Tapering for a major competition

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 9 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #11546

    Andrew A.
    Member
  • #27888

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Good stuff. I know some people like to do nothing but an incredibly slow run the day before a race, I've always been a fan of doing something fast the day before. I just don't feel sharp on race day without it.

  • #27889

    ed
    Participant

    Pretty interesting stuff.  Personally, at my current level of fitness I would need a bit of a taper.  My legs feel heavy and slow after a couple of good weeks with little rest or “easy” runs.  My best training runs come after several days of relatively hard work followed by an easy day then a rest day.  I should really see how this affects my racing before I look at using it to further build my fitness. 

  • #27890

    denton
    Member

    I would add a few things that were said there (or not)…that if u r really fit then a 'natural' taper is pretty to achieve by simply backing off a few days before and 2) I find it's not what I do that week, but more what i did the previous week or 2 that impacts me greater. Hence why i tend to back off the week before and then do a normal week if I want to run well vs a full on taper….pretty standard stuff, but it would look like….

    Full taper:
    -which for me is pretty standard egs the process begins 4-5 weeks out where i go a 'freeman'/'vigil' taper of 3-4 weeks out being the brutal weeks and then 2 weeks out i back off a normal down week (egs 70%) and then really hit the hard taper the last week (50-60%). I find that the 70% week resst me up and then the week of allows for full superovercompensation

    Mild taper (egs run well for a somewhat important race in mid season):
    – week before 80% and then say another 80% week….and then get back into normal training ASAP after the race 

  • #27891

    ed
    Participant

    Hey Ryan –

    The fast stuff the day before a race – is it a shorter distance than the race the next day?

    For example, 2-3 miles of fast stuff the day before an 8K? 6-8 miles of fast stuff before a half mary?

  • #27892

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Denton, interesting thoughts. I've often found that a “taper” (or recovery week, which is often how I time things out) for a mid-season race doesn't do a whole lot for me. I often feel better in the middle or end of a hard week than I do in the middle or end of a recovery week. Maybe I'll have to play around with that idea.

    Ed, I don't even think of it as a workout, just a bit of fast running thrown into a recovery day. Just a handful of strides or maybe a mile at 10K race pace or a half mile at 5K race pace, if even that much. Not intended to be a workout at all, just something to stretch the legs out.

  • #27893

    ed
    Participant

    Excellent!  I really like that idea – just enough for the feel of some speed – the day before a race. 

    I am not truly race ready for Fish Day but I should be in pretty good shape for Al's to see how that feels for me.

    Still learning new things.

  • #27894

    Andrew A.
    Member

    It is food for thought.  As I would imagine each of the respondents in the blog post found out, one has to play with the variables to some degree to find the best individual fit.

  • #27895

    denton
    Member

    Ryan A food example fowhat i am getting at.

    One of the better mid season races I ever ran was at the oregon Invite.

    I had run a high profile 10km road race the previous week and had backed off that week for the race (around 65-70miles) and ran terrible based upon my fitness level.

    The next week I ended up running the 5km at oregon, but had ramped up my training for a june 10km on the track. I had no real goal going into the 5km excpet to race. I ended up shocking the hell out myself (and just about anyone who saw the race) by winning in a tactical race. My mileage that week 95-100 miles.

    The point is that I didn't have enough time to be ready and somewhat rested to run the 10km, but was instead rested for the 5km a week later. It took just a little extra time. Actually I was ready to roll the day after the 10km race as I ran a 16 miler on the Monday and then had a fantastic session on the Wed…i learned a valuable lesson that week about how to get ready for important mid season races, without hitting a full on taper….

  • #27896

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Denton, that's interesting and it got me thinking about what I've found with short mid-season tapers if I'm reading it correctly. Sometimes I hit it right for the intended race. Other times, I'm a bit flat in race day but, after a few days of kicking the training back up into high gear, I'm flying.

  • #27897

    Chris
    Member

    I've run almost all my PR's with no taper. 

  • #27898

    denton
    Member

    …sorry i should've added I felt that it was not the getting back into a normal routine that helped me run fast. Instead it works on the concept that it takes about a week for your training stimulus to have an impact (whether that be rest, a specific workout, etc….), therefore the rest from the previous week hadn't kicked in time for the 10km, while the training from the nest week's race hadn't yet fatigued me for the 5km…..

  • #27899

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Very interesting thought. Basically, it sounds like the concept of the 10 day taper for the goal race. It takes about 7-10 days for any given training stimulus to take effect so, when taking only a 7 day taper, you may not be getting the benefit soon enough. Then, when the training ramps back up, you have some good days off that rest before the heavy training catches up with you again.

    Definitely some food for thought as I'm about 2 weeks out from my next race that I would classify as semi-important.

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