Ah tapering, a necessary evil in endurance sports! Tapering allows your body to perform optimally on race day.
While some people may welcome a reduction in training volume prior to a big event, it can also be really challenging for others.
In endurance sports, the goal of tapering is to maintain all the adaptations you’ve achieved through your training while simultaneously eliminating the side effects of said training (fatigue, muscle damage, etc.)
This is achieved by gradually reducing the volume of your training 2-3 weeks before race day. This process can vary for different athletes depending on several factors such as race distance, terrain or athlete experience.
Most of us practice this before our “A” races. In addition to reducing the overall volume of your training, what else can help you have a successful taper?
Here are my top 5 tips:
•if you consume alcohol, start tapering your consumption
•you should also reduce (not necessarily eliminate) your strength training as you taper
•sleep….as much as you can!
•work on your mental strategies for race day
•hydrate and nourish your body as best as you can
The best piece of advice I can offer outside of these tips is— trust your training. Even if it wasn’t perfect (because it rarely is!!) trust that your body needs rest and recovery now to feel and perform its best.