Time to taper that running regimen

We are now about two weeks away from this year’s Intertrust Cayman Marathon.

For those of you who have followed us in preparation for this year’s event, I suggest you take a moment to reflect on the work you’ve done these past few months and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

I suspect if you look back at where you began to where you are now, you’ll notice a significant positive difference. For the past 13 weeks you have hit the road (or treadmill), logged numerous miles, built up you legs and stamina, endured the heat and torrential rains, created a healthy habit and maybe, just maybe, you even lost a pound or two.

Your commitment to completing a significant goal and undergoing a personal transformation to a distant runner/walker deserves acknowledgement. So repeat after me: I’m proud! I’m capable! I’m strong! Great job <insert your name here>! Feel free to repeat it as often as you like.

However, let’s not get too carried away as we still have some work to do if we are to get across the finish line.

With two weeks to go, we are now entering the tapering/maintenance mode. While the programme I’ve provided is quite generalised, I believe your long runs during the past couple of weeks will likely have you completing a distance which is close to what you are actually going to run on 4 December and, in some cases, you may have actually run further than 13.1 miles.

So now we are going taper your training for the next couple of weeks.
Tapering basically requires reducing the time/distance of your runs as well as the frequency of your runs.

This week we have decreased your run/walk time and next week I will decrease both your run/walk time and the frequency.

For many runners, the real struggle with tapering is the psychological aspect of it. For weeks, they have created a habit of running regularly and now with the big day looming they are being asked to do less now in order to accomplish more later. The argument seems counterintuitive.

However, tapering will allow your muscles to refresh and recover for your upcoming event. Fresh legs will not only make for a more pleasurable experience, but it will also reduce your chance of injury.

From a nutritional point of view, I would advise you try to slightly increase the amount of protein (i.e., chicken, fish, beans, etc.) and vitamin C you consume with your diet over the next week or so.

There is no need to load up on carbohydrates at this point. In fact, some trainers would advise to slightly decrease your carb intake during this week. However, you’ll be fine keeping them at your normal levels.

Finally, avoid foods high in saturated fats, which I believe is good advice whether you are training for the race or not.

Until next week – Don’t stop running!

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