As of this week, I've been training my body to be able to run faster. Little by little, I've been able to put in faster miles times, and bit by bit, my time is getting faster. Back when I was in high school, running 3 miles would seem like a long race, but now with the experience I have, 3 miles is a sprint, and I have a harder time getting into running that short of a distance. Because of that, I am able to use my 3 mile running as a speed workout. Since my speed workout involves me running fast on concrete (asphalt... whatever you call it), it means that my bones and joints are getting banged up pretty badly. I had planned earlier to go cycling in the gym, but due to my responsibilities, I chose to not do that and just stick with not doing anything and working out extra tomorrow, and run long and easy on Friday.
I have 24 days until the race, and it's really important to train for the race properly because I'm going to have to start to time my tapering in order to maximize my training as well as rest. As resting is just as important as training, I need to balance that, and before the race, slow down my training so that I would be able to race in the best shape I could possibly be. In a training, there ought to be some sort of peak week that would require me to run/exercise a lot and before the race... between 2-3 weeks, I would slow down my training in order to recover from my harsh training. Knowing that my body has been going through a lot of training, I believe that the best time to taper would be more on the 2 weeks before the race, because I do a lot of long distance training. In the next week and a half, I'm going to work hard to maximize not only my mileage but also my speed, training so that I would be so tired that I would like to take a break. When it comes to tapering, timing is very important, and should I mess up the timing, I would either be tired when I race or I wouldn't have trained enough for the race.
As timing is important, you need to know yourself in order to make the right decisions regarding your training and tapering. The more you run, the more you know your body in regards to running. The more you work, the more you know your body in regards to working. The value of knowing your body is really high, and as you know your body, you realize what you need and what you don't need... including the tapering.
Ideally, tapering would give me the rest that I would need to fully recover, to have all my damaged muscles fixed, while training a little bit to insure that my body would still be conditioned enough to run the race. It would be the right balance that by the time I would race, my body would be well rested, and in shape to run the best I could possibly run. To be honest, at this point, I'm a little scared as to where I stand in that, and how fast I could run. I guess I'll find out the day of the race, but until then, I want to do my best to race a good race, and take that next step towards training for the 50 miler that I would have in October.
It's important to do your best when it's a step you're taking. Should you not do your best with every step you take, it won't get you as close to the goal as it possibly could have. Take each step as best as you can, and that way you can reach your goals as fast as you can. In tapering, I am able to take my next step as best as I can, allowing my body that little break to perform as best as I can. When I race in 24 days, I know where exactly I stand, and also where I need to be. Tapering is a really important part of training, and using that, I'm able to make the best next step I can possibly take, and with that, I can eventually reach my goal.