What is tapering?
No it has nothing to do with a tape worm. It is basically just resting before a marathon. No this doesn’t mean sitting on the couch for three weeks and eating potato chips. During the tapering phase it is good to run a few days a week, but those runs should be shorter and slower than usual. A diet high in protein is good as well.
It is important to rest your body before and after a marathon. Several experts say that this is the most critical part of training. 2-3 weeks is recommended for tapering. During your training you are elevating the distance of your long runs every week. This type of endurance training depletes glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones. I think of tapering as filling you tank to full before the big race!
In my first marathon I tapered for three weeks. It ended up working out well. This time I am going to experiment tapering for 2 weeks. Part of the reason is that I want my last long run to be 21 miles, at the rate I’m going I will run a 20 mile long run this weekend and the following weekend will be my last long run of 21 miles. A well thought out plan will lead to a rewarding marathon.