Monday, April 13, 2009

Seven Days of Taper Trauma: Weight Gain

Golden Rule of Taper: Thou shalt not weigh thyself.

I'm running a marathon in seven days (ahhh, it's scary even typing that!) and like everyone else getting ready to toe the line, I'm dealing with some serious taper demons. I Googled around for some advice, and stumbled upon this RW article on the most common Taper Traps.

I quickly found myself in the "Weight Gain" freakout category. Despite a winter of treadmill runs, I never managed to shake off those five pounds that crept on since running NYC back in November. And I'd pretty much made peace with that until I made the mistake of stepping on the scale this morning. I'm a few pounds up...up from my already up weight. Ugh! I sorta freaked out. It's going to be hard enough running 26.2 miles and up a half dozen hills, without carrying extra pounds around. But I'm trying to be Zen about this.

According to RW, tapering athletes pseudo "gain" a few pounds during taper because their muscles are soaking up glycogen and water--and running/sweating less. And supposedly we'll use this energy and super hydration to power us through the race, dropping it over the course of the marathon. (Unfortunately, the scale isn't supposed to creep up until the final three days before the I'm early with this "totally normal" phenomenon!)

I'm hoping that's true. I mean, I'm not going to mess with my eating habits at this point. And I'm not going to lose any weight in seven days. I'm just going to focus on eating healthy and drinking plenty of water, and upping my salt and carbs this weekend. And from here on out, I'm sticking to RW's advice and steering clear of the scale. What's it going to do except freak me out!?

Good, I'm glad that's settled because I have other things to worry how I didn't do enough tempo running! Check back tomorrow to see what craziness I'm succumbing to then. Posted by Liz


  1. Found this article a wee bit late, but how did the marathon go for you in the end?

    I'm in the exact same position as you were. Totally freaking out about the weight. Need to hide these scales before I totally lose it.

  2. Hi Matt!

    Thanks for the comment and that's OK that you're just finding this now. I can't speak for Liz except that she PR'd this race, but I know exactly what you mean about the weight. What usually happens for me is that I feel like a puffer fish most of the week before but then it starts to subside Saturday before the race and then I'm good to go Sunday morning. Last thing you want is to be underfueled in food and fluid race morning (I've done that too and totally paid the price with dead legs). And hide the scale--that always freaks me out even when I'm not tapering for a race ;)

    What marathon are you running? Good luck!


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