Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Guest Post: The Taper - Bubble Wrap or Cotton Wool Pat Walsh

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Guest Post: The Taper - Bubble Wrap or Cotton Wool Pat Walsh

** The Taper -- Bubble wrap or Cotton wool? ** 

If there are a 1000 different Marathon plans then there is double that in ideas how to Taper best towards a Marathon. You have put in a huge effort and your body needs to recover, however it is a fine balance as too much rest and the body maybe thinks this whole bit of madness is finished. Balance recovery with continuing training is the aim.

For what it is worth and through many years of experience this is my take on it. 

Many people may disagree and that is fair enough but for some first timers or those who had a bad previous experience there might be some few ideas that could help.

First and foremost don’t do or try anything different or unusual for the next 2 weeks. 

Rest is better than kick-boxing. 

Stretching is better than an adventure race and this is not the time to start some new Gym class. 

Definitely not the time to be climbing ladders or trying out a new skateboard.

If you are starting to feel energetic then relax and store it for when it is needed. Hard work is over, very long runs are done and trick now is to keep training and build towards Dublin.

Cut back on the Long runs each week. The effort level isn’t over yet but it should be easier. These can be run easy pace, with a few miles of each run at Marathon pace if you like. If there are any niggles, pains, aches or extra tiredness this is the weekend to cut back and maybe just do 6 or 7 miles or an hour on the road. You can pick up again next week. 

* Don’t turn a niggle into an injury. If in doubt get it checked out.

* Don’t let tiredness expose you to a cold or picking up some infection.

* Easy runs are easy runs. Turning the legs over with very little effort.

* Eat away as normal. Mileage is reducing so there should be some extra left over for Calorie Building. 

* Don’t use taper time to stuff yourself with bad food as it will have to be carried around 26mls and of little value to you. 

* Rest, sleep, good food, water are key. Your body is tired, hungry for quality food and marginally dehydrated after a tough few weeks. 

* Be kind to yourself, go to bed, drink water and build up energy day by day.

* And don’t drive your family and friends daft while you taper. You will be doubting yourself, it is normal and you will have time and energy as you cut back but remember you must still live with these people in November.

Simple Advice: Yes you can run @6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 mn/miles. Of course you can, you have been doing it for the last few months maybe years.The trick and secret of Marathon running is how many of those can you do on your Race Day plan before the “sh*t hits the fan”. Can you do 26 of them?

It is here that rest, recovery and good food all come into play. Last 6 miles are run by those who start the race feeling fresh. Too many people go to the start well trained but not recovered.

Stay positive and know the doubts are good and natural but don’t let them consume you. It will be ok, you are super, stay positive. 

And don’t forget to wrap yourself in Bubble wrap or Cotton wool. 


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