Embracing the taper magic

The other day I posted about my feelings about the taper blues during this marathon training cycle. How I'm feeling a little bit of anxiety and just extra energy. So today I want to talk about something else that's happening during this taper. Something  that I really haven't experienced before.

I've heard about other people going through what is called  taper magic, when your runs just feel awesome during tapering. This hasn’t ever happened to me. Until this taper.

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If you've been following me on Instagram or Twitter that I am running fast, right around race pace for most of my runs. And it’s feeling great running at that pace.

I don’t feel like I'm pushing myself on these run and I don’t feel like I'm going that fast until I looked down at my watch. For example, on my hill repeat run on Tuesday, I looked at  my watch towards the end and it was giving me a 10:09 pace for that mile. I almost didn’t believe it just because I didn't feel like I was pushing myself that hard.

So I'm not sure what quite to do during my taper right now. If I go off using my race pace to set my easy pace, I should be trying to slow it way down and not run as hard. But going off of effort running at a 10:30 pace is feeling really nice and easy right now.

What I'm going to do is just keep on running according to effort versus trying to slow down my pace,  especially as I'm getting down into these final runs before the marathon. So it will just be day-to-day on how I feel during a run. If running at around 10:30 feels easy one day great. If reading closer to 11 minute mile feels great, I'll go with that.

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One other thing I've been finding going on with this taper magic is I'm not feeling the calf tightness and soreness I have been feeling for much of this training cycle. I have been focusing a lot more on mobility which helps a ton. But I thought for sure running 20 miles on the treadmill would mean I’d be feeling some soreness the next day. But I really haven't felt any of my usual tight or sore spots after that last high mileage week.

Of course this doesn't mean that I'm going to start backing off on my foam rolling and stretching. If I do that I know for sure it's going to come back. But it's nice to kind of feel like doing the foam rolling and taking time to stretch is actually doing something. Instead of doing all this work and still feeling tightness, soreness and sometimes even cramping.

So I guess you could almost say this has been my best feeling taper so far. Of course I don't want to jinx that because I still have a week of taper left with very low mileage. I have two rest days in a row that I'm going to still try and keep my activity level up since I'll be off of work with doing some yoga and walking but that could be the week where my body decides to rebel against me and the taper.

But I'm just going to trust that's going to continue feeling great in this last week. I’m not going to stress out about anything. I have enough stress about traveling for a race and running a marathon that I don't need to add on anymore stress.

Let me know in the comments if you've experienced deeper magic before and how is that race turned out for you.