Here I want to quickly help you understand why we taper.

When it comes to the taper having good knowledge of what to do and why will help with the Taper Crazies 😬

Studies show a good 3 week taper can improve marathon time by 3% which equates to 5-10 minute over a marathon.

A good taper is essential for peak performance on race day, tapering allows muscle glycogen stores to return to normal after being in a depleted state for months. Muscles and tendons repair and strengthen, your immune system is restored. Basically ,tapering allows your body to recover from months of training hard ready for race day.

Some simple rules of thumb ✅

* If doing a 3 week Taper the key is to reduce volume but not intensity. We usually work on 80%, 60% and 40% an example could be;

Peak week 50 miles
Taper week 1 80% 40 miles
Taper week 2 60% 30 miles
Taper week 3 40% 20 miles

* During this time you want to avoid anything too taxing on the legs, so now’s the time to drop the hill training and flat out intervals and replace with some steady flat intervals. If your quite a new runner then you can just do some strides which are 100m or 20 second progressive sprints these help with maintaining form and speed.

* Keep Tempo runs short or swap for marathon pace efforts.

* Most fitness gains take longer than 3 weeks to adapt to so there is no point continuing to train hard into your taper if you have missed so runs you would be better off tapering and taking what you have to the start line than exhausting yourself during the taper period.

* Now’s the time to drop the heavy strength work swap this for core, hip and glute specific workouts we want to maintain strength, flexibility and mobility. In the last week of your taper just stretch and roll.

* If you cross train, make sure you reduce the time of that too, if your swimming that’s fine but if your mountain biking I would probably stop doing that during your taper purely as injury prevention.

* Try to reduce the not so good foods and if you want to run your best race save the alcohol for when you finish. Start to introduce more good carbohydrates like rice, pasta, sweet potato, quinoa and fruit.

I will do a post soon on carb loading. As always any questions fire away 😁

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