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A relaxing final: Uta Pippig' tapering advice

Uta Pippig is a well-known German Long-distance runner, and the first woman to officially win the Boston Marathon three consecutive times (1994–1996). She also won the BERLIN-MARATHON three times (1990, 1992 and 1995) and keeps coming back every year to let today's participants benefit from her experience. Exclusively for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON fans, she has put together the most important advice for your Tapering time.


1. Cut back on your mileage gradually.

Starting three weeks before your event, reduce to roughly 70 percent of the average weekly mileage of your previous build-up period. During the second week drop down again to about 60 percent, and the week before your race run even less—down to about 40 percent.

2. Add shorter and slightly faster workouts.

Plan your uniquely-tailored schedule according to your current fitness level. Run all your workouts, even the more intensive sessions, with plenty in reserve and rest longer between intense workouts for a full recovery. Also, start every intense workout at about the same speed you could manage during the previous build-up period. Once you find your rhythm—and if you feel strong—maybe after one third to one half of the program run as fast as you can manage while always being in control. A little kick at the end of the session would be great.

3. Rest can be the most effective “training”—an essential and powerful tool to help you be in the best running shape for your marathon.

Feel comfortable with taking an additional day off if you need to, because you don’t feel fully recovered yet. You may also decide on an easier workout. Your body’s recovery—week by week feeling more rested—is important at this stage of training so close to your race. Sleep well, aided by prudent planning of your travel and last-minute preparation for the final week.

4. Focus on proper nutrition.

Choose a diet that includes enoughwater and the right carbohydrates, like oats, rice, beans, potatoes and pasta, and good fats—those with monounsaturated fatty acids like olive oil, avocadoes, nuts and seeds and those with omega-3 fatty acids which are contained in wild cold water fish like sardines, herring and salmon, but also in organic free-range eggs, wild game, and flax seed product. For tissue repair, get enough protein, especially during the first week of your tapering period. During the week leading up to the race, focus on a higher carbohydrate intake to optimize your glycogen levels.

5. Tapering provides a great opportunity to check that you are best prepared mentally.

I hope you are already getting excited, with a “cool focus” as I like to call it. Closer to race day you may find your energy levels are higher and your mood more uplifted. Your focus on all the aspects of the marathon will be sharpened; you will feel ready to plan your unique race strategy. Evaluate the times you ran during the weeks of your highest mileage period and now during your tapering period, and how your body felt. This information will help you decide on a time goal that feels comfortable and realistic. I often waited until my last important workouts—even up to 10 days before the race—to finalize my race strategy.

 Importantly during your tapering period—and during the marathon—listen to your body. Your body is your best coach—it constantly tries to let you know your health, fitness, and energy levels. Use this to your advantage.


Here's more #beatberlin42 advice on how to improve your preparation for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON 2017:

This article are taken from Uta's Blog Take the Magic Step.

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