Re: tapering for a 10k

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I remember being told that whatever you do in the final 10 days can do more harm than good. The idea is that it takes about 10-14 days for any fitness benefits gained from a workout to really set in and offset the fatigue and recovery aspects of the workout. What this means is that your last truly hard workout should be no less than 10 days out from your big goal race and any workouts after that should mainly serve the purpose of retaining fitness and keeping your legs loose and ready to run hard.

Seeing as tomorrow is precisely 10 days before your big race, I’d say make your final hard workout tomorrow if that works into the plan you have been following so far. From that point on, keep doing some sharpening workouts, such as 200 meter repeats, and some longer workouts, such as 800-1600 meter repeats at 10k race pace with longer recoveries than you would normally take. Keep some easy running in there and maybe a moderate to long run this weekend. Of course, if you have a taper routine that has worked in the past, learn from it.

The taper should be one of the easiest aspects of training but it seems like one of the hardest to get right. It’s all about finding your personal balance between doing too little and feeling flat on race day and doing too much and not being as well rested as you can on race day. It’s hard to give specific advice for the taper because we all need something different. In general, though, some sharpening is a good idea along with easy days and workouts at the same paces you have been running but with reduced volume.