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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > May 2018 > LESS IS MORE


Running a spring marathon? It ‘s time to get your head around the concept of tapering, says Christina Macdonald

In the last few weeks before your marathon, it’s important to cut back on the volume and frequency of your running sessions, to allow your body time to recover so you’re fresh, rather than fatigued, when you reach the start line. This is called tapering. Many runners struggle to get their heads around the concept of cutting back, fearing they will lose fitness. But tapering is an essential part of marathon training.

The idea is to allow your body time to recover before race day. As you’ve been training for a long time, if you go into a race without tapering, you won’t be fully recovered. You also won’t have given your body time to rebuild its glycogen stores (stored carbohydrate which is used for energy). Tapering gives your body the chance to be at its optimum level for race day and should help to alleviate any muscle aches or niggles. But how can you be sure you get tapering right? Worry not. We’ve asked running coach Richard Coates, from Full Potential (, our official Big Marathon Challenge coach, to answer all your questions on tapering…

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About Women’s Running

Ever thought about how your favourite hobby might impact the environment? Grab yourself the May issue of Women’s Running, to find out more about your carbon running footprint – and how you can reduce it. With advice on everything from the best ethical running kit, to making your own drinks and fuel, to starting run-commuting, you’ll find an abundance of ideas on how to become a more eco-conscious runner. And you won’t be short of inspiration. Read how cover star Lizzie Carr transformed from a high-flying city girl to a passionate environmentalist and adventurer, and how contributing editor Claire Chamberlain managed to beat her 10K PB, after transitioning to a vegan diet. As ever, you’ll find the usual training advice, including the lowdown on all things tapering, and regular Best in Test gear reviews – this month, WR testers have reviewed the latest minimal, neutral and support shoes, so grab yourself a copy to find out which shoes came out on top!