Six Physio blog

The #LondonMarathon blog @Amy_Abrahams explains tapering

Apr 29th, 2015 / Nicki Chick

Sarah Green & Jon Grayson talk tapering to Amy Abrahams, Glamour Magazine 27th April 2015

The London Marathon blog: One day to go!

After all the build-up, the training, the panic and the worries, the London Marathon is very
nearly here.

Oh. My. God.

It’s been a funny old week (with some funny old moods), which a friend accurately described
as ‘taper trauma’. It feels weird to have to reduce your running when there’s such a huge
race ahead. It’s like having a big exam and not looking past page 10 in your one-and-only
text book. However, you’ve got to trust the training plan and know it’s for the best. Or as
physiotherapists Sarah Green and Jon Grayson from Six Physio ( say:
“Tapering before a big race is incredibly important. It allows time for your muscles to
recover and repair following all the weeks of intensive training. The taper allows you to
recover from fatigue and gives you the best chance to get the most from your training.”

Meanwhile, there’s so much admin I still need to do, including working out when I need to
wake up, what trains I need to get, what’s going in my bag, how many gels I really need, plus
not forgetting to take an Instagram photo of all my kit laid out (essential!). But while there’s
so much I need to think about, my head is also getting itself in the game. Yes, I’m feeling
nervous but I’m starting to really, really look forward to it. I just went on a last little run
(and probably ran a bit too far), but it was thrilling to think that tomorrow I’ll be running
THE London Marathon, with thousands of people cheering us along. To all those coming to
watch, I thank you – your role is crucial and I can’t begin to explain just how much you help
runners to keep going. So thank you.

To everyone running, remember – you’ve done the hard work. Tomorrow will be fun.
Channel some positive vibes and know that you’ve totally got this. It’s not a competition –
it’s about the experience of running one of the world’s best marathons in one of the
greatest cities. Have faith in yourself – you are always stronger than you give yourself credit
for. So enjoy it, smile, wave and take in the atmosphere – you’re going to be a triumph.

In the meantime, I guess I’d better get on with eating potatoes and planning for tomorrow –
I’ve got letters to iron onto my Cancer Research vest, a route to study, and a manicure to
paint (can you tell I’m obsessed with the little details?!!).

But finally, here are some last-minute tips from Emma Barraclough, senior sports nutritionist
at SiS, on getting yourself in the right shape for tomorrow:
“You need to maximise your carbohydrate stores before the race, and you can start to
ensure this 48 hours before the event. This is known as carbohydrate loading. Make sure
you base all of your meals around carbohydrates and have carbohydrate snacks throughout
Friday and Saturday.”
“Get plenty of sleep. Get an early night on Saturday. Sleep is a crucial part of your recovery
“Make sure you have a good carb-based breakfast 3-4 hours before the start on Sunday. It
should be the same as you’ve had on your long runs. Have at least 500ml from waking to the
start, ideally carry some drink and a small snack to keep your levels topped up on the way to
the start.”
“Once you’ve crossed the line, congratulations are in order. By this time, your gly cogen
levels will likely be depleted, and your muscles will be crying out for nutrients. In order to
start your recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible, you should consume carbohydrates
and protein within 30 minutes of crossing the line. Then, be sure to consume a balanced
meal with further carbohydrates and protein within two hours.”

Right, so that’s me for now – it’s been an incredible ride to get to this point and I wish all you
other runners the most magnificent time. And thanks to everyone for all your support,
sponsorship and words of wisdom – special props to Stephen from The Perfect Balance
Clinic and Nick from The Running School for keeping me from physically falling apart and, in
fact, getting me just a little bit stronger.

Hopefully I’ll be Tweeting and Instagramming the hell out of tomorrow, so follow me here if
you wish: Twitter and Instagram: @Amy_Abrahams

Good luck everyone!
I’m running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Cancer Research UK to help raise vital
funds to beat cancer sooner. To support Cancer Research UK’s biggest ever marathon team
and help raise £2.5 million,

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