What Is A Marathon Taper? | Tapering Tips For Runners


if you've got a big race coming up and

you've been training hard for it you're

gonna want to go into that race as fresh

as you can I'm Kate and today along with

our night we're going to talk about how

to taper if you're new around here we

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tapering is essentially the process of

cutting back on your training so that

you get to race day completely rested

but also still fully fit

you're probably wondering does it really

work well a recent study in the

International Journal of Sports Medicine

analyzed 50 different studies that

looked at tapering and overall I found

an average improvement of about 3

percent well what does that mean 3

percent translates to a three hour

Martin assay as over five minute

improvement and for a 40 minute 10k

runner that's about a minute improvement

so how long you take before really

depends on what race you're training for

so if you're training for a marathon you

probably want to start your taper about

three weeks out from race day if you're

doing a half mountain maybe two weeks to

ten days for a taper and then if you're

doing a five or a 10k not quite a taper

but taking an easy week the week before

will help you turn up on race day with

those fresh legs one of the most

important principles of tapering is to

maintain the intensity so even though

you're cutting down on the distance it's

still keeping your legs speed ticking

over so for example if you're building

up to a marathon on a Sunday you may

still end up doing an interval track

session on the Tuesday beforehand but

just not at the same intensity that

you've been used to before and that will

just keep those legs ticking over nicely

before they stay yeah absolutely the

most important thing is that a taper

does not consist of getting to three

weeks before marathon day and just

stopping that is absolutely not what you

do but a lot of people do worry that if

they cut back too much they're going to

lose Fitness do not worry about that it

will not happen and you are far more

likely to have a bad race if you go into

it still tired having overtrained then

if you go into it nicely rested with

legs so this might sound a bit odd but

it's normal when you're tapering to feel

a little bit rubbish she'll have been

training really hard for this race it'll

be on your mind everything you think

about and talk about will probably beat

this race that you've been training for

so it's okay to feel a bit nervous and

when you're tapering those runs that

you're still doing probably going to

feel a little bit hard as well we've all

had rubbish runs in the last few weeks

leading up to our big race and it can

make you feel really really anxious

about the big day so don't worry about

it it's normal

absolutely I mean every marathon that

I've done which is 11 of them I've done

a workout the previous Thursday few days

before the race where you just do a mile

and a half at your marathon pace and oh

my god it feels like you are trying to

run a 5k flat out and you think how an

earth can I keep this up but you will

and it is completely normal to have

those thoughts the other thing you will

discover when you take her for the first

time is that you are suddenly surrounded

by people who are full of disgusting

germs and they're coughing at you and

this thing all over you and it's it's

horrible but don't worry about it it's

normal and the other thing that's normal

you'll get on public transport everyone

will want to tread on your feet

so obviously stay away from people who

are really genuinely very ill but as

Kate wrenching you you're just very

hyper aware of the germs it's probably

been going on around you the whole time

you've been training you just haven't

noticed it so much so sure you can whip

out the old hand sanitizer and make sure

that you do try and stay as germ-free as

possible but short of running around

everywhere in a hazmat suit or packing

the family off to a hotel for three

weeks that's not really an awful lot

that you can do about it okay jobs on

that yeah paper time can be quite

unsettling because you'll have been used

to getting into a good routine with your

running and then suddenly cutting it

right back and finding yourself with all

this extra free time to fret about your

race is quite nerve-racking because

you've obviously got loads of time where

you're sitting there and thinking what

I'm gonna do just chill out use that

time and chill out make sure that you

put your feet up and you take it easy

just watch your Netflix series or read a

book or something like that but use that

free time to make sure you're taking

your mind off of the race

absolutely but one of the problems if

you travel somewhere for a marathon can

be that you you're in a new city and you

really want to explore it take advantage

of the time you've got there the trouble

with that of course is that you'll walk

miles and you'll tire yourself out so

try to think of some alternative ways to

see this the city perhaps a bus tour or

a boat tour where you're sitting down

but you can still take it all in or

another plan is to try and plan your

trip so that you've got some time there

after the race when you can walk miles

and it doesn't matter try to maintain

your normal routine when it comes to

tapering whether it's eating stretching

foam rolling all of these things just

keep doing what you've been doing now

it's not the time to start experimenting

with different workouts or start running

in completely different shoes I mean

sure test your kit on shorter runs but

just just the kit you're gonna wear on

race day hopefully these are giving you

a few tips for your tapering leave us a

comment below if you have got any

questions and we'll see you next time on

the running channel