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The Running Edit: Peak week and tapering explained

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With the countdown officially on for the London Marathon, now is the time to make sure you’re fully prepared for your final weeks of training. We’ve called in Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor Andre Bates to ensure you hit the start line race ready.

I’ve heard I should do a peak week… what’s that?
This is the week of training roughly three weeks out from the marathon where you complete your longest run in one session (usually it’ll be around 18.5-22.5 miles). You’ll also clock up your highest total mile count in this week.

What happens after peak week then?
After peak week, you should reduce the amount of miles you cover in a week. This lowering in intensity is known as tapering. It allows your body to heal and be stronger for the race.

What about my nutrition? Eat all the carbs, right?
Carb-loading before a big race is vital. This is where you restock depleted glycogen and up your carbohydrate intake to improve energy for your run. You should start carb-loading around seven days out, taking your carbs up to 6.5 grams for every kilogram of bodyweight. Four days out, increase it to 7-9 grams.

Is yoga OK on days when I’m not running?
Yes, definitely. Yoga is an amazing tool to use alongside your runs. It’s not only great for releasing tight muscles but also brilliant for relieving the mental stress of training.

What should my strategy the day before the race be?
Don’t overdo your eating. Make sure you have easy to digest meals with the same carb guidelines advised above, and try to avoid really fibrous foods like wholegrains. It goes without saying that you should drink plenty of water, too (around 2-3 litres).

Apart from that, prepare, pack your race day bag, get your kit ready and don’t leave anything last minute. Go over your race strategy and finally, try to unwind, relax and ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Good luck!

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