If you are a runner its a bad word as it means you need to either stop running or do less running…….
The dictionary version – gradually lessen
Runners terms – reduction of exercise before a competition
Why do I need to Taper?
Tapering is believed to be essential for best peformance and can take from as little as a week to two or three.
Tapering normally follows a fatigue-induced period of high mileage, you will either welcome the cutting back or hate it. Reducing your totals normally vary from person to person but its about 20-25%. So every week you do 20-25% less running you did on your high mileage period, this includes the intensity of your workout.
Race week Tapering
Week before your race its getting as much rest and this includes sleep as you can get. Try and stay off your feet as much as you can and start to mentally prepare yourself for your race. You need to redyce stress on your body to allow it to top off its glycogen and maintain adequate hydration levels. To combat nerves keep yourself busy.
Reduce running completely 3-4 days before your run. If you do feel like a run do it at a very light pace, NOT race pace.
Tapering for most is not fun so take the time to Eat, Rest,Sleep and repeat.