Posted on March 27th, 2017 by John Armstrong
It’s not all about running. With only two weeks to go to the Brighton marathon, let’s talk about the taper.
In the final three weeks of our marathon schedules, we’re gradually reducing the amount of training. The reduction is subtle in the first week, but in the second week you should really begin to notice the reduced workload. In the final week before race day, you don’t run much at all.
The idea is that there is nothing to be gained from training hard in the last few weeks. The purpose of training is that it encourages your body to adapt to increased stress. This adaption occurs during recovery periods. So now is the time to rest and recover to maximize your body’s chance of making the most of all that training. Any more hard training at this stage is counter-productive, there simply isn’t time for it to have a positive impact.
Instead, go out and enjoy your runs. You’ve developed incredible fitness, so make the most of running comfortably fast across the Heath in early spring. And if you find yourself feeling slightly smug, well why not? You deserve it.
With any luck, over the next week you should start to feel more energized. In the final week before the marathon you should even start to feel restless. It is very important in the final week to resist the temptation to go out for a hard run to let off steam. Be careful not to find other substitute activities like the gym, DIY or gardening. If you’re feeling anxious, that’s good. Bottle up the nervous energy and keep it for the big day.