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Rhetorical question of the week: Is it possible to taper for a race when you technically didn’t put in a full training schedule to begin with?
No, the answer is no. Regardless, this “not technically a taper” week has gotten under my skin none the less. Despite the length of time or specific training cycle, when you go from crushing your workouts hard for a few weeks to doing very little, the lack of endorphins can mess with your brain…and your temperament. Countless studies show that running and exercise is associated with endorphins and cannabinoids thus explaining the “runners high” or euphoric feelings that may lead to exercise addiction. I’ll be the first to admit that I have an addictive personality (which would explain why I spent about 4 year of this blog writing about trying to break the Mtn. Dew habit. Gross, I know), and when I’m on a steady roll with my workouts, purposefully slowing down hurts.
But I’m really, really geeked for the Arena Attack indoor marathon this weekend.
Thus I made the decision to back off on workouts this week, and instead focus on hydrating, and steadily increasing muscle glycogen stores. There is countless research showing the proper way to carbohydrate load, but instead of sharing more peer reviewed research I’ll just tell you from personal experience that gorging yourself on pasta doused in alfredo at the Olive Garden the night before a marathon is NOT the way to go.
On an interesting related note, last week I tracked my food for 5 days for a friend who is writing a piece for a magazine on fitness bloggers and what they really eat. I wrote down everything, and at the end of the 5 days entered it into myfitnesspal.com. I was SHOCKED to see how few calories I was eating. You may remember this post where I got a shocking wake up call to get my act together as far as diet is concerned. Well I’ve done, in my opinion, a fantastic job. Not only has my diet come from fresh, whole foods (and no junk!) but I’ve been cooking. COOKING! The problem is, when you are eating whole, fresh foods, much of them being vegetables (you know, the whole vegetarian thing), turn out you don’t consume NEARLY as many calories as you should.
So to bring this rambling full circle, I spent this week stuffing my face. Good, clean, healthy food, but tons of it none the less. I feel as prepared as one can feel…with 7 days notice that they are going to run a marathon. Heh. This should be fun.
SPEAKING OF planning for future races, after a doctors consultation yesterday regarding the hernia, I’ve got a surgery consultation slated for next week. I stressed to the doctor that I’d rather have it fixed NOW rather than possibly hurt it more later, and besides, obstacle race season is coming up. I’m highly enjoying “just” running right now, but I know there will come a point when the weather is warm and seeing pictures of my friends tackling barbed wire crawls in the mud will give me serious case of FOMO. So I’m very fortunate to be able to get the issue fixed now, before having to hold a 60+ pound Atlas stone ON my intestines.
Looking forward to obstacle racing in 2015? Or just enjoy a good tale of adventure and success? Need some motivation to get you through these cold, icy, winter months? My friends over at Spartan race asked me to share the news about their new weekly podcast. Check out what they have to say:
The epitome of grit, Joe Desena, founder & CEO of Spartan Race and NY Times best-selling author, travels the globe seeking answers from experts like Sir Richard Branson, Steve Pressfield, Barbell Shrugged, and many more. Joe’s interviews with authors, academics, athletes, adventurers, CEOs and thought leaders will shift your thinking, make you laugh and and give you the tools you need. He’s on a mission to find the secrets to success in all aspects of life. Not only does Joe interview epic people, he has brought together an amazing panel to break down and analyze every aspect of these interviews. We give you the ultimate blueprint and action steps to assimilating these powerful conversations into your own life.
You can find more info, and subscribe to the podcast, at www.spartanuppodcast.com
And because my friends at Spartan Race LOVE our blog community, they’ve offered up another Spartan Race entry for one of my readers. All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below. One entry, all of them, whatever you feel like doing. Winner will be picked and announced Jan 31st, and I’ll email you the code (so be sure to use a valid email address!) GOOD LUCK!