Marathon Series: Tapering

Wednesday 16 September 2015 by

Marathon, Running, Fitness, #HoBFitness, Tapering, 5am

Welcome back to week thirty four of my Marathon Series, as I blog my way to a marathon – from beginner to 26.2 miles. This week, we’re talking about tapering.

Tapering is one of those things everyone talks about, but it’s never entirely clear what it means. It also seems a lot easier than it actually is. Tapering means that you ease off on your training before a race. In terms on long distance racing, that means backing off on the distances.

There are a few easy things to remember when planning your taper…

Give yourself enough time

Work out how much you need to taper and work back from there – give yourself plenty of time to get up to the distance, but make sure you also give yourself enough time to back off too. You need enough weeks to maintain your fitness, but also to prevent injury.

Listen to your body

Give yourself some time off. Listen to your body and learn to taper early, or mix up runs. You want to prevent injury (that’s the key part of tapering), so now is the exact time you should be paying attention to every little twinge and change in your body.

Don’t mix up your times

The instinct when shortening runs is to speed up. You’ll do it naturally because you’re not so worried about pacing yourself. But don’t get overexcited – you need to make sure your pacing stays on track for long distances, and remember that getting faster can also risk hurting yourself.

Ignore the demons

There will be times that you get those little voices that tell you that you need to get a long run in – that maybe you’re out of practice and that by the time you get to the race, you’ll have completely forgotten how to run that far. I assure you: it’s not true. Tapering is a perfect element to your training, and you’re not going to forget how to run long distances. I promise.

Are you tapering in your training? What are your tricks to a good taper?

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, using the hashtag #HoBFitness. And check back in a soon when we’re talking about rest days!

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