I can’t believe we've reached 1000 subscribers and this is the 30th edition of the newsletter! I want to quickly talk about my motivation and purpose behind writing the newsletter. Because ultimately, it’s all about you.
Every 10 newsletters, I like to reintroduce the newsletter incase you have subscribed in between.
So Why a Newsletter? Don’t you Have Enough Social Media?
The newsletter is a different direction than blogging. My personal blog is my training, race recaps, shoes, and diners. The newsletter is running and running industry content that benefits the reader.
Over the last year, I’ve felt stale in the social media world. Maybe it’s because I’ve blogged for over eight years now, and sometimes it feels less interactive than I’d like it to be. I’ve blogged before dating my husband. I blogged when I entered the military world. And I’m still blogging in my current in run specialty (which I love!). Heck, I blogged before Instagram and Twitter were “cool.” To be honest, blogs probably hit its peak a few years ago.
I like the newsletter format because it’s delivered directly to your inbox. I can provide content I have come across in the running industry. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not giving up blogging and social media anytime soon! But I hope the newsletter has a more authentic tone that is easier to connect with than a lot of the other stuff you can find online.
How will the Newsletter Benefit Me (the subscriber)?
I enjoy writing about what I’m passionate about, and I enjoy writing about what you’re passionate about (spoiler alert: they’re often the same things!).
The goal of the newsletter is to share things I’m loving, offer tips to help you improve your performance or just have more fun, highlight exciting news in the running world, and touch upon whatever other miscellaneous items that will benefit you.
As someone who works in the running industry, I have a big knowledge base of current running shoe trends and just industry trends in general. I'm not trying to be an “influencer” by promoting products that I get for free. But will I tell you if I've fit dozens of runners in a particular shoe and seen successful outcomes time and time again? You bet!
While the goal is to find sponsors that share my values, I will always keep this newsletter free for my readers. One of the most significant ways to help keep the newsletter free is to share it. Sharing gets the word out to people that usually wouldn’t see the newsletter and helps it grow. I value and appreciate every single share, even if it’s to your parents.
Each week, I ask people what they would like to read about, and I've gotten a few requests to write a newsletter about “taper crazies” as well as “post-race blues.” It’s actually the perfect topic at the moment because this is exactly where I’m at with my training. I’m running the Big Cottonwood Marathon this week which means I’m tapering. I feel like my “big race” is before most people, so this information should be useful to you in the coming weeks.
What is Taper?
Taper is the period leading up to your race when you limit physical activity and allow your body to absorb the training you've done all season. Taper is the time when your body rests and gets ready for your race. Similar to rest, this period is one of the most critical components for training. If you don’t taper, you might find yourself stale, burned out, or even injured during your goal race. More is not better, and in fact, more can sabotage your race.
What to Expect During Taper
Week 1: Your body feels good. As Chris Chavez says: “legs feel good.”
Week 2: The body systems that are usually active during peak training begin to shut down. Why? You aren’t using them. This is the part of taper when you typically feel “slow.” You might feel tired more often, and it might seem like you’ve lost all of your hard-earned work (I promise you haven’t!). Week 2 is not the time to think about testing your fitness or running fast. You don’t gain fitness in a day, and you won’t lose it that quickly either.
Week 3: You begin to feel good again and well-rested, ready to take on the race. Some reach this point in the middle of week 2, and others get there sometime in week 3.
The Truth: Why Does Taper Usually Make You Feel Like Garbage?
When you begin to rest and recover during taper, the part of your body that deals with workout stress begins to shut down. It is the part of your body that helps you stay alert and active, and it’s suddenly put on the back burner. You don’t need it at the moment, so it shuts down. When that component of your body go into hibernation, most people feel like they are out of energy or sluggish. That’s normal during the taper (and that’s still where I’m at now!).
During taper, a lot of recovery will happen in the time you are usually working out. Instead of running high mileage, you are resting, and your body is recovering. Give yourself the luxury of allowing your body to take a breather!
There is no need to “test your legs” to see how they feel with hard effort. You are only sabotaging yourself.
So How Can I do a Perfect Taper “For Me”?
First, give yourself time. You want to give yourself about 2-3 weeks after your peak week to adjust. Schedule your training cycle so that your most intense training is approximately 2-3 weeks before your goal race.
If you are doing speed work, then you want to give yourself more rest between intervals. If you usually do 12X400s with 2 minutes of rest, give yourself 3 minutes of rest. You also want to decrease the total number of intervals. The extra rest will actually increase the intensity of your intervals (in theory, you should be able to run faster).
The More Rest, the Better!
I cannot stress the importance of rest. Avoid the temptation to move your body unnecessarily. While yes, it might be a good time to do a deep cleaning of your house, spend as little time on your feet as possible.
Allow yourself time to be lazy. Play with your cats. Write more newsletters and blogs! This downtime – this “lazy” time – is a critical time. People feel like they need to be accomplishing something every moment of the day, but you don’t have to be doing things all of the time. You can avoid fitness activities during your taper and still sabotage your race if you do too much.
Begin to reduce mileage 10-15%. Reducing mileage by 10-15% isn't too tricky. It's removing a short easy run or double or just adding an extra rest day.
Maintain intensity: A common question is “Should I run my easy runs, easier?” No. You should maintain the same intensity, but begin to lighten your mileage.
Cut out 10-15% of strength and cross-training as well. This can be more difficult, but if you are doing cardio, reduce the time. If you are doing strength, reduce the sessions.
Reduce mileage another 10-20%. What does this look like? You will be running between 65-75% of your peak mileage. Your long run should be roughly 50% of your previous peak long run. For instance, last week my long run was 10 miles.
Reduce strength training to 50%.
Week of the Race:
This is the period you see people go "taper crazy." OMG, have I lost all of my fitness!? No. Again, this isn't the time to test yourself. You must trust your training. You won't build fitness, but you can sabotage yourself by running too much.
Cut out strength training.
Like everything (and the common theme of the newsletter), every runner is different. What works for some, won’t work for all. It takes a while to adjust and figure out what is best for you.
What Is Keeping Me Entertained?
Military Giants Cats: While not running, giant cats photoshopped into military photos has kept me entertained all week.
Shoe Review of the Week: New Balance 880v9
Last week’s winner of the fuel variety pack is: Laura L who shared via instagram (just respond back here). Thank you to everyone who shared!
For reaching 1000 subscribers, I've partnered with HOKA ONE ONE. Yes, the shoe company Hoka One One. As you can see from my closet, I like Hokas.
You can win a pair of Hokas for yourself. All you have to do is share the newsletter, follow Hoka, and share what Hoka model you want to try.
You can share and follow Hoka on whatever platform you choose. If you choose to share by forwarding the email to someone, just CC me (just let me know you did!).You can enter as many times as you want.
This is my most exciting giveaway yet because yay shoes and we did it: 1000 subscribers!
Finally, any feedback, good or bad, is always helpful. Is there a specific topic you want to see more about? Don’t be a stranger, and let me know! This newsletter came about because people wanted to know more about tapering.
You can email me at FueledbyLOLZ@gmail.com. All feedback is helpful, good or bad.
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