With my race just around the corner, I have to start thinking about tapering. Tapering is when just before a big race or event, an athlete pulls back in training in order to start conserving energy. Some people get nervous about the idea of tapering because they’re afraid that they’ll lose all the fitness they worked so hard to achieve. But according to runnersworld.com, tapering before a race is really important because “levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones–all depleted by high mileage–return to optimal ranges during a taper.” You do a lot of damage to your muscles during this kind of marathon and half marathon training, and resting helps your body repair itself. Plus, tapering makes a runner less likely to catch a cold or get injured.

Sounds pretty good to me – all definite reasons to take seriously. For my last half marathon, the team tapered for a week, and then took a week off. I’m not sure what I should do this time. I think that I will probably keep working out this week (I get sad and stressed when I don’t!). I also think that my training run this weekend will be a good opportunity to really prove to myself that I’m ready. And then I’ll taper for the week before the race. I’m not going to stay off my feet completely, but will probably just enjoy walking my dog and other light activities.

What do you think? Do any of you taper or rest before a big race? Should I taper more?

– Hannah

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