Day 5 Week 18 – Over-tapering, Too Much of a Good Thing?

Guess what?  Too much of a good thing is never good.  At least when it comes marathon tapering according to Jeff Gaudette of RunnersConnect.net.

Marathon tapering can be actually harder than the trainings leading up to it.  In his article titled “3 Common Marathon Tapering Mistakes in the Last Three Weeks,” Jeff points out some tapering pitfalls runners often trip over which can ruin all those hardworks from the training.

And these pitfalls are: running too little, getting off a routine, and getting too psych up.

Running too little – or resting too much.  When runners drop off their distance or intensity too much, they end up feeling flat or sluggish on race day.  What is too much? No more than 20% reduction.  So if you normally run 50 miles a week, you should keep running at least 40 miles a week.  Too much reduction is abruptive and harmful during the transition.

Getting off a routine – or not sticking with the marathon training strategy.  Trying something new (or out of sequence) can backfire and risk injuries.  Instead of maintain the training schedule, too many runners try to “make up” the lost time by running extra long or hard as confidence builder.  The fatigue is not offset by the euphoric feeling of the tapering. The distance and intensity should be consistent with the training schedule.

Getting too psych up – or too much mind-over-matter.  The worries build as time gets near the race day.  Every little things can disrupt one’s confidence.  What to eat? how much sleep? weight gain? weight loss? Not enough fluids? etc. This is where knowledge can help to assure and maintain one’s mental edge and to stay focused.  Jeff offers useful links in his article on nutrition tips and strategies to avoid other tapering mistakes.

What tips do you have for marathon tapering?

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