Why Tapering is Essential for Marathon Training

3M2M Marathon Training Series

This is our 10-week series about training for a marathon. You’ve arrived at the tapering portion, which is the next-to-last email in the series. If you’d like to get all 10 weekly emails to support your marathon training, you can sign up here and you’ll get the first one, a compressed guide to marathon training.

Let’s talk about tapering.

Now you’re approaching the big day, you’re starting to get excited…or maybe a tad anxious.

Your training has been going well and your nutrition is on point. With only a few weeks to go, you may feel you want to carry on your good work to make sure you’re fully prepared for race day.


You’re a few weeks from race day and realise you didn’t stick your training as well as you’d hoped. You start to think – I know I should taper, but maybe if I push it for the last few weeks I can make up for the training I missed.

Whether you’re fully prepared or not prepared at all, you still need some sort of taper.

Tapering is an incredibly important part of your training programme and will ensure that you’re fit, recovered and in the best shape for race day.

Think of tapering as recharging your batteries.

Your last long run was a relatively quick 20 or 21 miles. For the last few weeks you’ve pushed your body six ways to Sunday. It needs a break to rejuvenate and repair if you’re going to expect it to push through 26 miles and not break on you by the end.

By running less and resting more over these couple of weeks, you’ll gain strength without losing fitness.

During your taper weeks, you’re giving your body a chance to recover after your weeks and months of intensive training.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to carb load – if you continue eating the way you have during your training, the decreased energy output with the same input means you naturally end up creating extra reserves of carbohydrates.

Keep Running

Tapering does NOT mean you collapse on the sofa and binge watch Netflix original drama.

You still need to include some running and conditioning.

You won’t do another long run a la the weekend 15-20 milers, but you’ll still want a handful of runs in the 2-3 weeks before your marathon.

They’re just shorter and less intense.

If you do a taper right, by the time you hit race day you’ll be itching to run those 26.2 miles.

If you’d like details on exactly how to structure your taper period, our 3m2m running guides (for first and repeat marathoners) have a detailed 12-week training programme, including exactly what to do in the last couple of weeks before the marathon.

The guides are available individually as kindle books from Amazon here, or you can go to our 3m2m page to get the whole bundle and/or look at our marathon packages.

Enjoy this post and want the whole series? Click here to get the whole series straight to your inbox, starting with our marathon overview, the Compressed Guide to everything you need to know for marathon training.






Free Foam Rolling Workshop - Instant Access

Good news! You don't have to torture your legs for foam rolling to be effective.

In fact, PAINLESS foam rolling is actually MORE effective than the painful type. Click the button below & get our free online workshop straight to your inbox to test it out.

Know someone who might find this useful? Click below to share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need Help? Have questions about our services?

send us a message

Include your name, email and message and someone will get back to you as soon as we can.

Free Workshop

effective, pain-free foam rolling

Simple Self-Care & 10% Off

Input your name & email and you’ll be signed up for our weekly or monthly self-care emails and as a thank you for joining you’ll get 10% off your first session with us – for January only!

Thanks for entering!

Check your inbox for: 

a) the confirmation of your entry


b) the two free gifts so you can choose which one you want. 

Simple Self-Care - In Your Inbox

Sign up for our self-care tips & get our weekly or monthly email with new videos & tips for feeling better in as little time as possible – whether it’s at your desk or on your training runs and everything in between.

Free Workshop

make good seated posture easier

Ready for a session?

We seriously can’t wait to see you! 

Choose your preferred day/times and we’ll get back to you with a confirmed booking within 1 – 2 max – working days.

The LSM Waitlist

we can't wait to see you when we're open.

input your name & email and we'll get in touch as soon as we're open for bookings

Feel Better at Your Home Workstation

Sign up for our self-care tips & get our free posture checklist.

It makes good posture easier and takes pressure off your neck, shoulders and back – in 7 minutes.