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The Three Most Common Tapering Mistakes

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Oct. 22, 2013
  • Updated Oct. 23, 2013 at 7:22 PM UTC

Are you committing these blunders in the final three weeks before your race?

A common saying among veteran and elite marathoners is that “the marathon taper is harder than the training itself.” When you’ve achieved a level of fitness where you’re no longer worried about your ability to complete the long runs, high weekly mileage and daunting workouts, the thought of not training and losing fitness during the taper is scarier than any workout a coach can conjure up.

More importantly, the taper portion of a marathon segment is also the time when runners make the most costly mistakes, whether it be too little running, deviating from a normal routine, or getting too worked up. It’s easy to ruin months of hard work during what should be a relatively easy three weeks of training.

In this article, I’ll outline the three most common, but often less obvious, tapering mistakes I encounter when working with marathon runners.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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