KEYS TO AN EFFECTIVE TAPER
GOAL: Maximize your glycogen stores for the starting line.
Nutrition: Shift your food choices so that the bulk of your calories are carbohydrates. (Same number of calories, but low protein, low fat.)
Volume: Reduce your overall training mileage by 30-50%.
Intensity: If you’re currently doing speed work, it is OK to keep your intensity high, as long as you keep the distance low (1-3 miles max).
Weight training: Take a break from weight training, plyometrics, or any other muscle building workout.
Relax and put your feet up!
Stay hydrated throughout the week before your race but don’t over-hydrate.
Too nervous to sleep? Getting a good night sleep the few days before is more important than on the night of the race.
Visualize your success: Picture yourself triumphantly crossing the finish line and receiving your finisher’s medal!
AFTER THE RACE
Rule of thumb: take one day off from heavy training (speed work, weights, and long runs) for each mile you race.
However, active recovery will often speed your muscle recovery: jog, walk, bike or swim! Ease back into your regular workout routine.
You may feel a bit down once the race excitement has passed and you’ve reached your goal. The best cure: Sign up for your next challenge!