Whether it is a 5K or a marathon, it is wise to taper if you want peak performance.  If you are newer to running, the 5K may be your first big goal and therefore that is your ‘marathon’.  For experienced marathoners, the taper is over a 2-week period.  Basically, you slowly reduce your mileage over the tapering period until your goal race.

By tapering, you are accomplishing a few things:

1.  You have trained for a while, so you may have some bumps and bruises that you want to heal (not injuries!)

2.  You want your body to completely recharge, rest and get ready for your race

3.  Your body becomes a springboard, ready for release on race day.  So all these steps make it ready to peak on that day.

Tapering doesn’t mean many things either.  It doesn’t give you permission to start working out on the bike or hit the weights like  madman because you need to burn your calories.  That only causes extra stress on muscles that are not used to it.  It also does not give you license to just start eating carbs like crazy – save that for closer to the race.  And even then, don’t overeat – that is not the goal of carb-loading.  You also want to get in 6 nights of nitrogen oxide load and fast 7+ days from caffeine (if you are using caffeine on race day).

This is a good week to go and get a massage or get to your PT to knock out any kinks in your body.

Finally, as I have told many of on the team directly, please don’t do anything stupid.  No moving furniture (and throw out your back).*  No riding motorcycles (and get into accidents).*  Try to rest rest rest.   You will feel antsy, and that is your body getting ready to “spring” on the day of your race.

As always, happy running!

*these things happened to my friends….sigh

#running #taper #tapering #runningtips #runningcoach #rest #recover

Want to get more running info from me, please LIKE my Facebook page and get my free 9-week beginner program:    Click Here


Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

Comments are closed.