It’s that time of the year already we need to start tapering for Comrades. I know it sounds like a bad word Tapering. You should have done your last long run and now you should try not to do more than 4 hours on the road a day (no not every day) maybe once in a week for the first two weeks then down to 2 hours.

Scaling back the kays in the weeks leading up to race day can leave many runners feeling restless – and tempted to run to calm themselves. But doing unscheduled workouts during the taper (the last two to three weeks of your training) will only put your race at risk. So what’s an anxious runner to do? Use the time to train the most important body part of your race – The Brain. Hopefully the following tips will help reduce nerves and hone mental skills you can use on race day.

Trust the Process

Runners get itchy feet during the Taper weeks and want to do more rather then less. Know that come race day your legs and body will thank you for Tapering. Remind yourself of this and trust that its best to listen to your body!!

Focus on Your Goal

Prep your mind to get you through the race. Study the Route do the research and try and make notes on what to expect where. See yourself completing Comrades, hear the crowds and see the finish lines.

Rest Run Repeat

So tapering for a runner who has been doing 200-400km or more a month for the past 6 months is the hardes thing a runner can do. Use the taper time to get quality runs in and get as much rest as you can. Getting closer to Comrades you are going to struggle to get in quality sleep due to stress of the race. Run and make sure you get as much sleep as you possibly can. While you have this exta time spend it on activities that will reduce stress – reading, going to movies, spending time with the family anything that will relax you.

You’re there now complete your Goal

With a week or so to go make sure you have a list of what needs to be packed. Let everyone know who will be helping you on race day, either seconding or just a friendly smile along the route. Make sure they have your race number. If you leaving for Comrades a couple of days before then enjoy the ride or flight down. Go to the expo take in as much as you can. Go for a walk on the beach and try and relax.

Get up for Comrades, with your goal in mind, your legs rested and ready for anything, your mind trained to take you to the Ultimate Human Challenge – The Comrades Marathon. Enjoy every moment and get the job done.

by Marelise Da Silva