It’s coming up to a few weeks before Melbourne Marathon, so I wanted to talk about tapering.
Tapering is a method used in the lead up to an event to reduce the overall training volume to allow for improvement in performance without losing the training adaptations that have been gained. Fatigue drops quickly to expose the fitness gains made in the previous weeks of training.
Runners use tapering to restore their physical and psychology fatigue and gain the benefits of a taper which can positively improve metabolic, muscular, hormonal and flexibility changes.
There are multiple types of tapering that can be used. A gradual reduction in volume of training is considered more optimal. An example is 3 weeks out from Melbourne, running 50km/week, then reducing the total volume the following week to 40km/week, then the following week 30km/week.
Most tapering prior to an event is recommended to occur between 4 and 28 days. Research indicates that a 12 day taper is the best length of time for runners.