Taper Time

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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I’ve been such a space cadet in the kitchen lately. The other day, I confused baking soda with baking powder, and, this morning, I added cumin to my oatmeal instead of cinnamon. Where is my brain!?!

If you’re curious, there’s absolutely no way to cover-up the taste of cumin. I tried to add nutmeg, ginger, and more cinnamon to my oatmeal, but it was useless. Cumin is a STRONG flavor!! I hate to waste food, but this batch of oatmeal was inedible. It went right into the garbage. 😕

The second breakfast that I made myself was a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, raisins, and chia seeds on top.

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On the side, I had a juicy tangerine.

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And iced coffee with eggnog.

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Taper Time

Not only did I complete my longest run ever over the weekend, but I have officially entered my taper! I’ve been training hard for 4 months, so now I will take the next few weeks getting my body ready for the marathon.

According to my TNT coach, the taper is not a time to try to “add” in extra miles. Basically, what is done is done and the majority of my training is behind me. Now, it’s time for some nice easy runs, a few longer runs, and lots of stretching and icing. The end goal is a rested body before the race. Our coach shared this article from Runner’s World that has some good taper tips.

Our next long run is a 15-miler, which Mal and I plan to do on Christmas Eve day in our hometown. We’ve never done a long run there, so it’ll be a nice change of scenery.

Feel Great Weight

With Christmas and the New Year right around the corner, I thought this post would be helpful: 5 Tricks to Silence the Holiday Food Pushers.

Question of the Day

This one is for the runners:

What are your taper tips?

Any advice, insights, words of wisdom are greatly appreciated. I need all of the help I can get!

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65 Comments

  1. I had a similar problem with my oatmeal this morning! However I added too much cinnamon. You’d think it would not be that bad, and I hate to waste food also, so I’m trying to get over the cinnamon overload as I sit here and eat it!

    My taper advice is to definitely take the rest. It’s amazing how much faster you will run and feel on the day of the run if you follow the taper plan. Who would have thought that running less would make you run faster? Love it!

  2. oh my gosh, I accidentally added cumin to my oatmeal two weeks ago too! Brutal. There definitely is no way to cover up the taste of cumin and it does not go well with oatmeal!

  3. oh my, cumin on toast doesn’t sound good at all!! i’m not the best at tapering, but i think the main thing i tried to focus on was keeping any pressure off my hip, which had been hurting in some of my marathon training. i sort of had to forget i was about to run a marathon, and cross train while decreasing mileage. i stuck to the elliptical, and kept the workouts fairly easy – enough to sweat and feel like i wasn’t losing fitness, but enough not to stress the hip out. the result was a pain-free race, so i guess it worked!

  4. omg I JUST posted about wasting food…and that I HATE IT and will stop at nothing in order to not waste it. What can I say, I grew up with the mentality we don’t waste.

    Taper tips? Yes just enjoy this time, you’ve worked hard to put it in 4th gear for awhile, as opposed to 5th+ gear 🙂

  5. Hey bud, have you incorporated ice baths after your long runs? I have found that after long runs and long bike rides, an 10-15 minutes in a bathtub full of ice water does amazing things for my sore muscles.

    After riding 200 miles in the Pan Mass Challenge this year, I took an ice bath and my legs felt incredible the next day. Amazing!

  6. Exciting that the marathon is getting so close!! My only advice to you would be to relax, do lots of foam rolling, and look back on your training to remind yourself how hard you’ve worked and therefore how prepared you are to run this thing!
    I think it’s important to mentally feel confident while you’re allowing your body to rest. Good luck!! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  7. do other cardio besides running to burn off a little energy and make yourself feel good. and try not to eat like you’re running 20 milers… thats how people gain weight on taper. but hey, its a lot easier said than done!

    mostly just rest up to physically and mentally prepare yourself for the race.

  8. Congrads on making it so far in your training! I’m currently training for my first marathon and can’t believe how fast it’s going. This week is a step back week in between a 16 and 18 miler and I’m already fighting the urge to add speed and miles this week. I’m gonna be a mess when it’s time to taper! Good luck, I’ve loved following your marathon training and I’ll be looking forwards to tips about how to taper 🙂

  9. I’ve been following your blog since last Spring, but this is my first time commenting! I’m planning on entering my first half marathon in June. Thanks for being such an inspiration, and for sharing your running tips and challenges!

