Guess who made it to the taper weeks of marathon training?! No, it’s not me. I’m doing the low mileage part of tapering but there was no training to go along with it. As I’ve shared over the past few months, my husband Rob is training for the Cleveland Marathon on May 21st. He completed his last really long run of 20 miles last Sunday, and is now officially tapering. I thought it may be helpful to share a few tips for the taper period. He probably won’t listen to me, but maybe these will help someone else…
5 Tips for the Taper Weeks
1. Check your shoes
Make sure you know which shoes you will race in. If they are getting to their end of their life, try not to put too many more miles on them before the race. You can alternate your race shoes with another new pair of shoes, but don’t wear the new shoes on race day unless they are broken in.
2. Stay hydrated
Now is the time to start making sure you are well hydrated. Especially for races this time of year, it’s starting to get hotter and we are not really acclimated to the heat yet. Drinking 5 gallons of water before the race won’t help you (and will just cause you to be going to the bathroom all the time) but if you are consistently hydrated for the week or two leading up to the race this will help you on race day.
3. Stick to the plan
Now is not the time to start adding in yoga or some other type of workout that you have never done before. Your plan has less mileage and less workouts for a reason- to allow your body to rest and recover. Try not to fill your extra time with other activities that will make you tired. Use it to rest or do some extra foam rolling.
4. Get enough rest during the taper weeks
Now that you have less mileage on your plan (see above) you can hopefully get some extra sleep that you may have been missing out on during training. Try not to do any unnecessary walking or anything else that could tire you out.
5. Work on your mental strategy
Now that you are only a few weeks out from race day, it’s time to really focus on the mental part of your race. What are you going to do when the race gets hard? How will you respond? Picture yourself overcoming challenges throughout the race and crossing the finish line proud and with a smile on your face. Make sure to use positive self-talk to stay positive while you’re running!
If you’re looking for some ideas about how to relax before your race, check out this post!
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Do you like the taper weeks or is it hard for you to cut back on running?
What other taper week tips do you have?