The perfect taper


The taper is that glorious pre-race period for marathoners (and half-marathoners) when training is scaled back. A review of tapering studies reveals that reducing mileage while maintaining your pace and frequency is best. Do your final long run — 25-30km — 21 days before the race. Then follow this plan:


3 Weeks Before

Training: Scale back your totale mileage for the week to about 75% of what you’ve been doing.
Diet: Aim for 60% to 70% carbs, 15% protein, and the rest healthy fats. This maintains glycogen, your main energy source.


2 Weeks Before

Training: Halve your usual mileage. Your longest run should not exceed 15k. Stretch to help recovery.
Diet: Keep the same ratios, focusing on quality carbs. Try your pre-race breakfast before a run to see how your body reacts.


1 Week Before

Training: Reduce your training to 25% of usual, at most. Keep your runs short, but stay on pace.
Diet: The last few days, your calorie intake should stay the same, but up to 90% of it should come from carbs. And no new foods!


Race Day

Training: You’re done training, man. Save your energy for the gun.
Diet: Eat 300 to 500 calories (a bagel, some fruit, and an egg) 2 to 3 hours before the race. Drink 1L to 1.5L of water over 2 hours.


Image from Stockexchange


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