Whether it is a 5K or a marathon, it is wise to taper if you want peak performance. If you are newer to running, the 5K may be your first big goal and therefore that is your ‘marathon’. For experienced marathoners, the taper is over a 2-week period. Basically, you slowly reduce your mileage over the tapering period until your goal race.
By tapering, you are accomplishing a few things:
1. You have trained for a while, so you may have some bumps and bruises that you want to heal (not injuries!)
2. You want your body to completely recharge, rest and get ready for your race
3. Your body becomes a springboard, ready for release on race day. So all these steps make it ready to peak on that day.
Tapering doesn’t mean many things either. It doesn’t give you permission to start working out on the bike or hit the weights like madman because you need to burn your calories. That only causes extra stress on muscles that are not used to it. It also does not give you license to just start eating carbs like crazy – save that for closer to the race. And even then, don’t overeat – that is not the goal of carb-loading. You also want to get in 6 nights of nitrogen oxide load and fast 7+ days from caffeine (if you are using caffeine on race day).
This is a good week to go and get a massage or get to your PT to knock out any kinks in your body.
Finally, as I have told many of on the team directly, please don’t do anything stupid. No moving furniture (and throw out your back).* No riding motorcycles (and get into accidents).* Try to rest rest rest. You will feel antsy, and that is your body getting ready to “spring” on the day of your race.
As always, happy running!
*these things happened to my friends….sigh
#running #taper #tapering #runningtips #runningcoach #rest #recover
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