Tips for Tapering Before Your Next Marathon

By Greg Laraia, ATC

Well I think the first question we have to ask is why? What is the purpose of tapering before any goal race? These are great questions because most runners want to do the most all the time. We also tend to think we will lose fitness in the days/hours/minutes before any race so we want to keep going, even though deep down we know it’s probably not good for us.

What is a taper?

A taper is the time before your goal race where you reduce your training load. 

So why do we taper before a race?

This is your body’s time to recover, time for it to fix any broken down tissue that you have been running on for the past few months. Hence, sometimes you will feel worse when you are running during the taper. Your body is in recovery mode for a hot second before race day. This taper time gives your body the time it needs to fully fill up the tank or return nutrient levels back to normal.

Here are some tips to help you on your next taper:

  • Reduce training load- reduced mileage and intensity
  • Keep up with light strength/mobility work
  • Rest up, this is your down time so take advantage of it, let the body heal
  • Continue to hydrate properly. Just because you aren’t running as much doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need the liquid
  • Make healthy eating choices, this is prime time for your body to heal
  • Stay focused on the goal and focus on mental positivity

If you have questions about this during your next training cycle, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. The key to a good training cycle is being consistent and always using resources you have available. We offer coaching at Custom Performance to help you reach your goals!

By Greg Laraia, ATC

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