Let’s be completely honest. I am writing this list, because I am the worst at tapering. I love to run, so I am not a fan of forced rest. However, after this round of Chicago training…I’m actually looking forward to dialing back for a bit. I am not addressing nutrition specifics like carb depletion/loading or specific mileage numbers. Do what’s best for your body.
That said…here’s to avoiding the Taper Tantrums!!!
1. Cut back your volume. There are lots of differing views on how much to taper your miles, but most runners start reducing their weekly mileage two weeks before the race.
2. Resist the urge to try something new on race day. With your newfound free time, it’s so easy to start researching new products. Stick to the shoes, nutrition, pre-run routine that has worked for you over the last few months.
3. Don’t be surprised if you feel some new aches and pains during the taper. Your body is repairing itself from your months of training.
4. Prepare your race plan. Review the course map. Visualize the race. Think through your race morning routine.
5. Sleep is an important part of the taper. Shoot for 8 hours a night.
6. Do not try to cram in a missed long run. Training hard this close to your race will not improve your performance.
7. It’s ok to keep some intensity in your training, but nothing too extreme. Add a few miles at race pace to remind your body what it feels like.
8. Don’t drastically slash calories during the taper. Yes, you are running less, but you don’t want to feel weak on race day.
9. Catch up on tasks that you’re behind on, but DON’T do any strenuous projects. This is not the time to paint the house or plant a garden. Your social life may have become non-existent during training. Take this time to get together with friends and catch up on new movies.
10. Make sure you’re hydrating properly.
11. Don’t add any new workouts/cross-training. If you didn’t do tempo runs during your training, don’t do one now. This is also not the time to try that new kickboxing class.
12. Trust your training. It’s so easy to second guess yourself. Did I run enough miles? Did I hit my paces? You put in the work. Have faith in the process!
How do you handle the taper? Share your tips and stories!