Marathon training is really hard. You have done long runs, tough interval sessions and plenty of hill runs. When the time to taper comes it is a welcome relief after the gruelling weeks.
How much does it help?
Ideally you want to begin tapering 2-3 weeks before the marathon (depending on the athlete). Some studies indicate that tapering can help as much as 20% on race day.
What is a good taper?
It is important to find the balance between tapering too much and too little. Too much and you may find a drop in that well earned fitness you have built up. Too little and you wont feel the benefit of the reduction in mileage and effort on race day.
How much should I taper?
We like to work off of the 10/15/50 principle. This means that 3 weeks out you reduce your mileage by 10%, 2 weeks out its 15% and in the last week its 50%. Everyone is different but we find this works for all of us in the Runderwear Team who are running in marathons.