There are runners zipping all over town this week who have come from near and far to participate in the NXP Austin Marathon, Sunday, February 19. These folks have already completed the bulk of their training by pounding the pavement over the past several months. Now it’s time to taper, or wind down the running to virtually a mile or two each day, and ramp up things like relaxing and hydrating.
Here are a few tips for successful tapering right before a marathon:
Sleep and relax.
Getting several nights of good sleep before the marathon will go a long way. Your body has the ability to ‘stockpile’ sleep, so get as much as you can to make sure your muscles and mind are rejuvenated. Taking quick naps, or reading and meditating days beforehand, will also have a positive impact on race performance.
Eat well and hydrate.
Consume a healthy mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables this week. Since you are not running as much though, be careful not to overconsume, as you will feel weighed down. Avoid heavily fried and high fiber foods that could irritate your digestive system. And drink water like crazy.
Get to know the course.
Study a map and the actual race course itself. Walk or drive a few legs of it so you are familiar with the terrain and any important landmarks. Locate bathrooms for pit stops and water stations too.
Plan your race day.
Figure out how you will get to/from the marathon. A ride from a friend or public transportation? Pack your race bag with just the essentials (ID, water bottle, hat/sunscreen, energy gels, earbuds and music), and leave other valuables at home. Choose an easy spot to find your supporters afterwards, and let them know where it is.
Finally, don’t try anything new the week before your race. No new shoes, new socks, new foods, or anything unpredictable that can literally rub you the wrong way.
Texas Orthopedics salutes all of our staff and patients who are involved in the marathon this week. We congratulate you and are cheering you on!