Mistake #2: Getting Off Your Normal Routine
The body craves consistency. The more routine a runner can be in their training, whether it be the time of day they run or the number of days per week they train, the better the body will respond. Many runners can experience the difference between being on a routine and being inconsistent just by fluctuating the time of day they run. Something as simple as changing your morning run to an afternoon run can make a huge difference in how optimally the body is prepared to perform.
Unfortunately, in an effort to reduce volume or find a magical way to feel more rested, runners with often stray from their normal routine during the taper. Consequently, their legs feel flat or they have less than optimal training runs, reducing confidence heading into the big day.
What You Can Do
Stay on your routine as best you can. If you normally run five days per week, exercise five days per week. If you double (run twice per day), make sure you have a few double runs thrown in. Do whatever you can to trick your body into thinking the taper is like any other training week.
If you’re nervous about keeping the frequency of training so high, you can turn to other forms of light exercise. When training for big races, I would often go for an afternoon walk when I didn’t have a double run scheduled. My body was so conditioned to running twice per day, it was a great way to keep myself on a consistent routine and to calm the nerves.