The best way to get to the start line as rested as possible is to be true to your taper. Do not add extra activities into your day just because you will have more energy and free time. Allow yourself time to sit and relax. Go to bed early to catch up on sleep. Try to allow yourself a morning or 2 without an alarm! Letting your body wake up naturally is extremely important in the days leading up to the race.
Do not neglect your stretching/mobility routine just because your workouts are minimal.
I know, I’m guilty of amping up my stretching when I “feel” like I need to, ie, after a tough workout, or leading up to a tough workout. But just because your legs are going to be a bit more rested right now isn’t an excuse to skimp out on your stretching and mobility! Keep the body loose and limber. Remember, the better your body can move, the better chance of crushing those marathon goals!
Eliminate strength work SLOWLY
Once you reach 14-7 days out from the marathon, you will want to stick to extremely light weights during your strength training. Once you hit that 7 day countdown, give your strength routine a break so you can have the most rested muscles possible.
Hydrate early and often!
It’s important to hydrate well the week of the race. You don’t want to wait until the day or 2 before. Make sure to incorporate electrolytes into your hydration as well so you’re balancing out all the water you’re drinking.
Don’t introduce foods into your diet that cause digestion issues in the days leading up to the race. Stick to a diet that you know will keep your gut happy. Personally, I’d pass on that Mexican feast on Wednesday night knowing my race is Saturday morning. The easier you can make race week on your gut, the better!
Trust the process
It’s so easy to freak out during the taper. The phantom pains, the moments that have you convinced you’re undertrained, and the “sluggish” feeling you get when you hit the taper are all very normal. But you’ve put in the work. The time. The sacrifice. Trust your training, follow your plan, and that finish line is in sight!
Meet the Author
Megan has been apart of the Smith Physical Therapy & Running Academy family since March of 2021, taking the title of Director Special Programs, Run Coach, and Running Technique Specialist. Megan has been coaching runners since 2014 and enjoys working with runners of all ages.