Well the time has come to begin my marathon training taper…woo hoo!  My legs and hips couldn’t need it more.  Some common questions and my answers about tapering..

What is tapering?

Tapering is a reduction in exercise load, usually before a big event/race either a few days (for a small race) or a few weeks (for events like marathons).  Typically it doesn’t involve a reduction in intensity of exercise, but rather duration of exercise.

Why would you do it?

Tapering gets your body ready and rested to perform at its peak!  Your muscles will recover from training damage, gain energy, store glucose for long events, and you’ll be left truly mental ready for the race.  Runners who taper typically gain time in their events, it is a win-win situation, and No you won’t lose any aerobic capacity during taper.

So how am I tapering?

Well two Saturdays ago, I did my last long run (19 miles!) before the marathon…and last week’s mileage was 5 miles on Monday, 8 mi on Tuesday, 5 mi on Thursday, and 9 mi on Saturday.

This week it drops again: 3 mi Monday, 5 mi Tuesday, 3 mi Thursday, and 8mi Saturday.

Next week: 3 mi  Monday, 3 mi Tuesday, 3 mi Thursday, then OMG 26.2 miles on Saturday December 10th.

don’t want to cross the finish with a major side cramp!

Here is a really good article from Runner’s World about tapering specific to marathons “Why You Should Taper Before a Marathon”.  Tapering should be done before any big event you want your body to be at its peak, you’ll just shorten/lengthen the taper as needed.

This next two weeks I am going to focus on getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising effectively.  Next week I’ll definitely drop my physical activity, take in a ton of water, and focus on quality carbohydrates.  EEK!

hopefully feel like this at the finish!

Have you ever tapered before?  Any advice?!