You’ve been training since the beginning of the summer for this one goal of running the Venicemarathon. Four long months of preparation, most of which were done during the hot summer months. Now that the temperatures are dropping and running is feeling easier, you’re allowing yourself to feel excited about race week. I don’t want to burst your bubble but you do need to be prepared: the last three weeks of tapering are also easiest for you to get sick. Working against you is a suppressed immune system after a long run. You’ve probably done a few of those in the last month! The seasonal climate change is also a challenge for bodies to adapt to, hence, many athletes succumb to the first flu bug that gets passed around. Here’s some suggestions on how to stay healthy during your taper period, up until race day.
Keep eating well. The last weeks are the most important for sticking to your nutrition plan. Most runners I know think they need to pile on the pasta in order to “carbo load” before the race. Make sure they are balanced out with fresh vegetables and a portion of protein. Snack on fruit and stay hydrated.
Don’t run more mileage than needed. Whatever training plan you happen to be on, stick to it. A lot of runners panic in the last month, comparing notes with fellow athletes and thinking that they need just one more long run…and then they’ll be ready. Take a deep breath and stick to your original plan. It will work!
3. Recover and rest. How many other combinations of these two words can I deliver to you so that you take them seriously? Rest and recovery is my number one recommendation to athletes I train. If I could write it into their training plans I would! Go to bed just an hour earlier a few times per week. I know it’s a little bit of a sacrifice, then again, won’t it be worth when you cross the finish line in Venice?