There’s a temptation when tapering for a race to relax a lot. There’s also a temptation to train right through and even panic-train and mess up your race. It’s a tough life, tapering.
But I’m going to talk about strategic relaxing because that’s a mistake I recently made. Hoping to be really fresh for a run I did a float tank and an infrared sauna the day before a race.
Bottom line: It screws up your movement patterns. You’re used to having some tension in the system, and if you strip it all away and get all loosey goosey (or worse relax one leg completely while the other is still holding some tension because it’s nearer to injury) then running feels weird.
That’s the last thing you want on race day. Really there’s a million worse thing on race but whatever…
Point is you want to get super relaxed 5 and 4 days out then start working out again 3, 2, 1. Keep the work outs light, fun, form-focused, but start getting some tension back into your muscles, it’s your normal.