The wonderful world of Tapering
Tapering is essentially reducing the amount of training you are doing in the weeks leading up to an event, to give your body the best chance of achieving its full potential during the race, as well as reducing the risk of injury.
If you’ve reached the tapering point after months of training, you have done the hard part (big high five from us) now it’s all down to steady control!
It’s essential that you plan for your training to peak no later than two weeks before your event and make sure you do very small amounts of low-level running the week before. We’ve been there – the temptation is to squeeze in one more long run, but it’s better to turn up on Race Day feeling slightly unprepared and injury free, than it is starting the race with a pain or ache!
The tapering stage is an interesting one. With the reduction of training also comes the concerns, “have I trained enough?”, “I’m too tired”, “can I really do this?”. Trust us – these are normal thoughts. Everyone goes through the same demons; the nerves, self-doubt and phantom niggles!
We know you’re doing us a big favour, but just one more request from us…make a pledge to not use “I should have” in any of your narrative in the upcoming days/weeks before your event. It’s draining and negative and not what you need or deserve. Instead, concentrate on what you have achieved throughout this journey (we’re willing to bet it’s a lot) and mentally prepare yourself for the big day. Start visualising yourself crossing the finish line and imagine how great that well-deserved medal will feel around your neck.
Over the next couple of days, just concentrate on controlling the things you can. Get plenty of sleep and relax (stress is exhausting). Load those carbs intelligently – remember, 6-8g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight, 24-36 hours prior to race day. In the morning, consume up to 100g carbs depending on what you’re used to!
Just a note: as your training decreases, so must your calorie intake! Keeping things steady is essential at this stage. Check out our Nutrition guide for more info.
You don’t want any surprises on the day, so make sure you wear exactly what you have done in your training. Make sure you don’t surprise your body either by starting too quickly. The mass of runners and the adrenaline will likely make you want to run quicker than you have before. Whilst you’ll feel okay, it will likely come back and get you later in the race.
Once again, congrats on completing the hard part! From here, it’s all about looking after yourself and enjoying the moment. We think you’re amazing.