Monday, March 8, 2010

Time to Taper



The Canyonlands Half Marathon is almost here! You’ve logged your miles, increased your distance each week, and now you should be tapering your routine.  Tapering, the decrease of distance and intensity of your training, should begin about two three weeks out and workouts should decrease between 30 and 80%.  This can sometimes be one of the most challenging periods for a runner, but it can increase your time by about 3% which makes a big difference in long distance races.

During the taper the tiny tears your muscles have sustained throughout training will have a chance to heal.  Many runners will worry that this long period of time will decrease their fitness, but in actuality the recovery time will make them stronger and increase performance.  Many experts suggest that workouts should be shorter and a speed workout the week before the race will help you perform at your peak.

Tapering can be difficult for many reasons.  Through the weeks of training runners can be come addicted to their sport, and the easing off can induce psychological consequences such as craving carbs, cramming in extra miles, or phantom pains in joints that had no pain before.  Rest assured that these feelings are normal and that continuing to ease off workouts will help you run your best.  For more information on easing the side effects of a taper check out this article at runnersworld.com.  Good Luck and keep going.     

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