COACH ARCHIE’S TOP TAPERING TIPS
My taper is designed to get you to the start feeling rested, with supple muscles, hungry and with bounce in your step. To do this I reduce the duration of the training but not the intensity.
The amount of training you have done has placed your body under significant physical strain. Now we need to ensure there is no longer any unnecessary physical strain placed on the body. We must rest our legs ensuring that the muscle tissue fibres are not placed under any stress that might cause fatigue, soft muscle damage, inflammation, tiredness or exhaustion. These symptoms are not useful in the weeks before a marathon.
But keep the intensity up. Intensity means a few short tempo runs to maintain your edge and sharpness. We don’t want you get sluggish and loosing that edge you’ve worked so hard to get.
The length of the taper depends on the following: how long and hard the training program has been, how accustomed to regular exercise you are, and the distance of the event.
If you have been following the #full2half program you will notice that it is aimed at the first-time marathon runner. It reduces the amount of training steadily over the last three weeks.
For some of you it may be a bit too short. For others too long and you may begin feeling sluggish. Tapering is a personal thing and over time you will work out the optimal taper to which your body will respond.
In the last week I recommend only three runs, a fartlek session of 30 minutes where you do a 10 minute warm up, thirty or so strides at 75% between lamp poles a medium intensity 5-8km at marathon pace on Wednesday, and finally a short 3 km run on Friday at race pace with 10 x 100m strides and a good stretch.
Keep the feet up, stay out of drafts, avoid that guy in the office who sneezes without putting his hand to his mouth and get to the start early – you got this!
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