With the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon being a couple of weeks away, it is time to start tapering your training runs. Some people have their own schedule that they follow religiously before a half marathon and, if that works for you, now is not the time to change it. If this is your first half event or if you still haven’t found the perfect tapering schedule, here are some tips to try. Your last long run (somewhere between 10 and 13 miles) should be completed no later than two weeks before race day. This is to ensure that your body has enough time to fully recover and reap the fitness gains from the long-run trainings. At this stage, your runs should gradually become easier and less in volume as your prepare to run through wine country on May 11th. There is no need to cut back on the frequency at which you’ve been running because your body is used to it but you do want to decrease your mileage. A general rule of thumb is to decrease your mileage by 25-50% by the week prior to the race. Any easier way to go (without any calculations) is to run 30-40 minutes from here on out, each time you run. While you are out on your runs these last two weeks, you can focus on running mechanics and form, take your running apparel out for a test run if you are wearing something new (or a costume), and simply take it easy. If you want to play around with speed at this point, don’t run any further than a 5K distance each time you run. Be sure to get your rest days in between your runs and don’t be afraid to take an extra day off if you are battling an injury. It’s countdown time so treat your body well and mentally prepare!