My Big Marathon is Almost Here! What to do the Last few Weeks

Nice work! You’ve made it this far, and now you are 2-3 weeks out from your big race. Here are a few recommendations for “tapering” your training leading into your race.

3 Weeks out:   Complete your last big long run no closer than 3 weeks out. Practice this run with the shoes you want to use and the nutrition you plan on taking during the race. This run might be 18 miles, 20, or even longer. Its best to get this run in and allow sufficient time for your body to recover. Plus, the training you are doing within the last two weeks won’t really increase your fitness level on race day. So not only are you expending extra energy, you are also wearing your body down.


Two weeks out: Start to back off your workout length as well. Cut your intervals or tempo miles back 30-50% on distance. You still want to keep your runs consistent, and with some good pace work, but you don’t need to overdue it.

1 week out: Shift to 1 hard workout no longer than 15-20 min of hard effort about 5 days out. This The 2-3 mile hard workout helps your body and mind prepare for the challenges you will likely face during your race. Then you just need a few easy runs of 30-45 minutes the following days  with some strides built in to one of those last runs. It is ok to take an extra day off here as well.


Race Week/ Last Minute Prep: Eat a normal meal the night leading into the race. Don’t try new stuff. You don’t need to stuff yourself. Also make sure you are getting good rest 48 hr out from the race. If you don’t sleep well the night before the race, that’s ok. That is common, and you can still have a good run. Come up with a game plan for how you plan on running the race. Remember races may not go as planned, so allow for some flexibility. 

Write down an affirmation or two on your arm so you can look down during the run and remind you of why in the world you are running a marathon! If you struggle with anxiety or pre race stress, you may like our write up on conquering self doubt! Take it 1 mile at a time and remember that you can do it! 

erik stanley