Tapering is an interesting thing isn’t it. Slightly baffling as well. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to speak to quite a few experienced endurance runners, athletics coaches and fellow therapists. Some interesting advice all of which makes sense and some of which has been eye-opening.
a) You don’t need to over taper. Some runners cut back so much in their tapering for fear over doing too much that they end up doing too little.
b) When tapering, you don’t need to eat as many heavy carbs as you did when you were running long. The old saying of ‘carbo-loading’ ie; pasta parties and the like the night before, just puts your digestive system under too much strain. You need to ‘load up’ right the way throughout training and in the week before. Not the night before. It’s normal to put on some weight but not arrive at the start line overweight.
c) Eat light three days before the event. Eat well but avoid heavy starchy carbs and go for more protein. Some people I know have a purely liquid diet the day before so they race ‘light’ on the day.
d) Work on you mental preparation in the week before.
e) Enjoy the experience. (!) forgot this bit….
d) After the race, as long as you’re not injured! aim to do a light tempo run no more than 36 hours after the event. If you can’t manage that, swim. If you can’t walk, roll to and then into the pool. And then roll home.
These have been the last snippets of advice given to me. Some of it I knew, some of it I certainly didn’t. This is not from a book or ‘how to’ manual. Just stuff from people I thought I’d pass on because I found it useful.
Oh and AVOID WETSUITS!! I tweaked my hamstring getting out of mine when I went sea swimming. Dangerous bloody things.