It is known as tapering the part of the training that focuses on reducing both the volume and intensity for an important competition. It is an element to consider in the organization of the training plan.
Tapering basically consists in reducing the volume and intensity of training in the face of competition but without losing shape. Despite sounding like a modern term, in reality, the concept emerged in the early twentieth century.
During the period of time that lasts, the objective of tapering is to reduce the training load so that the body recovers and can reach a maximum form of competition.
How long should it last?
As with most aspects of a training plan, the duration of the tapering period varies according to the form status and objectives of the runner, the training itself and the competition to be run.
Studies agree that between 12 and 14 days prior to the competition they are the most conducive to tapering since during this range of previous days it would be harmful to expose the body to high doses of training.
A particularly relevant aspect in determining the duration of the tapering period is the intensity of the previous training. The period should be longer as the previous training has been tougher and the most challenging target competition.
How much effort should be reduced?
The general recommendation is to reduce the volume of previous training between 40% and 60% to achieve the best results. However, this amount may vary in each broker. To know exactly, it is advisable to approach it with a personal trainer.
Experts advise that this percentage should be reduced progressively, not linearly, but exponentially. For example, to reduce a training volume in the previous 14 days of the competition, you must lower 5% in the first 7 days and 25% in the next 7 days.
If applied correctly, with the advice of a qualified coach, it is estimated that tapering can improve the performance of a runner between 3% and 6 %.