The Time Crunched Athlete | Taper

Workout Wednesday: Pre-Race Taper

If you’re like me and you are training for races, at some point you have to start preparing for that race with a taper period. This weekend is my main race of the season: Giant Eagle Multisport Festival Olympic Triathlon. Depending on your race, fitness, etc, your taper might be a couple days or it might be longer. Since everyone is different, this week’s workout isn’t really a traditional workout. The basic idea of tapering is to give your body a chance to recover and rest to hit your maximum potential on race day. Here are some ideas for tapering during your prep for your race:


  • Try short easy runs that challenge you but don’t leave you feeling 100% drained
  • Go for a longer, race-distance run at about 2/3 race pace or slower.


  • Long, easy paced rides are great to get your legs moving but not wear you out too much. Use this is a last chance to tweak your setup on the bike and make sure you don’t forget to bring anything on your race day


  • Since swimming is very low-impact, you can actually push a bit harder in the pool than you would in the other sports. Try some moderate-pace intervals and really focus on your form and technique. Try to be as mentally prepared as possible for your swim.

In the end, racing is a competition, but it’s really about having fun. Some people are able to race more than others so you might be going through this taper process a lot. The more you do it, the more you’ll know your body and be able to prepare before each race.

Happy Racing!

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