How to taper for the Brighton Marathon race on 10th April 2022.
Tapering is the gradual decrease in training intensity and duration. This should start after your last long run. For most people this is around 3 weeks prior to race day. The full taper kicks in with one week to go. The purpose of tapering is to allow your body to recovery from hard intense training. The muscle fibres need time to fully repair from the micro trauma which training causes. It takes time to build the energy yielding mitochondria in the muscles. But with rest, stretching, gentle running, sleep, good food and hydration you’ll arrive on the start line of the Brighton Marathon in Preston Park with recovered muscles. Feeling fresh, ready and raring to go!
Here are 9 Top Taper Tips:
- Rest – as a personal trainer in Brighton and Hove who has trained many marathon runners, you’ll probably feel like you ‘should’ be running. But the training effects take around two to three weeks to appear in your body so it’s too late for tough, long, hilly runs! Just stick to short sessions which keep your legs ticking over, keeping your heart rate down in the aerobic zone.
- Bank Sleep – you’re a lucky one if you can get quality sleep the night before race day, so try getting to bed a little earlier every night in the week before.
- Hydrate – Keep yourself topped up with water. It’s essential for improving muscle condition and especially important in the final 48 hours, as it will help prevent you dehydrating during the race. Try not to drink too much water on the morning the race though because this could dilute electrolytes.
- Carb Load – try to keep eating well during your taper period, especially the last week. The last 24 hours is the time to add small amounts of extra carbohydrates to each meal and snack in order to insure you have maximum stored energy in your muscles. But ensure that you don’t try new foods at this stage. Keep to tried and trusted foods.
- Stay calm – Employ stress reduction techniques such as gentle walking, swimming, meditation, yoga (if you are used to it!), visualisation and hot baths to help keep body and mind calm.
- Don’t get injured. Leave trying that extreme sport you’ve always wanted to have a go at until after the race! Just take care and be sensible about the activities you get involved in.
- Keep Positive – try to rid your mind of those negative thoughts, focus on the positive ones and surround yourself with like-minded people. Remind yourself of the best long run you did in the starting pen of the Brighton Marathon.
- Final 24 hours – Change nothing! Eat the same as you’ve eaten before long runs in training. Keep to your normal pre long run routine. Even put your trainers on in the normal order if that makes you feel good!
- Race Day – Focus on YOU and what you need to eat, wear, drink and do to get to the start line ready to RUN!
Try to remember to enjoy the incredible experience that is running 26.2 miles, and take in the views that Brighton and Hove has to offer!