And let the Taper Begin… - Chi Running

And let the Taper Begin…

Posted by Elizabeth Frost on Mon Sep 6th, 2010, 6 comments

Well, the race is officially two weeks away. This past weekend was my 11 miler long run, the beginning of the taper before the race.

I ran with Shelly and her friend Eric on Saturday morning. We started running early again, when it was still dark, and thankfully, chilly! Autumn is definitely in the air here, and you can feel it in the early mornings. It was a very nice way to start running.

We ran a fairly flat course, with a few hills at the end. We finished in just about 110 minutes, which, of course, is my classic 10 min/mile pace. We all stretched together and I did a quick leg drain for a few minutes. (I was on my way to teach a running technique lesson and knew that I need to take care of the insides of my legs before standing on my feet for another 2 hours…)

These long training runs are really turning out to be an incredible experience. I love the freedom of getting up early and going running before most of the city is awake… knowing that I will be back home and ready for the day, with running “out of the way”, my body taken care of and my spirit at ease.

This 1/2 Marathon Training has taken on a slightly deeper meaning for me than I expected… Without really intending for that mental/spiritual deepening, by focusing more and more on my form and technique, I have found a quietness and peace in my body when I run that I know is helping my in my non-running endeavors too.

We get stories from some of our customers explaining how “Chi Running changed my life!” For some people, they have had more remarkable stories than I have, so I can understand why the technique and the ability to run are truly life changing. Until recently, I didn’t fully appreciate the nuances of how things really can change your life. Running itself has changed my life because it’s changed and morphed my priorities, my physical body, my approach to things and my appreciation for following the process.

Here’s to all of us who are in the process of a process… having a good skill set certainly makes the journey enjoyable, doesn’t it?



  • race-specific training,
  • half marathon training,
  • leg drains

6 CommentsLeave a comment below

Leg drain?  Can you please explain?

Cheryl Lloyd Sep 8th, 2010 12:38pm

I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and thought I would comment on your thoughts about process.  I have just discovered ChiRunning (read the book in early July and attended Mary’s workshop in Denver in August) and am very much enjoying the process of transforming my running!  It really is all about the journey, isn’t it?  It is great to read about your ongoing running joy and transformation!  I have experienced much of that in the last couple of months since I started ChiRunning. Good luck with your ½ marathon!  Will you share what your goals are in completing it? (maybe you already did and I missed that one?)
Back at ya re “here’s to process”!!

(I spoke with you on the phone a couple of weeks ago, too, but you probably wouldn’t remember.  It was on a Friday and you picked up right around the time you were probably trying to leave the office!  It’s been fun to connect your blog and face to your voice on the phone.)

Haha! YES, I can explain. The Leg Drain is a great little trick that Danny explains in the book. It’s an exercise to flush your legs of lactic acid build-up and keep your legs fresh.

Leg Drains consist of laying down on your back, close to a wall, bed or chair, and propping up your legs on the back of the chair/on the wall. In this arrangement, your legs are inverted for a period of 3-5 minutes, or however long you want to hang out like that. I like to do Leg Drains for a minimum of 5 minutes after any distance that takes me longer than an hour, which for me means about 6+ miles.

After several minutes of staring at ceiling while your legs drain, start at one ankle and gently squeeze your leg muscles from ankle up your calf to your knee and then your quad… it will help move the blood/lactic acid back to your organs where they’ll process it out. After squeezing out one leg, do the next and stay in the Leg Drain position another 30 seconds until you’re ready to stand up.

Hi Cheryl, YES, I do remember speaking with you on the phone. Thanks for the reminder!

Thank you for your kind thoughts. It really is about the process, and I am so grateful to have the skills I learn from ChiRunning to be able to apply them elsewhere in my personal and professional life. What a gift!

I will write a blog about my goals, that’s a perfect topic ... thanks!

Stay in touch…

Phyllis Howard Apr 18th, 2011 07:36pm

Elizabeth… I’ve been working with the half marathon training program—stretched it out for a run at Memorial Day (started 1/17!) I did this b/c I thought I needed that much time.  Now that there’s six Saturdays left before the half marathon, and that I have only five weeks left on the program, I wondered if I should just double up on the 11 mile run or when the run drops from 12 to 10 (wks 10 & 11) should I do a 12 mile then an 11 and then 10… this is confusing I know… but maybe it’s easier to say I have an extra week at the end ... should I run an 11 instead of going from 12 miles to 10 miles?

Hi Phyllis,

Thanks for your email! So, as for having extra time to train… that’s really great! Good for you. With six weeks left and only 5 of training, I think it makes sense to go from 12 miles, down to 11, then to 10 and then the race. Also, since you have 1 extra week, I would spend the 11 mile run week really focusing on race-specific training - thinking of the course that you’re going to be running, the conditions, time of day, etc, and really try to train under those same conditions.

Gradual Progress, right? I think your idea of gradually dropping down makes the most sense, definitely!

Please let me know how it goes, Phyllis. You’ll do GREAT!

Best of luck,

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