Taper Tips

What is a Marathon Taper?

You’ve worked hard over the past 16-20 weeks, putting in the miles, the speed work, the tempo runs.  You’ve built up your endurance and with just a few weeks to go it is now time for the Marathon Taper.

Each marathon training plan has a different approach to the taper, but all of them adhere to 3 basic rules:
  1. Reduce overall mileage volume.  Most plans recommend  a 30% reduction in total mileage, accomplished through a 30% reduction of each days’ run, for each of the last 3 weeks prior to Race Day.
  2. Maintain intensity.  Although mileage is reduced, intervals, tempo, or speed runs remain a weekly part of the taper schedule. This keeps the spring in our step.
  3. Rest.   Non-speed days are devoted to truly Easy or Recovery pace runs, or even complete Rest Days.  These days, along with reduced volume, ensure fresh legs at the starting line.

It is common for runners to get nervous as the taper progresses.  Physical aches and pains appear, a sense of restlessness keeps us agitated, or we worry that we are losing our fitness, and begin to throw in “one more long run” or an extra workout at the gym.

The taper should do two things for you come race day:
1.  provide you with fresh legs 
2.  provide you with focus and confidence

If we mess around with the taper — add miles, skip rest days, or double up on workouts of another kind, we undermine BOTH of those goals.

Yoga is a favorite cross training activity for many runners, due to the variety of benefits it provides.  However, if you are new to yoga, the Taper might not be the best time to sign up for yoga classes.  The poses can be challenging for beginners and could be counter-productive to the taper. In addition, yoga classes can be expensive– $15 -$20 per class.  Over the course of 3 weeks, if you attended just three times per week, you could easily spend over $150.   Ideally, the yoga classes you attend would be designed specifically with YOU, the marathoner,  in mind.  Unfortunately, that is rarely the case.

Marathon Taper Yoga™, on the other hand, is a 21 day series of yoga poses for marathon runners, specifically created to enhance the 3 week taper.  Marathon Taper Yogagets you to the starting line feeling loose, strong, and calm. Guaranteed!