” That way you’re going into the race knowing that even if it turns out to not be an awesome day, it can still be a great or good day.

If you want to read the entire article, you can find it here:

“How to deal with taper anxiety”