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Race for Life - Taper Top Tips

The taper is when you cut back your training and allow your body to heal and adapt to all those miles you've put in, leaving you fresh and fit for race day;

The Final Week

  • Reduce your training to just some easy runs no longer than 30 minutes


  • Get plenty of rest and don’t do all the odd jobs at home


  • Stick to your normal diet with slightly more emphasis on carbohydrate but don’t comfort eat!


  • Keep sensibly hydrated all week


  • Relax mentally and try to keep your mind off the race


  • Look back at all the good training you have achieved when you have any negative thoughts

  • This is not the time to try or do anything different – stick to your routine


  • Because you are not training as much as normal you may feel a little sluggish – it’s normal!


  • Get your race kit ready including shoes, race number and pins, spare laces, vaseline, hat, gloves, old cloths, bin liner, toilet paper food for after the race etc and plan where you will meet your friends and family afterwards


It is normal to feel nervous but if you do have a last minute niggle, injury or worry please email us for quick advice on

The Final 24 Hours

  • Have a very relaxed day – stay off your feet as much as possible


  • Stay positive and focused about your race plan


  • Have a very easy 10-15 minute jog just to turn your legs over


  • Graze on carbohydrates and have a number of small meals


  • Keep hydrated but don’t overdo it


  • Last ‘main’ meal around 6-7pm and then graze on carbohydrate


  • Avoid alcohol


  • You may not sleep to well but this is normal

The Big Day

  • Have your normal pre-long run breakfast


  • Keep control of your nerves


  • Take water to the start


  • Dress with old clothes you can throw away in case of cold/wet conditions


  • Get to the start early – allow time not to rush


  • Stay wrapped up and warm for as long as you can


  • Minimum warm up and don’t do anything different to a normal race

The Race

  • Remember it’s a race about you against the marathon distance, not you against anybody else running the race


  • Stay in control but enjoy the atmosphere and excitement


  • Running a good marathon is all about pace and patience


  • Manage your energy and fuel economy


  • Be aware of what others are doing and debris at drink stations


  • Run even pace – try to avoid weaving around other runners


  • The race starts at about mile 17 before that it is just transport!


  • Enjoy but be aware of your pace when you are lifted by the crowd and atmosphere


  • Everyone is running for their own reason but you may well find yourself becoming emotional as you approach the finish


  • When you cross the line keep warm, get your kit and replenish and then you can….


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