Hey running enthusiasts! With Airtel Delhi Half Marathon around the corner, the preparation time is almost over for most of you, you must be feeling proud of yourself for the incredible challenge you took up, and for how dedicatedly you worked hard to build up the strength and stamina of your muscles.
Now, most of you must be in your taper weeks, it is extremely important to make the most of this time and not let some little ignorant mistakes take away the joy of a perfect run.
What is Tapering Week?
Tapering means decreasing something gradually. It is a common practice in running arena, to reduce the duration of working out gradually and steadily before the day of the run or race. Tapering helps to repair any damaged tissues owing to strenuous workouts, and it restocks the glycogen supply of the muscles, to make you feel more energetic on the running day. While after a long stretch of regular and gruesome workouts, tapering ideally should be a much-needed break, it has to be done right in order to retain your level of fitness and stamina.
Here are a few most common tapering mistakes, that we wish you would avoid.
Tapering less or way too much
Somethings are best done the Goldilocks way – “Just Right!”. Some athletes have the feeling that if they do not run every day they are losing on their stamina, and even when suggested to taper, they do not reduce the workout much, and for some athletes taking a break from the grilling workout is more than welcome, and they rest way too much, making the muscles lethargic.
Tapering is ideally started somewhere between three to two weeks before the day of the run, and in the first few days, the running mileage has to reduce to a maximum of 20 percent and a minimum of 10 percent and not more. If you were running 60 miles per week on your highest workout day, you should start your taper week running between 48 to 54 miles, reducing it by a maximum of 20 percent per week in the following two weeks.
2. Trying to make up for the fewer miles with speed
Tapering is the time to let your muscles recover and rejuvenate, and not to strain them with extra speed or distances.
Two weeks before the marathon, have a 4-mile speed run, running as fast as you can to boost your confidence and recharge yourself, and leave the last two weeks to train only at marathon pace.
In last week, try maintaining the speed to marathon pace in order to keep working the right energy systems, and avoid any injuries.
3. Missing working out, so trying something new
Working new muscles will only bring fatigue, so stick to what you have been doing at an easier pace during tapering. The goal is to reduce the work out by 20 percent, in order to allow the muscles to invigorate, and not tire them more. Stick to the running miles as suggested by your coach, and do them at an easy pace. Remember, recovery from an injury in these couple of weeks is not possible, and it will defeat the entire purpose of training.
4. Eating the wrong carbohydrates
During tapering, the runners are advised to run less and eat more carbs in order to restore the glycogen level in the muscles. These carbohydrates, however, need to come from the right sources like whole grains, potatoes, rice, brown bread. Eating your heart out and gorging on sweets and bakes will not help in any way, in fact, it will make you gain weight and feel sluggish. So eat the right stuff and do not worry about a little weight gain while eating the right things.
5. Not Trusting yourself
Keeping positive is probably the hardest thing to do when you are under so much physical and mental pressure. The mind wanders off especially when you get some leisure time during tapering, thinking of all that could go wrong on the day of the run… rain, storm, earthquake and what not, preventing your mind from getting a peaceful sleep. The only solution here is to believe in yourself and your ability and reinforcing positivity over and over again. You need to take pride and indulge in the thrill and the rush that will only last till the day of Marathon, and run your level best.
Though the anxiousness of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, that is just in a couple of weeks now, might be getting onto your head, try to meditate with deep breathing, work out the right amount and the right way, sleep well, eat well and run your heart out on the day!Enjoy running!