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NYC Marathon – Taper Tips!

Marathon runners running on city road,detail on legs

It’s taper time!

With 3 weeks to go until the NYC marathon, taper time has begun. Tapering is one of the most important parts of marathon training, but one of the hardest to implement. Many people fear cutting back their training as they believe it will hurt their performance. However, reducing mileage before the race is important to allow for recovery before the race and allow you to reach your peak performance on race day. Here are some tips to get you through those last 3 weeks before the marathon:

  • One mistake that runners make is training hard right up to marathon day. Your body needs a rest.

    • Most training programs should peak about 3 weeks prior to race day
    • Be sure to cut your volume by about 60-70%. An extra long run at this point will not improve your aerobic base, and could cause more injury prior to race day.
    • Keep the intensity of your cross-training workouts and runs high but decrease the frequency of your workouts leading up to the marathon
    • This allows you to go into the marathon with rested legs and restored muscle stores.
  • Nutrition is key

    • In the early phases of taper, make sure you are taking in enough protein as to aid in the repair and the recovery of muscle tissue damaged during your high-mileage phase of marathon training that has just ended.
  • If you don’t eat meat, be sure to take in protein from eggs, beans, dairy, or soy products

    • Keep your immune system strong to prevent a cold or flu by loading up on Vitamin C
      • Kiwis, orange juice, bell pepper, and broccoli all have good sources of vitamin C
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night of the week leading up to the marathon.

    • Make sure to get a good night’s rest 2 nights before the race, as the night before you may have some pre-race jitters or have to wake up early to get to the start line
  • Test those sneaks!

    • Race day is NOT the day to break out those brand new shoes you just bought.
    • Make sure to run about 30-40 miles in your shoes before race day. If you haven’t broken out your race day shoes yet- now is the time!
  • Create your race day plan

    • When will you hydrate? When will you fuel? Are you following a pacer?
    • Knowing all these things before you step up to the start line will take some stress out of race day
  • Stay hydrated!

    • Being hydrated in the week before the race is critical – do not stop your hydration rituals just because you are decreasing the frequency of your training


Don’t overthink it – be confident in your training, and don’t let race week jitters cause you to abandon your taper plans!

For more information on running injury prevention or treatment, please contact Evolve Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation at 212-438-1596 or use the “contact us” link on the upper right hand corner of your screen.

Most of all- enjoy the day! The marathon should be a victory lap for your months of hard work and training! Good luck runners!


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