January 13, 2023

There are a plethora of resources available to help you or anyone else prepare to participate in a sporting event and many of these articles can be very helpful. We have an article that was published last year on how we prepare our athletes for moderate to long distance road races you can find here. What is often left out when talking about what to do in preparation for an event is what you should be doing immediately before the big day.

We believe one of the best things to do before any sort of competition is something commonly referred to as a taper. In a general sense, a taper is the systematic reduction of training stress to allow the body to recover. In simple terms, we will plan to remove or reduce certain aspects of our training in the time immediately before the event. This will allow our athletes some rest with the goal of having them feel more fresh and energetic for the event, compared to how they would have felt if the continued training hard up to the event.

There are multiple ways to taper leading up to an event but our favorite is a step-taper or tiered-taper. In this type of taper, the athlete’s training load is gradually reduced in chunks as the event draws near, similar to walking down a flight of stairs. An example of a step taper might be as simple as slowly reducing the weekly distance a marathoner might run for 2-3 weeks leading up to their race. Comparatively, a powerlifter might intentionally reduce the weight or number of repetitions used in training in the 1-2 weeks before competition.

As you get ready for your next big event consider using a taper in the final days or weeks leading up the big day. If done correctly, you should at the least feel better on the day of and you might see a measurable increase in your performance too.

If you would like help getting ready for your next event or if you would like someone to work with as you prepare to taper please reach out to us here and we will do our best to help you in the process.