keeping it short

Although I began drafting this post at 5:30 a.m., it’s still going to be quite short because I have been following the news pretty much all morning. Hopefully by the time you read this, Boston will be safe again.

So. A run!IMG_0446I intended to do six miles but decided to keep it short at four because a) I watched too much news to get out the door on time b) it’s Friday and c) my hip is still hurting. Bleh.

Apologies to whoever lives on 13th and Columbia. I had to steal your newspaper sleeve to protect my iPhone from the rain.IMG_0445And thank you to the person who lives on 13th and Florida for donating some sweet lawn furniture and a wooden plank.IMG_0442I love/run this town.

You guys, it’s getting close to race day. My training plan for next week includes lots of sleep, water, and sitting around. It’s not easy, you know! I’ve already written about tapering, but I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on it next week when the non-running really sets in. One thing I plan to do is spend my newfound free time doing other things I love but have neglected of late. Like painting.

P1010144Daniela joined me for LivingSocial’s Paint and Sip event last night. I had such a fun experience last time I went that I was pretty pumped to go again!P1010142Good times.

  • What interests/hobbies do you have other than running?
  • Do you enjoy tapering?
  • What’s the highlight of your day so far?!

Of interest:



  1. I have been wanting to try one of those painting classes! I have never really tapered because I have never marathon trained. When its the week before a race for me I typically just take a few days off.

  2. Andy Van Grinsven

    Tapering is an interesting thing. There’s actually a sort of “overshoot” effect from a taper close to your event, where your performance actually increases greater than where you were before the taper. While I’m not a runner, I use a week-long taper in my lifting, where I decrease the volume (fewer sets) but not the intensity, and after the taper I change up everything. Like you said, glycogen stores have a chance to replenish, allowing for better performance. With weight lifting, hormonal changes take place during the taper, allowing for increased performance afterwards.

    I’m at work so I can’t do the research about the “overshoot” right now, but I’ll try and add some stuff later today about it.

    • wow, thanks for chiming in. i’ve read so so many times how crucial the taper is, but always have a hard time really believing it. i didn’t know that you’re supposed to come out of it even stronger/faster than before your peak week, though… that’s encouraging. i struggle every training period to just sit around and wait for the race! taking about 4 days off of running next week and not doing anything over 6 miles starting on sunday. crazy.

  3. Andy Van Grinsven

    Ok so I pulled some texts to find out more about the taper and overshoot effect. Since I’ll always consider myself a “student,” I appreciate the opportunity to open the old texts and brush up on stuff.

    This is from “Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance” 7th Ed. by McArdle, Katch, and Katch

    “Before major competitions, athletes often taper training intensity and/or volume, believing such adjustments reduce physiologic and psychologic stress of daily training and optimize exercise performance. The taper period and exact alterations vary by sport. A 1- to 3-week taper exponentially reduces training volume by 40-60%, while maintaining training intensity provides the most efficient strategy to maximize performance gains.”

    “From a physiologic perspective, a 4-7 day taper should provide sufficient time for maximum muscle and liver glycogen replenishment, optimal nutritional support and restoration, alleviation of residual muscle soreness, and healing of minor injuries.”

    “Compared with rest and low-intensity exercise taper conditions, high-intensity exercise taper produced the most benefit. An optimal taper therefore should include progressive reductions in training volume while maintaining training intensity at a moderate-to-high level. With proper tapering, expected performance improvement usually ranges between 0.5 and 6.0%.”

    This next one comes from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) “Foundations of Strength and Conditioning” by N. Ratamess

    It says a lot of the same stuff about decreasing volume but maintaining intensity, then goes on to say:

    “Most studies have shown tapering can augment performance. For example, VO2max and endurance performance improvements of 1.2-22% in runners, swimmers, triathletes, and cyclists have been shown during short-term taper periods, e.g., 1-3 weeks. Bosque et al. performed a meta-analysis primarily focused on running, swimming, and cylcing endurance performance and showed that optimal tapering involved a 2-week duration where volume was exponentially reduced by 41-60% without modification of intensity or frequency. Studies failing to show improvements mostly used longer tapering periods of 3-4 weeks…thus aerobic…performance improvements of 0.5-6% can be expected from a proper taper.”

    It goes on to say more about ways to taper and length of time, but you get the idea here. I’m sorry for the long post, but I figured these sources had more authority than me just bumbling through stuff I had a hard time remembering. Hope it helps.

    • what a goldmine of info. thanks for sharing. i didn’t know that HIIT was encouraged during the taper period as well… good to know. i guess i’ll throw in a crossfit workout thursday or something (race is sunday) to get an intense sweat! thanks again for sharing, i (and any other nerds who are reading this really long comment chain) appreciate it

      • Andy Van Grinsven

        The only thing I would suggest is that if you decide to do your Crossfit workout, you still keep the volume low (which is typically not the case with Crossfit). In other words, depending on the workout, maintain intensity, but decrease volume (5-10 box jumps as opposed to 50; 5-10 hang cleans, as opposed to 50, or whatever it may be). Personally I would do around 20-30% of the total volume; at any rate, and as is the case with any training program, every individual responds differently, so only you know what’s going to be too little, just right, or too much 🙂

  4. One of my non-running-cycling hobbies is Scouts. I was invested yesterday as a Scout leader and it’s really great fun.

    I love tapering. I am currently tapering for a 24 hour adventure race next weekend. I find it difficult to take it easy but I also like knowing that I’ll be ready to spring out of the blocks on race day.

    Best thing I’ve done today is check out some cool blogs online (it’s 7am and I only just woke up half an hour ago )

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