Just as your body needs rest and recovery days between hard workouts or long runs, you need to give your body time to rest before your race. Here are some tips to help you to properly taper before your road race.
If you are planning a 5K or 10K race, you want to run about half of the mileage that you’ve been running during training. You don’t want to do any longer runs, but early in the week you do want to do a little speed work to stay tuned up.
For half marathon runners, you want to star tapering two weeks before race day. The first week of your taper, cut your mileage by about 75% of what you had been doing. Then the week before, run about 50% of your training mileage.
Marathon runners want to start tapering 3 weeks before the race – your last long run should be 3 week before. Also make sure that during your this period, even though you are not running any long runs, you still want to put in a little speed work.
During your tapering period, you will feel like you want to run longer than your training schedule says. But, anything you try to do during this time could be detrimental to your training. During the last couple of weeks, you really aren’t going to increase your endurance and you even risk injury. So, make sure you are taking your tapering seriously.
Also, during the week before race day, you don’t want to do any strength training. All your muscles need to be resting during this week to get ready for your race.
And, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep this week. Now, I don’t mean sleep more than you usually do, a good 8 hours is what you need to get proper rest. The night before your race, you may be too excited to sleep, so the rest you get in the week leading up to your big day is important.