Tapering is decreasing the number of miles run towards the end of training before a race. For a marathon, it is suggested to taper two to three weeks before the race. This means that your longest run will be two to three weeks before race day.

What happens if the taper period is too long or too short?

If your taper period is too short, you will be tired on the day of the race. On the other hand, if your taper period is too long, you will have lost your fitness level.

Why is tapering necessary?

Taper period is necessary for your body to build back to peak strength. The rest gives a chance for the body to recover after all the hard training for long runs.

How much should you taper?

The total mileage run drops during the taper period. While the amount of mileage to cut back during taper varies, you can use the following numbers as a guideline:

  • 3 weeks before the race: 20-25%
  • 2 weeks before the race: 40%
  • 1 week before the race: 60%

At what pace should I taper?

The pace of your runs should not be dropped during tapering. This is a good time to practice
race pace or run at a speed at which you will run your half marathon or marathon.

Long distance runners do carbohydrate loading in the week prior to the race to help the body store maximum amount of glycogen.

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