Top Tips for Marathon Tapering

April 15, 2010

Information, Training

After all the months and months of hard, lonely training it’s time to taper!

With the Virgin London Marathon just over a week away, it’s time to let the body have some rest before the big day.  Tapering is a time that can be frustrating for some.  However, the essential part of this stage is to let all the hard work, long training sessions, physio, and the huge learning curve that a lot of us have been on, sink in.

However, it’s rather an odd time for me.  Having had so many problems with injuries and specifically the recent torn calf muscle, I’m only now beginning to reap the benefits of numerous cross training sessions and ice baths.  But whether your marathon training has gone to plan or not, no-one wants to pick up an injury at this stage … and with my appalling luck, I’m being extra careful!

So having read a great deal about marathon tapering recently, this is what I have learned:

  1. It’s time to cut back on mileage and intensity – just keep things ticking over ..long runs of 10 – 20 miles are out, slower paced ever decreasing runs are in
  2. Listen to your body – this is a chance to deal with any niggles.  Get plenty of rest. Find a good book or watch a film with family/friends. Relax!
  3. Think about your race strategy if things don’t go to plan.  Be prepared.  How will you cope with blisters, or a stitch, if it’s too hot or too cold.
  4. Eat well.  Stock up on protein rich foods to enable muscles to continue to repair and strengthen.
  5. Try to reduce stress levels – breathing exercises and relaxation techniques can help deal with race day nerves

I also have the following on my Tapering checklist:

  • Last Physio session this afternoon
  • I’m really looking forward to attending the Virgin London Marathon Expo next week
  • Iron on name letters on my Macmillan Cancer Support running vest
  • Book somewhere to stay in London the night before the marathon (yes, I really have left it this late to book a hotel!)

…and fundraising!  There’s still time to sponsor me at …?

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