What Should I Do With My Taper Time?
Tapering, or dropping your mileage in the time leading up to the marathon, theoretically sounds like a dream after the high mileage you’ve endured over the past few months. But in real life, it can be tough!
Our bodies feel all sorts of niggles, our sleep is off, and we have an abundance of free time which was previously reserved for running.
So, what to do with this free time in order to avoid going crazy?
- Spend some extra time cooking: Don’t do anything too new, but spend a few extra minutes cutting up some nutritious veggies, eat your dinner slowly and just enjoy. Nurture your body with hydrating foods and beverages for optimal tissue health. You deserve it!
- Go for a walk: Walking is an excellent active recovery, and with the fall weather upon us, there’s no reason not to get outside and enjoy some leisurely walks in the park or by the water.
- Thank your loved ones: you know, the ones who have dealt with you postponing dinner plans, waking up at 5 am to get your long runs in, and stuck by your side while you panicked about each ache and pain throughout training. Spend some quality time with them and soak in allll the good vibes.
- SLEEP!! This one is big. One of the purposes of cutting down on mileage in the last few weeks leading up to the marathon is to allow our bodies to heal and regenerate tissue. The best way to do this is to sleep because that is when our muscles recover. Plus, odds are your sleep will be a bit off the weekend of your race — so it’s a great time to sleep bank.
- Meditation / Positive Self-Talk: Start getting into the race-day mindset by visualizing yourself succeeding. Prepare some mantras for when things get tough in the later miles of your race, like “one foot in front of the other” and “I feel so strong.” Positive self-talk has been well-researched to improve both endurance and performance.
- Overall, just try to enjoy this time and remember that you’ve put in the hard work – now it’s time to see your goals come to fruition at the marathon!
And don’t forget to give your body a little extra care. Cryo, Normatec Compression Sleeves, or Sauna is a great way to make sure you are ready to go for race day!