As much as I complain about tapering, I wholeheartedly believe in its benefits. I wasn't always this way. I was wary of the taper before my first marathon. I didn't quite trust it and it didn't make a ton of sense to me. Luckily, I was a good rule follower back then and I obeyed my training plan. Sure enough, it all came together on race day. It seemed miraculous at the time but now I realized, it's science! I ran way faster than I anticipated and felt (mostly) fantastic. When I crossed the finish line, I realized that all of my training and the dreaded taper were to thank. Science is a crazy, awesome thing.
"In those last few weeks it's the rest more than the work that makes you strong. And you don't lose fitness in 3 weeks of tapering. In fact, studies show that your aerobic capacity, the best gauge of fitness, doesn't change at all."
-Patti Finke, Co-Director of the Portland (Oregon) Marathon ClinicHere is my dilemma. I am running the RNR LA Half Marathon this weekend. I was planning on running at half marathon pace (obvi) but after reading a RW article on 'How to Taper', I learned that you aren't supposed to run a long run at or faster than your marathon goal pace. Whoops. Should I take it easy and finish way slower than I know I am capable of? That would mean putting my ego aside. Or do I just race it anyway?
I think I spend more time on this blog seeking advice than actually giving it. So help me out, fellow marathoners! What would you do?
To race or not to race? That is the question!