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Tapering before a race...? (Read 1436 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    How do you all do it? I have that 10k coming up at the end of the month and I'm wanting some recommendations as to how I might want to taper before that. Keep in mind that I'm not really "racing" for this run. I am still really looking ahead at the 10 mi. race in mid Sept. and the half-marathon in late Oct., plus I will likely be losing almost a week of training in early Aug. as I will be spending a few days in LA visiting with friends. k

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Hi, Zoomy! I don't think most people do much tapering for a 10K. Check out Higdon's 8 wk plan at http://www.halhigdon.com/10ktraining/10knovice.htm - all he does for that one is decrease the time on one cross-training session the week of, and give you ONE extra rest day. For his intermediate and advanced plans, he's just cutting back on stuff the week of the race. He also has a plan for a 10 mille or 15K race if you're interested, though I know you said his plans were too many days of the week for you.

      Roads were made for journeys...


      Needs more cowbell!

        Yeah, I didn't think I needed to do much tapering, either...but DH is convinced that I should. I think he's just a wuss, LOL! I may cut back a bit, though. I was planning to do 2 90 minute runs 5 and 3 days before the race, but maybe I will cut them back to more like 2 60 minute runs or maybe a 90 and a couple of 30s... k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        vicentefrijole


          I think the taper is all about letting the glycogen store up in your muscles as much as possible and to let them be completely healed (every run causes a little bit of damage). For a 10K, you probably won't burn out all your glycogen during the race, but it still doesn't hurt to cut back so your muscles feel really good and are ready to go. Also, there's a psychological advantage (at least in my crazy head! Confused) to really "wanting" to go for a run the couple days before a race and not letting myself do it (or only doing a really lite one). Then on the day of, I'm really ready to go. That's probably the biggest reason for me to taper before a 10K. I like the Higdon plans.. and I think you'd be wise to cut those back to 30s. I know you're looking forward to the 10mi in Sept, but that's still a ways off and you don't want to push too hard through this week only to get injured the week AFTER this 10K.. that would be more likely to have an effect on your Sept. race. Let us know how your races go! Big grin


          Needs more cowbell!

            I think you'd be wise to cut those back to 30s. I know you're looking forward to the 10mi in Sept, but that's still a ways off and you don't want to push too hard through this week only to get injured the week AFTER this 10K.. that would be more likely to have an effect on your Sept. race.
            Heh, I'm not too worried about getting injured the week after my race--I'll be spending most of it in LA livin' it up (and likely not getting more than 1-2 easy runs in along the Strand)! Big grin But I think I may cut back the week before, like you're recommending. Maybe I just won't increase my miles the 10% from the previous week. I'm still planning on a solid 2 days of rest before the race, too. Smile k

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

            Mile Collector


            Abs of Flabs

              I think it all depends on your goals. I don't taper for most of my races because they're part of the training plan. The only exception are the goal races. If my goal this season is to set a new PR for a 10k, or 5k for that matter, I would definitely taper. If I want a really good 5k, I'll take a GU 10 minutes before the race. Sssshh, don't tell anyone. It's our little secret.


              Needs more cowbell!

                Your secret's safe with me... Big grin k

                I shoot pretty things! ~

                '14 Goals:

                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                vicentefrijole


                  Sssshh, don't tell anyone. It's our little secret.
                  That's it... I'm calling in an intervention. This GU abuse has got to stop! Big grin
                    Sssshh, don't tell anyone. It's our little secret.
                    No problem. I can keep a secret. It's the people I tell that can't... Big grin
                    My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      I think it all depends on your goals. I don't taper for most of my races because they're part of the training plan. The only exception are the goal races. If my goal this season is to set a new PR for a 10k, or 5k for that matter, I would definitely taper. If I want a really good 5k, I'll take a GU 10 minutes before the race. Sssshh, don't tell anyone. It's our little secret.
                      Coming back to this thread as I look ahead for the next couple of months and think about how many miles/minutes I want to run each week and how to get those miles in. How do you go about tapering for goal races? I'm mostly looking at the 10mi and half-marathon goals. I was thinking 2-3 days off prior to the 10mi. and maybe 3-4 for the HM. Does that sound reasonable? Keep in mind that I will be running my heart out, but I am still nowhere near an "elite." As much as I want to kick some booty, the only booty I will likely be kicking is my own and my ultimate goal is simply to finish (next year my goals will likely be a bit more aggressive). k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      Mile Collector


                      Abs of Flabs

                        How you taper depends on your body and your philosophy. If you recover well, then you should have a shorter taper. For example, the standard taper period for a marathon is 3 weeks these days. Runners would peak (do the longest run in the training schedule right before taper starts), and then gradually reduce their weekly mileage during this time. I find that three weeks is too long for me, and so I would taper for only two weeks. Tapering doesn't mean no running. I would not go 3-4 days with no running right before the race. That's where the philosophy part comes in. When you're training, you're running a lot more miles per week than during your taper period, while at the same time run more days per week than rest. You should be able to run your goal race without needing a taper period, but at your training pace. To get to your race pace, you do a taper. The reduced mileage will help your body recover and heal. Resting too many days in a row before the race might make you stiff. I usually take the day before the marathon off, but run every other day leading up to that. It keeps my muscles loose, as well as relaxes my nerves. I would do something similar if my goal race is a 10 miler or an HM. I would take the day before off, and run a couple of miles two days before. Just go nice and slow and enjoy the run. That's the only run when I'm as fresh and healthy as I'll ever get during training, and so it's always my favorite run. During the taper period, you can bring your weekly mileage down to about half of what you usually do a week by reducing the number of days you run and the distance per run. Of course, everyone does tapering different, and I would love to read about how others do their tapers.


                        Needs more cowbell!

                          Of course, everyone does tapering different, and I would love to read about how others do their tapers.
                          This is definitely interesting. I'm actually relieved to see that it's OK to not take too many days "off" right before a big race. I like the idea of taking the same # of miles, but spreading them out a bit more in the week pre-race. Smile k

                          I shoot pretty things! ~

                          '14 Goals:

                          • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                            I generally only do a real taper for a long (HM or longer) goal race, which might mean I actually taper for 2 races a year, tho I might run 10-12 races in a good year. I generally do 2 "big workouts" per week --these are also my longest runs of the week. So a 5k-10k race, plus warmup and cooldown, would just replace one of these workouts. If it's a Saturday race, I would just turn my Sunday long run into an easy paced long run--long runs for me are generally not at an easy pace. If the weekend race was on a Sunday (normal long run day), I would just do 90+ minutes worth of running including warmup, race and cooldown.

                            Runners run.