The 2 weeks leading up to a marathon are often the most difficult for runners. This is the window when fitness pros recommend athletes taper their training in order to repair the damage to their muscles caused by regular training. Research shows tapering also increases glycerin stores and boosts muscle strength, and with that extra power and energy, runners can improve their race performance by around 3%—that can mean 5-10 minutes in a marathon!

Now, we know how hard it is for runners to back it down, but think of tapering as something you have to do—it’s just another part of your marathon training plan. Here are some tips to help you get the most from tapering, starting 2 weeks before your next marathon.

Cut Your Mileage in Half (or More)
Remember, the tapering period is more about rest than training hard. You already put in that work, and you won’t lose fitness within 2 weeks. So, run less and run shorter.

Adjust Your Nutrition Plan
Keep your protein and carb intake high—they’ll come in handy on race day—and reduce your fat intake. As always, drink lots and lots of water.

Prep Your Mind
Marathon preparation should also include mentally prepping. Pre-race anxiety is normal, but you can help calm your nerves by packing your gear ahead of time, familiarizing yourself with the course and participating in relaxing activities, such as meditation or massage.

Use PHUEL for Recovery Support
PHUEL has been clinically proven to release muscle tightness and increase flexibility, and it is safe enough to use anywhere on the body, as often as needed. On race day, you can also use PHUEL before you run to activate muscle function.

So how do you prep for a marathon? Share your tips on our Facebook page. Good luck at your next race!