You’ve trained hard for the past few months, put in the hours, miles and early mornings, and you feel ready to take on your upcoming race. Now comes the dreaded time in between your longest run and the race itself when you’re forced to take it easy and scale back on your mileage and workouts. The tapering period can be one of the biggest mental challenges to get through in all of your training, but it’s also necessary to ensure your legs are fresh at the start line. Our trick for getting through it? Make the most of this time! Use it to reflect back on your training and have a little fun – you’ve earned it.
Go for a short run
Pick a new path for a change of scenery and go easy to enjoy the view. Forget your GPS watch at home and just run for the sheer joy of it. So many of us tend to get so caught up in training and tracking our pace that we lose sight of why we started running in the first place. Use this time to reconnect with this source of happiness in your life and clear your mind of any pre-race jitters.
Reflect on how far you’ve come
Whether it’s your first race or your 20th, we hope you’re immensely proud of all you’ve accomplished throughout your training. Think about where you were on day one versus where you are now; how much stronger and more resilient you are today. You’ve pushed past your limits – and might have even survived an injury or two – and come out on top. That’s truly amazing.
Get everything prepped for the big day
It’s such a relief to wake up bright and early on race day and know that you have everything you need already packed and ready to go. Take some time to pick out exactly what you want to wear and what you’ll feel most comfortable in. Hang everything up together in your closet and pin your bib to your shirt ahead of time so all you have to do is slip it on that morning. Pack your bag with plenty of snacks and energy gels, as well as a change of shoes if you need them.
Now just enjoy the rest of the process. Remember, you’ve trained hard and put in all the work you’ve needed to in order to have a great race. So, trust your training as well, and take a deep breath. You’ve got this!