What’s your understanding of tapering?
Tapering means to reduce gradually. This means that before the race, usually around 7 days (depending on the race you are setting out to do), you start to reduce your training in order to ensure your body is well-rested for race day! Here are our personal tips on how to taper leading up to one of the Gaelforce 10k Series run, or similar 10k events
What to do when tapering?
For a 10k race it is advisable to start your taper period 7-10 days before the race. Start off by reducing the volume of workouts so your legs feel fresh and strong. It is a bit of a balancing act so, play around and see what is the right balance for you to reach our personal best. How many runs? Rather than introducing more rest days, keep your training days the same. I.e. if you usually run 5 days a week keep that up but reduce either the intensity and either the distance or the time.
What to eat to be race-ready?
You did the training but the nutrition is also essential to get right. Try to eat the healthiest version of your own diet and focus on whole foods and high-quality carbohydrates. Don’t introduce any drastic changes in the lead up to an event. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol!
Mind over matter!
How about the mind on race day? Use the extra downtime you might have from your tapered training to plan your strategy and visualize your race. Consider how you’ll address challenging situations as they arise, and picture yourself finishing strong. Remember proper preparation prevents poor performance :)
Ok so what exactly should I be doing?
TWO WEEKS OUT
This is the time to do very specific race training. If you are close to the race route and it is publicly accessible this is a great chance to head out there and do a test run. Alternatively, study the route maps available online. For 10K run have a go at 6 x 1.5km or 3 x 3km at a fast race pace. Give yourself at least 10–12 days between this workout and your race. Overall though it is a good time to start to reduce the length of your easy runs by 10-20 minutes.
To keep the body ready for race day, one workout early this week is good. Don’t make it too intense as you don't want to pick up an injury now.
This is a good time to train running in your ideal pace, this would usually be a zone 2 heart rate. These sessions are good to really set this goal pace up and almost store the pace in your legs! It will be second nature on race day. Keep your runs short this week, about 30 minutes should be sufficient.
Also don’t forget to rest, get more sleep, go slow even on our easy days and spend some time focusing on your nutrition and hydration.
Whohooo! The day has come. You have done all the hard work so this is your moment!
On the day of the race, make sure you have plenty of time to arrive, get your race pack and make it to the start line. Either warm up yourself or avail of the dynamic warm-up that we provide on some of our races. Include a few loose strides to get the legs ready.
And then it is time to go! Focus on your race and have a good one!
Check out in the next 10k race on August 10th - Gaelforce 10k Kippure!
Some more interesting articles:
- EATING FOR RECOVERY. WHAT DOES YOUR BODY NEED TO GET BACK ON TRACK?
- GAELFORCE TRAIL RUNNING GUIDE
- 5 RUNNING HACKS FOR SPEED AND ENDURANCE FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE RACE