No doubt, training for a marathon is hard work. The amount of time you put into maintaining the amount of miles your training plan calls for is pretty much like working a second job.
As a result, you’ve probably very much been looking forward to your taper period, or the final few weeks of training where your weekly mileage begins to decrease.
But don’t let the prospect of having to run less fool you. Any runner who’s ever trained for a marathon knows that the taper period can actually drive you to become a bit… well, crazy.
From having nightmares about race day to experiencing extreme moodiness, many runners will experience a few abnormal side effects as they enter the final stages of marathon training.
According to Amanda Brooks, the fitness and running expert behind RuntotheFinish.com and Angela Barraco, a four-time marathoner and creator of RunnerinDenial.com, the following tips are some of the most important to keep in mind as you enter your marathon training taper phase.
- 4 Tips for Marathon Training Taper -
1. “Ignore the sudden aches and pains that appear out of nowhere. Use it as a reminder that your body needs to rest and know it will vanish as quickly as it appeared come race day,” says Brooks.
2. Brooks also recommends that you spend your free time doing a little “marathon prep.”
“Do you need to carry water? Where will you meet up with friends and family? When can you pick up your race packet? Making decisions in advance will lessen the stress near race day,” she says.
3. “Recognize that paces that have felt easy all throughout training may feel hard,” says Barraco. “Marathon goal pace may feel impossible on just a short run. It's the taper, not you, there's no need to freak out that you've suddenly lost all of your speed.”
4. “Let yourself feel all the feelings,” Barraco adds. “Marathon emotions are highest during taper time. Soak it up. Let yourself cry at commercials, watch a finish line video on YouTube and cry at that too. Get choked up when they hang ‘marathon route’ signs along the course. Let these emotions fuel you on race day.”