Why Runners Should Taper In The Weeks Before A Race

Running Training

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Muscle damage

By reducing training and in particular long or intense speed training sessions, you will arrive at your event with fresh legs.


Carbohydrate stores

If you have been training hard you will be eating more food than usual, so when you reduce your training in the taper, most athletes would be advised to keep their energy stores up by keeping the same eating patterns. This also follows the age old rule of not changing anything close to your event. By also timing your meals immediately (no more than 30 minutes) after your training, you will also ensure that you store less of your food as body fat and more as muscle glycogen, which is good general training advice anyway.

Maintaining performance components

Cardiovascular (aerobic) endurance

By reducing your training volume to a third of your highest level you can maintain your cardiovascular fitness for around eight weeks.

Cardiovascular speed


Muscular endurance

Muscular (leg) speed


Monitor your state of readiness


Individual variation in taper

Therapy and stretching

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