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Master your Marathon Taper

4 Tips for the Perfect Marathon Taper

As you approach the final stretch of your marathon training, one of the most important phases to focus on is tapering. Tapering during the last few weeks leading up to race day is crucial for allowing your body to recover, reduce fatigue, and ensure that you're in peak condition for the big day. Here are some tips on how to effectively taper for a marathon:


marathon taper


Reduce Training Volume

During the taper period, we recommend you decrease your weekly mileage gradually. Aim to reduce your mileage by around 20-30% each week leading up to the race. This gradual reduction will help prevent any sudden drops in fitness while giving your body adequate time to recover.


The duration of a marathon taper can vary depending on individual preferences, fitness level, and race goals. However, a typical marathon taper lasts around 2-3 weeks, with the most significant reductions in volume occurring in the final 7-10 days leading up to the race.

In general, it's recommended to start tapering about 3 weeks before race day to allow your body time to recover from your peak training phase and reduce fatigue while maintaining fitness. During this period, you gradually reduce your mileage and intensity while focusing on staying fresh and mentally prepared for the marathon.


Remember that every runner is different, so it's essential to listen to your body during the taper period and adjust based on how you feel. The goal of tapering is to arrive at race day feeling rested, recovered, and ready for peak performance.


Maintain Intensity

While you're cutting back on mileage, research supports maintaining intensity in your runs. Keep incorporating some faster-paced or interval workouts into your training schedule to help keep your legs sharp and maintain race pace fitness.


However, it's crucial to approach intensity maintenance cautiously and not overdo it. Listen to your body, adjust workouts as needed based on how you feel, and prioritize recovery throughout the taper period to ensure that you arrive at the marathon start line feeling fresh and ready to go.


Prioritize recovery

Use the extra time from reduced mileage to prioritize recovery. Ensure that you're getting enough rest between workouts, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients that support muscle recovery.


We also recommend prioritizing modalities and treatments that can enhance recovery and allow you to perform optimally on race day. Consider getting a massage if this is something that has helped you in the past (see someone you've had success with). We also suggest laser therapy or TECAR-enhanced massage to prep your muscles for race day.


With that being said, don't try anything extreme or new, and try to maintain your usual schedule with some added restful moments.


Stay Positive

The taper period can sometimes leave runners feeling anxious or restless due to reduced activity levels. Stay positive and trust in your training. Remember that this phase is essential for allowing your body to rest and recover fully before race day. Every runner is different, so it's important to listen to your body throughout the taper period and adjust accordingly based on how you're feeling. By following these tips and sticking to a well-structured taper plan, you'll set yourself up for success when it comes time to toe the line at your next marathon.



I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any specific questions or need further assistance with marathon training tips!


 

We strive to be the number one physical therapy provider in Wilmington, Delaware for those who refuse to quit.


Our blog posts allow us to reach more runners and athletes so they can benefit from fewer injuries and better performance. Please share it so we can spread the love!






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We strive to be the number one physical therapy provider in Wilmington, Delaware for those who refuse to quit.

Our blog posts allow us to reach more runners and athletes so they can benefit from fewer injuries and better performance. Please share it so we can spread the love!

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