The part of your trainingplan where you reduce the volume and maintain the intensity of your workouts.
- Tapering is essential for optimal performance.
- When working towards an event you can gain about 2-3% (especially when combined with a good nutrition plan).
- Tapering during your normal Trainingplan allows your body to recover from any muscle and/or connective tissue damage, glycogen depletion and/or any underlying dehydration.
- Taperweek before an A-event as a microcycle is allmost as important as a macrocycle. Your Fitness is build up during months of structured training, that will not change. But if your mind is not build up to it in taperweek, your event will not have the optimal outcome as you can.
In short: you worked hard, now it is time to rest!
Default in our Trainingplans we add a taperweek after a period of BuildUp. So we don't only taper the week before competition, we taper every few weeks.
In these taperweeks you will learn how to deal with taperweeks.
We make use of the definition to maintain intensity while reducing the volume, so doing nothing is an absolute No.
What we do in the trainingplan for a taper(week) is take the last BuildUp week and reduce the workout by half the volume while you still train on the same intensity. RepetitionRest is multiplied by 2 and where possible we increase the SetRest.
For example: In the last BuildUp you did 10x100(m) on TargetPace with 30" rest. In Taper you do: 5x100(m) with 60" rest
The number of training in the week is part of the debate. During your normal Trainingplan we keep it the same. Towards an event you can choose to have a complete rest-day the day before. Offcourse we have to take into consideration that travelling could be part of the Taperperiod.
How long do you taper?
Dependig on where you are in Periodization tapering is always a microcycle. The length of this microcycle therefore is 7-10 days when training to an A-event. Other events and normal weeks have a microcycle of 7 days.
Exception can be made when training towards a fast marathon or full Ironman. Then we stretch it up to a maximum of 21 days and reduce gradually (60% => 50% => 40%) through the 21 days.
Stick to the plan!
Sounds great, doing a trainingweek with lesser effort, but for some athletes this is the hardest week!
Why and where are they afraid of?
- losing fitness
Correct, as an absolute number you will loose CTL, but you will overcompensate that number with lesser Fatigue, better Form and a greater mindset.
- gaining weight
If you don't balance your nutrition with the hours of training a slight increase in weight is possible. This is not necessary a problem, on contrary: when using carb loading the extra weight is energy you can (and will) use during the event.
- feeling tired
It is a sign from your mind that you are up to do some rest so own it! Listen to your body, listen to your mind and act accordingly, don't fight it.
- getting injured
Do not try to overcompensate the lesser hours by working harder. Your Fatigue is high so your focus, concentration, balance and therefore technique will be less. Having an injury in the last days before your event is your worst nightmare.
- mental stress
Lesser training hours means more time to spend in house, with family and friends. Enjoy it!
- stick to the plan
Don't do anything new!
Keep your new material as a reward after your event, have the same daily routine as you are used to, eat and drink the same as you normally do.
How can we help?
We also refer to Tapering as The Art of Resting.
We understand the science behind tapering but it is not a one on one implementation into an athlete. We need to take all the physical and mental aspects of an athlete into consideration.
Tapering is 100% mental training.
We expect from you to have a logbook and since we build in taperweek every few weeks we want you to give us feedback on the mentally part of these weeks and most importantly what you like to do, to bring you into perfect arousal. Going to theater, having a drink with mates, spend the evening on the couch with your partner. It IS your call.
Where we can help is try to figure out what kind of person (not athlete) you are, give you some tips, help you experiment during training-taperweek, help you analyse the outcome and work towards an event-taper-strategy.
Resting is easy and hard at the same time, so you need to learn how to do it. Experiment => Log/Analyse/Discuss => Adjust (repeat).
Only try out new drink/food/equipment during normal traingweeks, never during Taper or the Event itself.
Embrace your recovery like you would do a hard workout.
If you have any questions or want to take a free intake to see how we can help, feel free to Contact Us.
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