People often associate tapering with marathons, but you can taper for a half marathon as well. Tapering for a half marathon helps your body rest physically and mentally before the big day. I was recently asked by a friend and reader how to taper for the half specifically. It got me thinking that she probably wasn’t the only one with that question!
If you have an fall half marathon, here are some tips for tapering:
- In general, your taper period will span two weeks before your half marathon. Some plans start the taper period 10 days out, while others will start up to three weeks out.
- Reduce your mileage by about 60% during your taper.
- Make sure your runs are easy. You can include some speed work, but make sure it’s not too extensive and that your body has time to completely recover in between workouts.
- You will probably get the taper “crazies,” as runners like to call it. If you are accustomed to a daily or near daily run, your body will miss the feeling. Try substituting another easy activity like a leisurely bike or swim.
- There is no need to taper if your half marathon race is part of your marathon training plan–only if the half marathon is your “peak” race.
- In the three days leading up to your race, make sure you are getting adequate sleep, eating well, and not overdoing it on your easy runs. You want to go into your race feeling refreshed and ready, not worn out!
- While marathon runners often carbo load to top off their glycogen stores before race day, it’s not really necessary for the half marathon. Just eat a healthy diet and having a good pre-race breakfast before your half marathon.
What are your tips for tapering?