Half Marathon Tapering Tips

With the Marion Arts Festival less than a month away, you might be tempted to start tapering now. Resist that urge. You don't need to start your taper until about two weeks before the race.

The weekend of May 3 will include your final long run of 10 to 15 miles, depending on your level of training. This is not the weekend to add miles to what you've been doing. Keep your weekday workouts after your long run day to about 30 minutes. Don't take up crossfit or yoga or pilates during this week, or do anything else new that might cause long-term muscle soreness or even injury. This might even include certain types of work around the house. If a friend asks you to move two weekends before your race, politely decline.

The week before the race, you can perform a taper run of your normal long distance. Take it easy and don't be concerned about time. No hills, no speed work, but plenty of hydration, stretching and enjoyment. No amount of training the week before the race will benefit you. If you overdo it, you'll suffer during the race.

The week leading up to the race, don't run every day. Try running Monday and Wednesday and chilling on Tuesday and Thursday. Keep your runs to about 30 minutes in length. Two days before the race, run easy for maybe two miles, or not at all. Again, no amount of training two days before the race will benefit you.

The day before, don't do anything more than walk around the race expo a bit. Get off your feet as early in the day as possible. Have your kids, husband, wife or significant other wait on you. You've earned it.

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