THE MADNESS! It’s here!!!

My taper for Boston started the moment I finished the Indian Trails 15k last Sunday. Indian Trails elevation gain is madness, but TAPER MADNESS is a whole other ball game.

Taper Madness occurs in the weeks leading up to a big race. A taper is a period of time that allows you to recover from rigorous months of training, letting your body absorb all that work. A taper can last a day or two for shorter races, but it’s typically two to three weeks for a full marathon.

Tapering sounds nice, right? Like some reward you’ve earned for working your butt off for all those weeks? WRONG! Tapering causes MADNESS.

Symptoms of TAPER MADNESS include, but are not limited to:

  • Heightened awareness of coughing and sneezing in your general vicinity
  • Clothes fitting tighter
  • The inability to speak of or think about anything but the race
  • The frequent, sudden urge to wash or disinfect your hands
  • Restless feelings of boundless energy, accompanied by the inability to fall or stay asleep
  • A sudden obsession with meteorology
  • Extreme feelings of self-doubt in your ability to run the entire distance and/or run it at goal pace
  • Random aches, pains, and swelling of any and all muscles and joints, which convince you that your marathon career is over

Mere moments before TAPER MADNESS crept in.

Taper Madness subsides at the race expo, but you only fully recover when you cross the start line. Symptoms can be alleviated by hanging out with other runners and, if possible, others running the same race.

My first case of Taper Madness was the the most extreme, but the Madness from a spring marathon taper is proving to be awfully cruel. (dare I say ‘wicked,’ since it’s Boston?) Adding to the torturous symptoms described above, Mother Nature mocks me as daily temperatures reach 65, sun shining brightly. Fair-weather runners take to the streets in droves, and trees develop new leaves and bright flowers, making trail runs ridiculously appealing. Beers taunt me as spring ales arrive to local taps, and outdoor beer gardens open.


Involved in a fantastic running club, I have it pretty lucky, but my only real consolation is that one week from today TAPER MADNESS will be over. Then I’ll just be really freaking tired.


10 thoughts on “TAPER MADNESS!

  1. Best post title ever. And so true! My symptoms include self-doubt and the constant fear of getting a cold, food poisoning, or a broken leg.

    • Oh, or (since we’re flying to the race) 1. forgetting my shoes! 2. forgetting my passport. I forgot about the fear of forgetting my shoes. For some reason, I had that one bad before Philly, too!

  2. Pingback: Running in Places | Unquiet Time

  3. Yep, left knee has a dull ache, I’m worried about the lack of 20-milers in my build-up, my co-workers are coughing WAY too close to my vicinity… hmm, what else. Oh, and you keep baking awesome cookies that I end up eating WAY too much of. Gotta love the taper 😉 Great post!

  4. Pingback: Why my most awful marathon experience is also my proudest « Run like a girl

  5. Pingback: Taper madness en 5 points | La vie selon Gigi Taper madness en 5 points |

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