The Magical, No-Mystery Taper

How to ease down for your race

Posted: 5 May 2002

Cutting back on volume and intensity for a race seven days away may seem obvious, but many runners still get it wrong. So, for the perfect taper, just do this:

Sat/Sun 75 per cent of your long run (if it’s usually 10 miles, run 7)
Mon 20-30 minutes easy
Tue 1- to 2-mile warm-up, then 6 x 100m (2 easy, 2 medium, 2 medium-fast), then 1/4 to 1/5 of the race distance in repetitions (walking to full recovery) at goal pace (eg 5 x 400m for a 5K, 3-4 x 800m for a 10K)
Wed 2-4 miles easy
Thu 3 miles easy, plus 6 x 100m at goal pace
Fri Rest*
Sat Really easy 2-mile jog
Sun Race

* You hit the lowest level of your taper two days before your race, then ease back into an active day the day before the event.

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