The last few weeks before you take part in a big race can bring up a mixture of different emotions. If you are a runner, you might experience excitement, anxiety, nerves, and more. Since you will be advised to do less mileage in the last couple of weeks running up to the race, this means that you’ve probably got more time to sit and overthink about it. As race day gets closer, knowing how to correctly taper before a race is important. After training for months, the last thing that you want is to make a mistake during the few weeks before the race and mess up your race day. It could be easier than you think to undo all the hard work that you have done up until this point if you do not taper correctly or fail to taper at all. Tapering will help you come up with a good strategy for your last few weeks of training. 

What is Tapering?

Tapering refers to reducing your running mileage in the run-up to a race. The idea behind this is that it gives your body some additional time to recover from all the training that you have been doing so that you can go into the race feeling fresh, well-rested, and ready. Start reducing your mileage right after peak week, around two to three weeks before the race. When to start tapering might depend on the length of the race you’re running – for a shorter race, start around 1-2 weeks before, while you should taper for three weeks for longer races. 

How Much to Taper

A gradual taper is usually the best option. Once you start tapering, cut your mileage back slightly and continue reducing it until you are running at your lowest mileage the week before racing. For race week, you should run at no more than sixty percent of your usual training volume – decrease your mileage by around forty percent to do this. 

Increasing the Effects of Tapering

During training, it’s likely that you have been very aware of your nutrition, hydration, sleep, and recovery – and these activities are even more important when tapering. Be extra conscious about your health and recovery in the few weeks while tapering before a race. If you are feeling anxious with less training to do and are starting to worry about the race, fill your resting time with activities to keep your mind distracted like researching the best online casinos for real money and practicing breathing exercises to help with any nerves. 

Take your rest days seriously, and make sure that you are getting a full night of sleep every night so that when race day comes, you will be ready to perform at your peak. Use your extra time to perform some recovery exercises like yoga and stretching to fight off any unwanted injuries and keep your muscles relaxed. 

Tapering in the weeks leading up to a big race is an important part of preparing to do well by keeping your body well-rested, fresh, and ready to perform at your best.