5 pictures from Thursday:
Let’s pretend like I am actually doing a true taper for my upcoming marathon (I don’t think pool running for 5 weeks with a mile on the treadmill thrown in every now and then is the best way to taper for a marathon)…
Here are the things that I would be doing the last twoish weeks before the race. These are the things that I have found work FOR ME. That is the beauty about doing more and more races—> You learn over time what works for you and what doesn’t.
Why do we taper? To allow your body to be fully rested for the race in order for you to reach your potential! The taper also allows your muscle glycogen stores to reach their peak!
Also, I usually race on Saturday so just apply my taper guidelines for a Saturday race.
1. First and most importantly, I cut down my mileage. Pete Pfitzinger gives a great explanation and examples for the three weeks of running before the marathon.
Week 1 of the taper = 80% of your normal training mileage.
Week 2 of the taper= 60% of your normal training mileage.
Week 3 of the taper (aka race week)= 1/3 of your normal training mileage.
(Dress rehearsal = 2-3 miles at marathon race pace with an easy warm-up and cool-down)
2. Thursday night’s sleep matters most. The night before the race I have a really hard time sleeping well but then I remember it is the night before the night before a race that really matters and I make sure to get a really good night of sleep on Thursday.
3. I personally cut out vegetables and super high fiber foods for about 1.5 days before the race. I have no idea how long digestion really takes etc but for me.. cutting out all of the fiber/veggies really helps me to avoid stopping at a porta potty on race day (I started this tradition with my first marathon and I have never had to stop to use the restroom during a race so I am attributing it to this).
4. I spend a lot of time visualizing myself finishing strong, reaching my goals and staying positive. Visualizing failure = it will probably happen. Thinking about succeeding = you will probably do a lot better. Our brains are so powerful and the more we think about doing well, the better we will do.
5. I am not even going to attempt to be a nutritionist when it comes to carb-loading BUT I do try to eat a few more carbs the week of the race. My diet is normally pretty high in carbs so I don’t feel like I have to change it too much to include more carbs. I DO focus on drinking more water the weeks leading up to the race and I always have a gatorade the night before a race.
6. I do not run on Friday (and sometimes I even take Thursday off too!). I don’t even ellipticize. I just relax and walk around a bit but I truly let my body rest and gear up for 26.2 miles. A lot of people really need to run a few miles the day before but play around with different schedules and see how it effects your race.
7. I do try to do a shakeout run the morning of the race! Remember to keep it extremely easy!
This is just to get your flood flowing and oxygen to your muscles—> after you do this then you have breakfast!
8. I don’t do any weight training the week of a marathon. I tend to get really sore from weight training so I avoid it (which is very easy for me to do because I don’t love weights).
9. Trust in your training. I take time during the taper to go over my training and I look over the workouts that I did and especially the long runs that I completed during the training cycle. This gives me the confidence that I need to trust in my training and realize that I have worked hard and I will do great—> this helps with pre-race anxiety. Remember all of those hard runs that you pushed through and how you know that when the going gets tough during the race that you will be able to push through just like you did during training.
10. Get organized a few days before the race. I am not a very organized person but when it comes to marathons, I prepare really well. I have everything ready a few days before the race (i.e. gear, fuel, a new playlist) so that I am not waiting to do it the night before the race!
Do you like or dislike the taper?
What are some of your taper tricks?
THREE things you are doing today?
Are you an organized person?
-With certain things yes but most things…