The Hay is in the Barn

I recently joined the SLO Roadrunner. This is a group of adult runners in the SLO area  who enjoy running and are working to improve themselves – some have goals to run faster, or farther, or just to improve overall fitness. This group is led by Coach Roger Warnes who has been coaching for over 30 years. In the short time I’ve been running with the group everyone has been so nice, welcoming, and encouraging. I look forward to growing as a runner! Come join us for a run – check out the fb page for running times.

There was a very inspirational video shared on the fb page about the first women’s olympic marathon I wanted to share – gave me goosebumps! Makes running inspiring!!

The SLO Half Marathon, that I am pacing, is this Sunday, only 5 short days away. Today Coach informed me that “The hay’s in the barn!” I came home and informed my hubby this – I tried to explain it but had to google it to make sure I had it right. So I thought I would share what I found from here with all of you!

“The hay’s in the barn!” Distance runners say the funniest things.

What does it even mean?

When a runner says that the hay is in the barn, they’re referring to the fact that at a certain point you can’t gain any more fitness before a race. It’s time to taper.

The reduction in training at the end of a season to maximize performance is what we mean by tapering.

To really understand tapering and the weird hay/barn saying, you need to know a little about the stress-adaptation cycle.

It sounds intimidating but it’s actually easy – and you probably already know what it means. It takes about two weeks for your body to “absorb” a hard workout. You have to recover from the stress of running hard, then your body adapts to become stronger, more efficient, and faster.

When your goal race is two weeks away or less, you don’t want to run any workouts that are too difficult. If you do then you’re just going to get overly fatigued without the benefit of fully adapting from the workout.

After a hard long run or a fast workout, you’re going to be tired. You know this. The dip in fitness from the baseline is when you’re fatigued – you actually lose fitness right after a hard effort. Your body needs time to rest and recover from that training stimulus to absorb it and ultimately get faster.

The time to race is when you’re fully recovered. You’ll have extra energy and your legs will feel sharp and responsive. If you rest too much then your fitness will start to decline – and so will your race performance. The link above has lots more info about tapering if you want to check it out here as well.

Good luck to everyone running this week! I’m very excited to pace, see you on the course!