Many runners follow strict training plans but fail to include a tapering plan. Tapering involves reducing the miles and intensity 2-3 weeks before the race. To some runners it seems ridiculous to reduce training before the big race and they continue to train hard up to race day. It is critical to taper 2-3 weeks before a race to allow the body to recover fully from all the previous months of training. This ensures your body is fully rested and ready for the race day.
Here are our top tapering tips:
• Reduce the distance and intensity of your training runs 2-3 week before the race. Many experts suggest that you should run 80% of your normal training volume three weeks out from the race, 60% two weeks out, and one-third the week before.
• Aim to get lots of sleep the week prior to the race.
• Listen to your body. Remember, no additional training at this stage will help you on race day. Your muscles may ache and doubt maybe creeping into you mind. Most runners feel like this, so take time to relax the week running up to race day.
• Keep stretching as much as possible during the couple of weeks prior to the marathon. See our yoga videos here.
• Don’t try anything new. No new foods, drinks, gear or sports.
• Don’t get a leg massage if you’ve never had a leg massage before.
• Hydrate well the week before the race.
• On the week leading up to the race remember you can’t under-do it but you can only overdo it.