Half Marathon Taper Tips*

Wednesday, 17 May 2017, By Tim Locke

 

It's race week! Race week means a flood of nervousness, excitement, anxiety and uncertainty all rolled into one. Don't sweat, you'll have plenty of time for that on race day. Here are some little tips to help you manage the days ahead and to ensure you get the most out of your last week. 1. All the hard work has been done. There's no sessions you can do this week that will make your race better. You have more chance of breaking your race by training hard this week and not smart. This week is about backing off the volume, enjoying some short runs and maybe implementing some shorter bouts of intensity. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and stick to your normal running routine while reducing your volume. 2. Rest. Aim to get an extra half an hour of sleep each night. A well-rested runner is a runner that performs. That extra half hour will add up over the coming days and ensure you arrive on the start line ready to go. 3. Hydrate. Ensure you are adequately hydrated. This will vary from person to person. You should have a fair indication of how hydrated you are based on how many times you're frequenting the bathroom each day. 4. Eat well. Aim to consume lots of vitamins and minerals. Avoid fibrous foods on race eve and race morning, unless you feel like adding extra kilometres on trips to the toilet and back. Let your legs do the running, not your stomach. In saying that, eat what you normally eat in the morning before you run. Try and eat 2-3 hours before you toe the start line. 5. Nothing new on race day. Those new shoes might look great with that new top but if you haven't been putting in the kilometres with them, leave them in the closet for another day. Pick an outfit that you know will be comfortable and won't cause you any added stress. Is it going to rain? Avoid heavy fabrics that will become heavy when wet. 6. Enjoy your rest days. If you've been diligent with your training you will appreciate a week with less load. Allow yourself time to do the things you have neglected throughout your training. Read a book, watch a movie, spend some time with family and friends. 7. Relax. You can only control what is in your hands. Don't stress about what other people are doing and definitely don't hang around stressful people! Remember to take some down time in the weeks following the race to let your body adapt to the stress and load of the previous blocks of training and racing. It's perfectly acceptable to hang up the shoes for a little bit to ensure you are recovered appropriately before jumping back into training.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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