Tapering Tips

Share this with your friends

Training for a long-distance running event is a lengthy process, usually involving months of rigorous exercise programmes to get you into shape for the big race. Whether it’s a 10K or a full marathon that you’re looking to tackle, it’s important that your preparation is good to help avoid any injuries and to make sure that you can enjoy the challenge on the day and ultimately complete the race!

With the Live Active Pitlochry, 5K and 10K races coming up very soon, participants will be heading into the final weeks of their training ahead of race day on Sunday 17th September.

One important aspect of any long-distance training regime is tapering. This is where you significantly reduce your training intensity in the final weeks before the main event. Depending on the distance of the run you’re going to be doing, tapering should start from one week to three weeks before the race and it should be preceded by your longest run of training.

Many people believe that tapering is solely for those running marathons and half marathons, but studies have shown that it has a huge performance benefit when training for 5K and 10K races too. Even though you are cutting the distance, you should still maintain some intensity in your training without overdoing it. While you don’t have to taper for as long than you would for a marathon, it should still be an important part of your training regime.

When tapering for a 5K or 10K, you should cut your running distance in half in the week before your race. Even though you are cutting the distance, you should still maintain some intensity in your training without overdoing it. For 5K runners, try running 4 X 400m at your race pace, with 200m jogging periods in between. This should be done at the start of the week, with light jogging done in the other days later in the week. For 10K runners, the tapering exercises should be the same.

Aside from tapering, it’s important to eat right in the final week of your preparation. It’s often said that runners eat too much while tapering, as the body doesn’t require the same fuel as it has needed during more rigorous training sessions. Most of the do’s and don’ts will be pretty obvious and will help to give you the best chance of reaching any goals you’ve set for your run.

Drinking plenty of fluids is an obvious one and you’ll want to make sure that you are as hydrated as possible in the lead up to and on the day of the race. By fluids, I mean water not alcohol of course! Alcohol not only dehydrates you, it hampers glycogen storage which will have an impact on your energy levels.

Pitlochry 10K starting line

You should also try to increase your carbohydrate intake in the lead up to race day. That doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your calorie intake though – just focus on getting a larger percentage of your intake from carbohydrates and try to avoid high-fat foods or empty calories from sweets and fizzy drinks. On race day, try to consume 500 to 1000 calories a few hours before you run to improve your energy levels and boost performance.

And that’s it – tapering and altering your diet in the weeks before your long-distance run is that simple and it will have a positive impact on your performance too. If you haven’t already entered, there are still places open in the Live Active Pitlochry 5K and 10K races which can also be ideal practice runs for anyone tackling half marathons or marathons in the next few months. Be quick though, due to demand you cannot enter on the day of the race, so the last day for entries is Thursday 14th September.


For more information on the Live Active Pitlochry 5K and 10K races or to enter, visit the website.


See & Make Comments