Training: The Long Road to Race Day

Half Marathon Taper Tips

The tank is full. Trust your training and know that you’re ready.

It’s the 18th week on the Team in Training calendar, and the last long run is in the bank. With just three weeks to go until the Nike Women’s Marathon, here are a few tips that I’ve learned in recent years. (My apologies for linking to the race’s Facebook page, but the website is largely useless.)

  1. This would be a really awful time to break a bone, like I did two years ago. Let me tell you what would have been worse: limping through it and hoping that it would go away. If there’s anything that causes sharp pain, get it checked out NOW.
  2. Trust your training. You’ve done the work. You’ve logged your miles. Don’t feel compelled to do more miles than your training calendar says to do.
  3. Don’t eat like you’re still running double-digit distances. I actually get hungrier when I back off the training a bit. Be especially careful to eat healthy, filling foods. Whatever you do, don’t go out and buy early season deals on Halloween candy. (No, I don’t know where the Snickers went. Ahem.)
  4. Be kind to your body, but whatever you do, don’t get a pedicure in the two weeks before the race. You’ve worked hard to build up those callouses. You don’t want to go out there and run a race with tender, baby skin. Save the pedi and oh-so-wonderful calf massage for after race day.
  5. Rest. 
  6. Hydrate. 
  7. Take your vitamins. 
  8. Your kids are lovely. They’re also exposed to all kinds of plague and pestilence at school. Now is the time to become obsessive about hygiene.  Don’t let ’em get you sick.
  9. Make your race day plan. Figure out what you’re wearing and eating. If you’re going out of town for the race, set your race day clothing aside and make sure that you have everything you need, even the little things like ponytail holders and socks. If you need anything new, buy it early and test it out. As one of our coaches says, when it comes to race day, “no new is good new.”
  10. Relax. Enjoy the fact that you don’t have to be up before sunrise to log the requisite miles.

Do you have any tapering tips?

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2 Responses

  1. All I’ve got is this: don’t over-taper. I had trouble convincing myself a couple of races ago that it was even worth changing clothes and having to shower again to run a couple of miles or 30 minutes or whatever my training plan showed that last week. So I didn’t. And that wasn’t good.

  2. Alisa says:

    It’s good that you remind me of this as I’m already planning to skip two workouts this week. No, no, no! Bad taper!

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