Preparing for Taper Before Race Day


Heading into taper can be a stressful time for a lot of runners.

It’s common for runners to go ‘taper crazy,’ as I like to call it. They just start making changes and trying many new things right before a race.

It’s essential to keep in mind that anything new can cause problems for you on race day.

There are a couple of key mistakes I see runners make as a Physical Therapist – Mistakes that can get you hurt in the final stretch before your race.

Watch the video for more:


Don’t Change Your Shoes

One easy-to-fix mistake is to avoid changing your shoes at the last minute.

When you spend so much time in one pair of shoes, your body gets used to how it feels.

Buying new shoes can throw you off if you don’t have time to break them in – or if you only use them on race day.

New shoes can often cause shin cramps and foot pain, which you DO NOT want when chasing down a PR.

Avoid Adding New Exercises

Have you ever had “phantom pains” heading into race day?

It’s common for runners to feel new aches and pains – some are real, but most are jitters and nerves.

If you find yourself tight or stiff, avoid adding new strength exercises or stretches to your routine.

Anything new to the system can create unwanted soreness leading up to race day.  

Main Message

If your goal is to run your best on race day, don’t make any abrupt changes during taper.

Avoid filling your rest time with new exercises and stretches.

Instead, focus on dialing in your pace, race strategy, and what you’ll need on race day.

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