4 Taper Tips: Focus on Controlling What You Can Control
Get to the start line ready to roll with these taper tips
The Taper. If you’re unfamiliar, tapering refers to the reduction in volume and intensity of your workouts leading to race day. You’ve been running for months, increasing your mileage, getting better and better. Your body is in training mode and it can be difficult to turn that off. Follow these taper tips to effectively utilize the extra time you now have. Continue to follow your training plan, implement these taper tips, and get to the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon or Austin Half Marathon start line ready to run your best!
Take care of yourself
This is vital and something you should’ve been doing since you began training! However, it becomes even more important leading up to Feb. 16th. Your training has introduced more miles than normal, early wake-up calls, and a reduction in time for yourself. Tapering your miles means you’ll have more time for self-care. Spend an extra 30-60 minutes a day foam rolling and stretching. Schedule a massage. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.
Dial-in your nutrition/hydration
Keep an eye on your calorie intake! You burned more calories during training than you will when you taper. Adjust accordingly so the pounds you shed during training stay off! Focus on a balanced diet of moderate carbs, quality protein, and healthy fats. Start hydrating NOW. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Continue including electrolytes like you’ve done during training. Carry a tube of Nuun with you, pop a tablet into your reusable bottle, and make your water count! Make sure you try the on-course fuel, GU Energy Labs.
No new workouts
Just like nothing new on race day, no new workouts when tapering. This includes everything from a pick-up basketball game to lifting heavy weights at the gym. You don’t want to run the risk of spraining your ankle or pulling a muscle. Stick with what’s comfortable. If that’s running or cross-training (swimming, cycling, etc.), focus on less-intense and lower-volume workouts.
An increase in your mileage could mean you’re behind on your favorite show. Maybe you haven’t read those new books you got for Christmas. Now’s the time to distract yourself from the fact that you aren’t running as much as you have been. Spend a couple of hours binging your favorite show. Grab that new book and read at your favorite park. If you find yourself getting antsy because you’re not moving, try to foam roll or stretch while watching your favorite show. Or try reading your book while riding a stationary bike.
Follow these taper tips so the taper doesn’t frustrate you or stress you out. The sudden addition of extra time and the feeling that you should be running can be confusing. Follow these taper tips and focus on controlling what you can control. What do you do to get to the start line ready to roll when you taper? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.