Tapering: The final week before the race

goldcoast

Well girls, the time is almost here where we descend on the Gold Coast and give it all we have got. For most of us competing it has been months and months of preparation. Training physically and mentally for this race. Wether its the 10km, the half marathon or the marathon, this week is critical to a good race.

Tapering simply means to cut back, in definition it is to reduce gradually: to become smaller in size or amount, or less important, especially gradually, or make something do this. This means that the although this is the final week before the race, hopefully you had become a tapering process quite a few weeks ago.

Tapering gives our bodies time to heal and recover from months of strenuous training. It also gives our mind time to prepare mentally for the race, without having to get out there and cover the miles we are used to.

Here are some tips to get you ready for race day during the taper of the last week:

1. Mentally prepare. This means looking over the course map, knowing the start times, the times you need to wake and get ready, where the start is, what parts of the race might be more difficult and how you will prepare for that and the tactics you will use in your race to help you get through it. You don’t need any extra stress in the week leading up to your race, so block those out. Lay low. Try to spend less time online and in full throttle mode and try to relax your mind and body. Perhaps some yoga, or mediation or just to lie down and read a good book might be on the cards. Spend time with those you love doing some things you have missed over the last few months and relax your mind.

2. Eat a healthy balanced diet, (rich in carbohydrates if you are running a marathon) the week before your race and avoid alcohol, which can dehydrate you. Pay attention to an increased fluid intake and avoid junk foods that will make you feel sluggish and bloated.

3. Just do a few lights runs this week. Don’t overdo it. Your runs should be shorter and less intense, and perhaps a few bursts of marathon pace to get you ready to run and the feel of the tempo you will be racing. Also avoid weight training this week if possible.

4. Plan your items for your race. Have it all out and good to go. Pin on your bib if you have it and make sure that the gear that you are racing in is something that you have run an adequate distance in before.

5. Make sure EVERYBODY you know is aware you are running this race. Tell your mum, her sister, your neighbour and her best friend for good measure. You should be proud of how far you have come and you should shout it from the rooftops.  After all, they are your biggest supporters and you want them cheering you on on race day!

6. Get enough sleep. Sleep is important and it is mandatory for good performance. Make sure you get enough sleep this week, close to 8 hours if possible a night. Tell your friends you can’t go out this week. This week is all about YOU.

7. Get excited. Its here. You did the hard yards, now enjoy your race.

For more tips on race week and how to mentally prepare, please take a look at coach Kate’s tips here also.

Enjoy the week girls and see you at the Gold Coast Marathon!

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