With a week to go before London Marathon and race season well underway, stretching and recovery is ESSENTIAL! In the last 10 days before a race it’s about Tapering- loading up those glycogen stores via carbs, loosening those tight muscles and a few light taper runs.
But firstly, what is tapering? Well, as I wrote the other day for an article (www.riderepublic.co.uk) : It allows muscle energy stores to return to their peak levels (glycogen). During training your bodies metabolic systems will have been stretched. By tapering it allows them to return to their optimal ranges. It will also allow your muscles to rejuvenate and recover. To summarise tapering allows your body to prepare for peak performance. Some studies have shown a proper taper can improve times in race by up to 3%!
Carb loading is the joy of all marathon type training. Eating a slightly increased level of carbohydrates while reducing training causes the body to store more glycogen- so more energy!
This (sadly ha) DOESN’T mean eat more calories a day, just a higher percentage of them.
Now for stretching, rolling and all other forms of muscle remedies!Whether it’s tight glutes, sore feet or niggling calfs- release that tension.
Using foam rollers and trigger balls every evening will urge those muscles to relax! Aim to get a massage in this taper week to loosen those areas the foam roller can’t reach. Within this period, if it’s in your practice, perform some yoga so muscles are lengthened and more important the mind is relaxed.
To end you are in control of how your race goes! Your mind is the only thing between you and that finish line. Set your mind to success and believe in your training andddd GOOD LUCK!!!!!