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5 Ways To Handle Your Runner’s ‘Taper Tantrum’

Taper tantrums are very real problem and prevalent among many runners training for a marathon. As a friend and loved one of a runner, it is important to be equipped to handle situations that arise due to “The Taper.” These five tips will help you deal with your runner.

Ignore Them.

During a taper tantrum, the rational part of the runner’s brain is not working. One minute they will believe they are injured and the next they will think that by running less they are losing fitness. Pointing out the fact that they are crazy will only make things worse. It is best to ignore them until they calm down—or until race day.

Offer food.

Taper tantrums are often triggered by hunger and fatigue, and chances are your runner is suffering from both. Be sure to have snacks on hand so that when your runner’s blood sugar drops you can prevent them from getting cranky.

Create a diversion.

To keep a major meltdown at bay, try to distract your runner with normal activities. Suggest they go to the movies on a Friday night since they don’t have a long run scheduled for the next morning. Or take them shopping for food since even though they are running less, they will still be very hungry.

Incentivize your runner.

Runners are often goal-oriented and respond well to incentives. An incentive, like offering to buy them a margarita and all-you-can-eat burgers and fries after the race can help you avoid an embarrassing taper tantrum in public.

Walk away.

If you feel the urge to slap them, walk away and take a deep breath. Often times, hitting your runner will only make things worse. Chances are they will calm down if you are also calm.

Have a case of the crazies during your taper? Share how you cope by tweeting @runfargirl and @WomensRunning.

Read More:
5 Things You Must Do During Taper Time
5 Things Runners Should Never Do When Tapering

Run Far Girl

Sarah Canney is author of RunFarGirl.com, freelance writer, running coach and creator of Run Far Gear and Rise.Run.Retreat. After running on the roads for nearly 14 years, Sarah recently transitioned to trail and mountain running and is an avid snowshoe runner. She is mom to three little ones, whom she homeschools. Sarah is also a passionate fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock, where her son, Jack received care as an infant. After a nine-year battle with anorexia and bulimia, Sarah has reached a point of peace and freedom and openly shares her journey to recovery. You can also find Sarah on Twitter and Instagram as @runfargirl.