Whether this is your first marathon or just one in a string of many, you’ve been training for months and now race day is just a few weeks away. For many people this is the longest race of their lives. And with marathon race day quickly approaching, competitors will be doing long runs before they taper off their training.

Why Taper Your Training?

At this point in your training conventional racing wisdom suggests there is little more you can do to improve your performance. You’re either ready or you are not. Tapering your training means you back off on your training for the last few weeks leading up to your race in order to allow damage to your muscles to heal to build up your reserves and your strength so your in your best shape for the race itself. It sounds a little counter-intuitive – take a break before the race – but research has shown that not only can you improve your performance, you do not lose any fitness or aerobic capacity by tapering for us to three weeks before your race.

Massage therapy

Sports massage isn’t just for runners with injuries. Regular massage as part of a training schedule can actually help prevent injuries, repair muscles tissue and stretch your muscles.

And incorporating massage into your marathon training regime can make your race day an even bigger accomplishment. Scheduling a massage near your last long run allows your muscles plenty of time to recover and help you feel “back to normal” before kicking off your tapering schedule. And, be sure to schedule a massage at least 3-5 days before your big race (or 7-10 days before the race if you are not used to sports or deep tissue massage). The deeper the massage, the longer it takes the body to recover and respond – just like your running workouts! Your muscles – and your race day results – will be a peak performance on the big day!

Good luck to everyone competing during this year’s marathon/running season!