Tip of the Week: Tapering

Tapering Explained
Your long run taper starts at the completion of your last long run. What does this mean?  It means that you will decrease the intensity and duration of your workouts! This is NOT the time to make up missed workouts or long runs. Please follow the schedule as written.  If you have been strength training throughout the season, you are going to STOP at this point (if you haven’t been, this is NOT the time to start).  You want to limit the amount of anaerobic exercise to avoid  muscle fatigue or soreness.  You also want to limit ( or avoid) ALL activities where injury is a risk (contact sports such as soccer, basketball, football, etc.). Please be cautious. You have worked too hard to get to the finish line, now we want to make sure you make it to the starting line as healthy as possible!

What to Expect When Tapering
Feeling tired. Please listen to your body and get plenty of extra rest and sleep.

New aches and pains. Your body is rebuilding itself from all of the training you have completed over the past few months.  This is completely normal and to be expected.

Up and downs. Today you feel great, tomorrow you are sore from just walking. Again, this is completely normal and very common. Please listen to your body and take extra rest days or cross train as needed. When in doubt, err on the conservative side.

Self-doubt. This is also very common. We start questioning our training- did I do enough training?  Can I really complete a marathon?

How to Taper
REST. Please follow the schedule. The taper phase is not the time to “make up” for missed workouts. More is definitely NOT better.

NUTRITION. Eat well! The taper phase is a good week to try to eat “cleaner” than usual. Continue to eat what works best for you but try to pick more nutritious, nourishing, and balanced meal options whenever possible.

HYDRATE. It’s never too early to start hydrating. Proper hydration is more about what we drink on a daily basis vs. what we drink the night before. Drink even if not thirsty.  Keep a bottle of water with you at all times.  Limit your consumption of alcohol- sorry! Remember, the rule of thumb is to drink .6x your body weight of water in ounces/day. You can revisit our Hydration post from earlier this season by clicking here.

LIMIT STRESS. Try to minimize the amount of stress that you incur at work, home, and in general over the next two weeks.  Increased stress will only create more anxiety which will impede your ability to rest and sleep properly.

STRETCH. Continue to complete your mobility and stretching exercises everyday for about 15-20 minutes. We want to keep those joints mobile and those muscles flexible and well rested (try the lunge matrix stretch we’ve worked on this season).

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