The Value of Tapering for Peak Optimal Performance

Tapering is another training procedure, a progressive non-linear reduction of a training load during a variable amount of time that is intended to reduce physiological stress of daily training and optimize the adaptations we have achieved throughout the months of intensive training.

Tapering is highly individualistic to adaptations, fitness maintenance and supercompensations but you still need to follow the general phsiological principles to achieve an optimal race performance at a major event.


Maximal gains are achieved using a 40-60% reduction of volume you were doing in the pretaper mesocycle.

10-14 days represents the borderline between dissipation of some of the accumulated fatigue disappearance and the negative influence of detaining leading to staleness.

Ideally, you want to reach the peak of your marathon fitness and the lowest level of your accumulated fatigue at exactly the same time.

With every marathon you train for, you learn more along the way about how the body responds to it so you can make the necessary adjustments.

Don’t confuse tapering with resting or time for just easy running

A reduction in running volume is key but intensity and frequency of runs should not change excessively or you risk interrupting the rhythm of training too much and the cycle that your body is used to.


Dont detrain and lose some of the adaptations made.


Training volume can be markedly reduced without negatively impacting your performance.
High intensity training can maintain or even enhance training induced adaptations.
During taper, a lot of training paces should mimic race day.


✔Prioritize sleep and nutrition

✔Optimize muscle tension, spring in legs during race day

✔Reduce residual fatigue/increase muscle recovery.

✔Minimize stress and distractions.

✔Maximise mental freshness

✔Be confident in your taper

Intensity remains here during during their taper: 1k tempo, 800m LT, 3 x 300m hard, 800m LT, 3 x 200m hard

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