    One question — how are your new shoes working out? I’ve had some shoe issues too, but I love my pair of Brooks Trance 9 running shoes now. No more cramping, no more shin splints! It’s a great feeling when you find the right shoe.

  10. Enjoy it! Everyone complains about tapering, but I absolutely love it. You get a little of your life back from running and get to focus on things like stretching and sleeping a little more to build yourself up for the big day.

  11. My advice about tapering would be to embrace it. Like you said, what’s done is done. You’ve worked hard… just let your body rest! Congrats.

  12. Hi Tina – i ran Nike in October & here’s my two (three) cents:
    – Echoing Krista “if you can sign up for a 5 or 10k between now and your marathon, it will help get you pumped up!”
    – Taper level “short easy runs” don’t always feel easy. There were a few 3-6 miles that were almost as hard as the 15 milers.
    – I personally did not love the tapering period as many of my runs felt terrible – and relied on lots of pilates and “talking about running” which is almost as fun as running 🙂
    Good luck!

  13. I once added a few strong shakes of chili powder to my oatmeal. Once I re-doctored it with cinnamon, It was still edible, but it was tough to get it down. What a silly thing for me to do! 🙂

  14. Hi Tina – i ran Nike in October & here’s my two (three) cents:
    – Echoing Krista that if you can sign up for a mini race before, it will help you get in the race spirit
    – Taper level “short easy runs” don’t always feel easy. There were a few 3-6 miles that were almost as hard as the 15 milers.
    – I personally did not love the tapering period as many of my runs felt terrible – and relied on lots of pilates and “talking about running” which is almost as fun as running 🙂
    Good luck!

  15. omg! i almost put chilli powder instead of cinnamon in my oatmeal this morning!! stop and shop brand seasonings all have the same look to them! THAT would have been gross!!

  16. I’m curious to learn more about tapering, since I am up to running 5ks but want to work to longer distances.

    I hate having days and weeks like that, when you mix things up.

  17. Yeah I once made breakfast and was moving the lighting lamp I have to get a good photo of it and dropped the light. The light bulb shattered all over the omelet. I was so disappointed, I was late for work because I had to clean up the glass and make a new breakfast. I know the frustration!

  18. Haha I’ve done the Same EXACT thing! The cumin was right next to the cinnamon, same type of jar…gross!! Yeah there’s no saving the oatmeal after that!

  19. I wish I had taper tips for you, but I don’t sorry! I can tell you that one time when I was making pumpkin pancakes I put CAYENNE instead of cinnamon in them! Just not paying attention. Now I usually try to keep my “sweet” spices (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon) on one side of the cabinet and my “savory/spicy” (garlic, cumin, cayenne chili powder) on the other, so I know where to reach 🙂

  20. The toughest part at the end is feeling like you’re not doing enough. But you are– you completed 20 miles, and you WILL complete the marathon. You’ve worked hard for a long time. You should think of this as the best part, you are just weeks away from reaching your actual goal.

  21. My #1 tip: tone down your mileage, not your intensity. You don’t want your legs to feel stale come race day and some faster, tempo-ish miles can help.

  22. If I spend too much time in the kitchen in one day (or if I cook without having had some coffee!) I definitely have silly mishaps like yours too! I left the baking powder out of some biscuits a couple weeks ago and they came out like bricks! 🙂

  23. Rest rest rest! Get enough sleep. Get a sports massage. Stretch lots. Use the time to mentally gear up! You’ve done so much hard work on your body! Let the tapering be your mental training.

  24. I just ran my first marathon two Saturdays ago & tapered for three weeks. I made a list of small projects to complete during the taper, so I could keep my mind occupied.

    You WILL feel like you are not running enough, but you are! Enjoy this time, bank your sleep, and hydrate properly.

    Good luck!

  25. I’m with Zoe–the runs during taper actually seem harder than some of the really long runs. I think it’s in part because you’re expecting them to be so easy and part because your body is repairing itself.

    Definitely stretch, get a massage if you can (I found that really helped me) and try not to worry too much–even though that’s way easier said than done. Trust in your training. You’ve worked so hard–you’ve got this! There’s nothing else you can do except follow your training plan to the end.

  26. When I tapered for my marathon I just did my own thing, meaning, if I felt like running a few miles I would run it, even if on that day I technically was not supposed to run. I look at it as a time to realx and do whatever feels right. It is definitely not a time to follow a rigid schedule.

    People are always afraid they will lose their fitness or forget how to run, but that is of course silly. You put the training in, you know you can do it. Don’t let anxiety take hold of you!

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