Autumn marathons are nearly here – it’s time to taper. Unlike last minute cramming before an exam the 2-3 weeks before a marathon is where you start to take it easy or to give it it’s proper name – tapering.

Tapering is believed to be essential for peak performance on race day and can take from as little to a week to two or three weeks.  So with that in mind and as I am becoming a bit of a pro at this marathon lark I thought I would share with my top tapering tips:

  1. Less Running: As you approach the marathon, gradually reduce your weekly mileage. This can vary depending your plan – so don’t be deviating from that now! As a guide three weeks before the race, cut your mileage by about 10%. Two weeks before, drop it by a more substantial 40%, and in the final week, decrease your mileage by a whopping 70%. This tapering approach allows your body to recover and store energy for the big day.
  2. Eat Well: Focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet during your taper. High protein intake supports muscle recovery, while carbohydrates provide essential energy for your upcoming race. Additionally, ensure you stay well-hydrated. While it’s tempting to enjoy a glass of wine, remember that water is the real hydration hero during this time.
  3. Relax: With your reduced running schedule, you’ll find yourself with more free time in the evenings. Resist the urge to fill this newfound leisure time with other activities. Tapering is the perfect opportunity to rest and allow your body to rejuvenate.
  4. Sleep: Adequate rest is crucial during tapering, especially in the week leading up to the marathon. Ensure you get plenty of quality sleep to help your body recover and prepare for the race ahead.
  5. Trust Your Training: As you cut back on your running, you might start to feel a bit lazy. That’s perfectly normal! Remember that you’ve put in the hard work during your training, and now you need to recover before giving it your all on race day. Embrace the relaxation and downtime. If anyone’s looking for me, you’ll find me at Starbucks, sipping on a cappuccino and enjoying a well-deserved break.

Now, get those feet up and rest!