Mistake #3: Expecting To Feel Good
Many runners feel that the taper is going to be some magical process that will make them feel unstoppable on race day. The misleading notion is that the legs will feel so rested and the body so prepared that something special and unbelievable is going to happen on the race course. Sorry folks, not going to happen. Running a PR hurts! No matter how well rested or prepared the body is, racing hurts. If a runner toes the starting line thinking that somehow they’re going to feel anything different, they’re in for a rude awakening half way through the race. Consequently, when the race gets tough, the athlete questions their ability and their training as opposed to accepting the challenge and realizing pushing through the pain is a part of racing.
What You Can Do
Prepare yourself mentally. Don’t head into the race telling yourself that somehow this race is going to be different. Be prepared for it to hurt, but remember that you’ve trained yourself to push through this exact situation. Visualize the race during your training runs or while meditating and picture yourself hitting that point in the race when your body starts to hurt. Recall those feelings from your last race or hard workout and then visualize yourself pushing through that moment. By preparing yourself mentally, you’ll be ready to face the realities of the race.
Implement these three tips and avoid the most common mistakes when tapering for your next race and you’ll be more consistent with your results. If you have any questions on how to better taper or you want to share some of the mistakes you’ve made in the past, please let us know in the comments section below.